Back in the Day…Still True Today: DMSO for Pain Relief & More

DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) is one of those inexpensive therapies that I believe everyone should keep in their medicine cabinet. I personally have been using DMSO for pain relief  since my days as a marathon runner, more than 35 years ago. And I’ve been writing about it in my newsletter, Health & Healing, for more than two decades. It’s cheap, it’s effective, it worked then, and it will work now. Enjoy this article on DMSO, which first appeared in the December 1993 issue of the newsletter.

DMSO: More Good Medicine That Goes Unnoticed

Fifteen years ago I was training for a marathon. I developed tendinitis in my right Achilles tendon and had to stop running. For two weeks I worked out on a bicycle. When I tried running again, I went only 10 yards; the pain was still there. I had some DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) in my home, and with a piece of cotton rubbed some on each side of my Achilles tendon. I waited 15 minutes and then ran nine miles with no pain at all.

If you suffer from arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions, I recommend DMSO for natural pain relief. It is truly a medical breakthrough. As Stanley Jacob, MD, a professor in the Department of Surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University and the father of DMSO research concludes, DMSO is a new medical principle like antibiotics, steroids, and coenzyme Q10.

DMSO: Four Decisive Benefits for You

DMSO is inexpensively produced as a byproduct in the manufacturing of paper, and has a long history of use as a solvent in industry. Its medical uses were discovered more than 30 years ago by the collaboration of Dr. Jacob and Robert Herschler, a chemical applications supervisor at Crown Zellerbach Paper Company. The substance has four basic medical properties: (1) It acts as a skin penetrant and is rapidly absorbed and has the ability to carry other substances with it; (2) It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent; (3) It acts as a cryoprotective agent, protecting human tissue that is preserved by freezing; and (4) It is a potent scavenger of free radicals—highly reactive molecules that contribute to many diseases and overall aging .

DMSO is inherently safe and has been approved for a broad range of conditions in veterinary medicine, including the relief of muscle and joint pain in racehorses. Ironically, many of the studies supporting its safe and effective use in animals were conducted on humans. Yet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the use of DMSO only for interstitial cystitis, an inflammatory condition of the bladder. However, as with all medications, any physician can use an approved medication for other purposes. Consequently, it is perfectly legal for physicians to use DMSO intravenously, orally, and topically for a variety of conditions.

DMSO: Too Hot for the FDA to Handle

Because of the controversy and publicity surrounding DMSO, 60 Minutes featured it on March 23, 1980, and reported that it had received more mail on this subject than any other. Governor George Wallace of Alabama, who was wounded and paralyzed in 1972 in an assassination attempt, saw the show and traveled to Oregon to see Dr. Jacob for chronic pain. Treatment with DMSO brought him nearly complete relief.

As far as toxicity is concerned, every expert on DMSO agrees that this is a safe agent. In 1981, on Good Morning, America, DMSO co-discoverer Robert Herschler stated, “Compared to aspirin, DMSO is a much safer drug. People are killed taking aspirin; no one has ever been killed taking DMSO.”

Regarding FDA “foot dragging” and opposition to DMSO, Herschler noted, “In 1964, the FDA complained bitterly about DMSO because it was both a commercial solvent and a drug. They could not control it. Beyond that, we had a meeting with Frances Kelsey of the FDA where she raised her hands and said, ‘We simply cannot cope with a product like DMSO. We envision hundreds of applications [for new drugs] coming in, and we simply don’t have the budget or staff.'”

Therefore, one of the most beneficial therapies of the last 500 years is quashed because the FDA “doesn’t know how to handle it.” By as early as 1965, the FDA had thrown out 1,500 physician evaluations of DMSO on over 100,000 people. To the consternation of virtually every DMSO expert, the FDA has been an unwavering roadblock to the utilization of this agent. Consequently, it must take responsibility for much of the suffering that could be alleviated by DMSO.

DMSO, Vitamin C, and Chelation Restored His Vision

I received a call from one of my patients, a pastor in the state of Texas who was blind in one eye due to an embolus to the left retinal artery. In addition, he was rapidly going blind in his “good” eye from a condition called serpiginous (snake-like) choroiditis. This is a rare inflammatory-like condition in which the retina simply disintegrates. He received a complete workup at a prominent eye clinic and was told that nothing could be done.

The pastor came to my clinic, where he received intravenous infusions of DMSO along with large doses of vitamin C, minerals, and EDTA (a chelating agent). I also referred him to an ophthalmologist. His vision upon arrival at the clinic was 20/100, and in a miraculous display of the therapeutic power of DMSO, he began to improve immediately after treatment. Three weeks later he left the clinic with a vision of 20/25. Today, he is reading and driving.

End of original article.

DMSO Today

In addition to using DMSO for pain relief, this compound has a number of other beneficial applications. It’s used to preserve organs and tissues awaiting transplant and embryos and stem cells during freezing and long-term storage. Intravenous infusions of DMSO can effectively treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, degenerative diseases of the eye, and some types of cancer.

DMSO is very safe, but it does have a downside: its smell. DMSO’s sulfur compounds can cause a very strong, garlicky odor, particularly when used intravenously. The smell shouldn’t be a problem, however, if you rub a little into an aching joint or muscle from time to time. If you can’t find DMSO in your health food store, you can order it by calling (800) 810-6655.



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