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open quote logo Anecdotal evidence suggest that apply DMSO to the joint is highly effective for curing the pain from arthritis. close quote logo

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It is unfortunately that there is not much clinical information on how effective DMSO for most of its claimed benefits. We know it is a powerful solvent that easily crosses through the skin and is used by people to treat arthritis pain. We recommend that you many other natural supplements first for your joint pain.

Since you usually experience pain relief almost immediately upon applying it, you will be able to tell if it works. Make sure the surface of the skin you are applying it to is clean. This will prevent contaminates on the skin surface from getting through the skin.

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Table of Contents

Evidence of Benefits (Leaf Rating System)

leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Interstitial Cystitis (Inflammation of the bladder)

Instilling the solution into the bladder is effective for treating inflammation of the bladder. This procedure is done by a physician.
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Pain - Osteoarthritis / Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) / Injuries

Applying it topically seems to provide rapid and temporary pain relief from people suffering from arthritis pain and tissue injuries.

Not all studies show positive benefits. There are very few quality clinical studies to support this popular use.

Click here to see other herbal remedies that has more research studies done for treating arthritis pain.
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Inflammation of the Stomach (Gastritis)

Studies shows that combining DMSO with traditional acid suppressor medications seems to help with gastritis better than using either one alone.
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

Studies show that applying the solution formulation (and possibly cream or gel) may be helpful in treating the pain from herpes zoster (shingles).
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Diabetic Ulcers

There is no research studies done to show whether it helps with treating skin ulcers from diabetes.

Cancer - Probably Not Effective

When applied on the skin it does not help with treating cancer.

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Facts and Frequently Asked Questions

What are some others names?

It is also called dimethyl sulfoxide, dimethyl sulphoxide, methyl sulphoxide or sulphinybismethane in different parts of the world.

What is DMSO?

DMSO is a clear odorless sulfur-containing organic liquid that is found in vegetables, fruits, grains and animal products. It quickly and easily penetrates the skin. It seems to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial actions.

It also helps medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs to get through the skin.

It is a by-product of the paper manufacturing process. It has medical uses and is approved by FDA for instilling into the bladder to treat interstitial cystitis. As well, it is an industrial solvent for chemicals such a antibiotics and herbicides.

Research suggested that it may benefit people with arthritis type pain. There are few quality clinical trials to prove this.

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Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses

Topically (on the skin)

  • Alzheimer's disease / dementia     
  • Bed sores ulcers       
  • burns       
  • cancer       
  • cataracts       
  • colitis       
  • fibromyalgia       
  • glaucoma       
  • headache
  • osteoarthritis       
  • herpes zoster       
  • high cholesterol       
  • high pressure in the brain (intracranial pressure)       
  • interstitial cystitis (inflammation of the bladder)
  • neuropathic pain
  • muscle pain / spasm       
  • pain from rheumatoid arthritis
  • stomach inflammation (gastritis)
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • tendon degeneration (tendopathies)    
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Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings

Side effects include reactions on the skin, itching, redness on the skin, blistering, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, drowsiness, burning, dry skin, cough, trouble breathing, flu-like symptoms.

Also, there are reports of garlic breath, taste and body odour from using DSMO.

Safety - This solvent easily crosses into the skin and it makes it easier for chemicals and toxic substance to enter through the skin.

Pregnancy and Lactation - There is no known information on using this product during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Avoid using.

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Common Drug & Health Condition Interactions

Blood Sugar Levels & Diabetic Medications - theoretical

It is reported that applying large quantities may affect insulin levels in people with diabetes. As a precaution, monitor your blood sugar levels more often when you start or stop this product.

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Dosage & How to Take It

Topically (on the skin)

It is available in a liquid, cream or gel formulations. Concentrations varies between 10 to 100%. Apply once to four times daily as needed to treat pain from arthritis.

Unfortunately, there is no known effective dosage. Start with a lower concentration first to avoid side effects and increase until you get the results you require.

Buy only the pharmaceutical grade formulation. Industrial grade DMSO is not required to be as pure and may contain impurities that may be harmful to you. Contact your local pharmacy for more information.

Selected References
Updated: March 13, 2010


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