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What is DMSO

Dimethyl Sulfoxide is a clear liquid known mainly for its ability to easily permeate living tissue. It is believed to help stimulate cellular processes. It has a distinctive and slightly unpleasant odor like oysters or garlic. Dr. Morton Walker, in his book, DMSO: The New Healing Power, describes how it appears to help block pain, reduce inflammation, kill bacteria and funguses, reduce blood clotting, improve circulation, neutralize free radicals, stimulate the immune system, and hasten the healing of wounds.

DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) is derived from lignin, which is the binding substance of trees. The Crown Zellerbach Corporation, a mammoth lumber company, holds a number of patents on DMSO for use as an industrial solvent or liniment for treating pain in horses. Topically-applied DMSO has the unusual ability to act as a "chemical hypodermic needle" which is to say that it is rapidly absorbed through the skin and can take with it other substances that ordinarily would not cross the skin's barrier.

DMSO works in a number of ways and these are entirely new to therapeutic principles. DMSO is not a drug in the usual sense, since a drug only treats disease symptoms. DMSO treats altered cellular function or damaged cells. The cells become healed and restored by changing and stabilizing the water structure within the cell. It exerts its effects on biological systems by changing the liquid structure of water. Therefore, changes occur in protein and other molecules. These changes are physical-chemical in nature and difficult to understand without a degree in physics.

The fact remains that these products work to restore function in illnesses like arthritis and immune system disease, and they are very helpful in acute inflammatory pain syndromes.

What It Does

DMSO tends to build up white blood cells and increase immune production of MIF (migration inhibitory factors) of macrophages. Thus, the immune system is made more effective by allowing macrophages to move more quickly. Thus DMSO modulates lymphocytes, and it therefore reactivates the production of the MIF (Migration Inhibitory Factor) of macrophages which are white blood cells that eat and destroy foreign proteins including unwanted microorganisms and other cells in the blood and tissues. It also diminishes allergic reactions by unfolding the cell membrane and making more cell receptor sites available to attachment by specific antigens.

The modulating effect of DMSO on lymphocytes also tends to increase the production of lymphokines (chemical immune cell mediators) such as interferon. It potentiates cell mediated immunity and can be effective in multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis, ulcerative colitis, cancer, etc.

What Are Its Major Therapeutic Properties?

* It blocks pain by interrupting conduction in the small c-fibers, the non-myelinating nerve fibers.
* It is anti-inflammatory.
* It is anti bacterial, fungal and viral.
* It transports all molecules (drugs, etc.) across cell membranes.
* It reduces the incidence of platelet thrombi (clots in vessels).
* It effects cardiac contractility by inhibiting calcium to reduce the workload of the heart.
* It is a vasodilator, probably related to histamine release in the cells and to prostaglandin inhibition.
* It softens collagen.
* It is a scavenger of the hydroxyl free radical.
* It stimulates the immune system.
* It is a potent diuretic.
* It increases interferon formation.
* It stimulates wound healing.


DMSO has certain unique physiological characteristics which stem from its molecular makeup:

* It is a simple small molecule with unusual properties.
* An exothermic reaction occurs when DMSO is diluted with water (heat is generated).
* Hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are free radicals (oxidants), are ubiquitous and highly injurious to cells—and thus health. DMSO neutralizes (quenches) these free radicals. It is a free radical scavenger!
* DMSO substitutes for water in the living cell—it can destroy intracellular free radicals. No other antioxidant can do that.
* DMSO increases the permeability of cell membranes yielding a flushing effect of toxins from intracellular location to extracellular.
* It is an antidote to allergic reactions.
* It can penetrate any cell wall; thus it can get where most chemicals can’t.
* It has a very low index of any toxicity.
* Allergic reactions to DMSO can occur but they are uncommon.
* DMSO has a myriad of applications in medicine. Some are so dramatically effective that the concept of such therapy just boggles the mind!


Szmant, H. Harry. Physical properties of dimethyl sulfoxide and its function in biological systems, Biological Actions of Dimethyl Sulfoxide ed. by Stanley W. Jacob and Robert Herschler. (New York: New York Academy of Sciences, 1975), pp. 20-23.

Barfeld, H., and T. Atoynatan. N-acetylcysteine inactivates migration inhibitory factor and delayed hypersensitivity reactions. Nature new Bio., 231:157-159, 1971.

Barfeld, H., and T. Atoynatan, Cytophilic nature of migration inhibitory factor associated with delayed hypersensitivity, Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med., 139:497-501, 1969.

Tschope, M., cited in Raettig, H. “The potential of DMSO in experimental immunology,” Dimethylsulfoxyl, Internationales Symposium in Wien. G. Laudahn and K. Getrich, eds.; 54. Saladruck, Berlin, Germany, 1966.

Engel, M.F. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 141:638, 1967.

 There are many cheap Chinese imports out there so Buyer Beware. Make sure of the purity and origin of any products that you buy. We sell only the Original Pharmaceutical Grade DMSO made to Dr. Stanley W. Jacob's exact specification always look for Dr. Jacob's trademark and the Jacob Lab logo.


These DMSO products are not intended for drug use. No medical or other applications to the human body are advised or promoted for this product and such usage may be harmful. This product is intended for use as a solvent only. The choice of the process used in the various applications is the sole responsibility of the user.

DMSO is very quickly absorbed through the skin and can carry contaminants and impurities with it. Be extremely careful not to contaminate the DMSO with any unwanted substances. Always exercise care to avoid accidental skin contact especially to the eyes and face and/or wear protective gloves and clothing when using this product.

Federal law prohibits making any medical claims or giving directions for the use of DMSO. We always ask that our customers consult with their healthcare providers before using any of our products.

We do not recommend using this product if you are pregnant or nursing.


DMSO Links

DMSO History
The History of DMSO

Many Uses, Much Controversy
Article by Maya Muir

Medical Acceptance of DMSO
DMSO is a respected, approved pharmaceutical agent in over 100 countries

Pharmacology of DMSO
Results of many scientific trials using DMSO

DMSO and Down Syndrome
The results of some tests using DMSO for Down Syndrome

Physical Properties and Function of DMSO
DMSO chemistry

The Human Toxicology Of Dimethyl Sulfoxide
Many in the pharmaceutical industry feel that DMSO's
bad reputation is undeserved

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