What is DMSO (Dimethyl Sulphoxide), How it works, Uses & Risks involved

DMSO (Dimethyl Sulphoxide) is colourless, sticky & has a Garlic like odour. Alexander Saytzeff, a Russian Scientist, first synthesised it in 1866. He observed a strange phenomenon that the Liquid (Semi-Solid-Paste below 18-20 Degrees) could mix with-dissolve almost all of the chemicals that The Scientist tried mixing with! DMSO indeed is an excellent solvent (Polar & Non-Polar), travels along the Blood & has shown to be able to preserve RBC’s & other Tissues. Penetrates Skin easily (Be it Endothelial Linings of Arterial Walls or Mucous Linings in the Body or Meninges of Brain…), doesn’t damage it (not significantly, at least) & blends easily with water & other body nutrients such as Proteins, Carbohydrates, Nucleic Acids, Other Bio-Chemical Compounds-Molecules… So much so, that we could mix Penicillin or Local Anaesthesia with DMSO, apply it on skin, and it would take it across, without using needles at all!!

DMSO (Dimethyl Sulphoxide), a by-product of paper-industrial process (Specifically a Bio-Chemical from Pine Trees), could be synthesised in ways such as Lignin (Cement-Pulpy substance of trees) and/or from organic sources such as coal, petroleum etc. The Chemical Formula of DMSO is C2H6OS. As it is mixed with water, an exothermic reaction takes place releasing 60 cal. /gm of DMSO mixed with water. Melting point is app. 18.5 Deg. C. Hence, below 18-20 Degree Celsius it forms a semi-solid paste. DMSO must always be kept in air tight containers such as to prevent its decomposition. Although, it has been reported that in pure form its life is very long and may be used for years. It has a strong affinity towards ‘Hydroxyl Group’, just effectively scavenging Hydroxyl Ions. These ions are mainly responsible for breakdown of Synovial Fluid & other Joint cartridges. Due this reason supposedly DMSO works wonders in arthritis patients. The resulting Bio-Chemicals (on combination of DMSO & Hydroxyl ions are easily excreted by the body).

Controversy started surrounding DMSO after lot of Lab. Work was done by Dr. Jacob (1963, Head of Organ Transplant Program at Oregon health Sciences University), giving surprising (Positive Results-In wide array of ailments). What came out was that DMSO was/is a great Polar-Non-Polar solvent and could penetrate human skin easily-deeply without damaging it and had gret preserving capabilities….Hence followed research world over to its miraculous benefits & properties…

Some Interesting Facts on DMSO:

  1. The Food & Drug Administration (USA) prohibits use of DMSO in humans except a ‘Specific Urinary Bladder Medical Condition-Interstitial Cystitis’, though Clinical Evaluation has happened for 4-5 Decades!
  2. It supposedly has a unique property of getting the Body’s Cellular Activities back to Normalcy,
  3. In studies, it has shown a unique property of being a Blood-Brain Barrier, thus carrying medicinal drugs-herbs right to the site for specific mental illnesses,
  4. Blood-Brain Barrier-What it Does: Stimulates Neural-Chemical Processes in Central Nervous System, Stimulates transportation of required amino-acids to required sites in the Brain, thus stimulating production of important Bio-Organic Molecules such as Glutamic acid, so required for Brain Metabolic System,
  5. Group C Nerve Fibres are unmyelinated, have low conduction velocity & carry sensory information. What DMSO does is that it cuts the Peripheral Nerve C Fibres and this supposedly gives almost instant pain-inflammation relief.
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