DMSO: The Best Anti-Inflammatory You’ve Never Heard Of

If you suffer from joint or muscle pain, whether due to chronic conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia, or from the occasional over-exertion, you will want to know about the magic of DMSO.

One of the hallmarks of injury is inflammation, we all know inflammation causes pain and swelling, but if left untreated can prolong the healing process significantly. Most people look to anti-inflammatories like aspirin, or ibuprofen – but these medications, which are taken orally, can have a lasting negative impact on the body’s organs which are unaffected by the localized inflammation. Why treat something systemically that can be treated locally – and with even more efficacy.

This is where DMSO (Dimethyl Sulfoxide) comes in, a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Unlike aspirin or Ibuprofen, DMSO is a topical ointment. It’s applied to the skin over the affected area, and has the remarkable property of being able to absorb through the skin almost instantly.

It’s clear and colorless, and has been around for well over 100 years. It has long been marketed as an industrial solvent, but it’s medicinal properties have been studied since the 1960s. It has also been used in the veterinary community as a liniment for race horses, but has never been FDA approved for human use as a general analgesic. This is no surprise, many natural remedies have eluded FDA approval, which often keeps them reasonably priced and free from intervention from the pharmaceutical industry.
DMSO has the ability to quickly combine with water. In an injury with pervasive inflammation, tissues are filled with
something called EZ water (H3O2), this is what causes swelling. It is this inflammation that can cause pain and long term damage, especially to a joint where there is little circulation to remove this fluid. DMSO can draw the water out of inflamed tissues and reduce swelling very quickly. This property also allows it to rapidly absorb through the skin, and sometimes it is even more effective when adding other medications to it (such as aspirin or arnica) which will then be carried along with the DMSO through the skin.

DMSO also has a strong analgesic property and can be quite effective at reducing pain. In fact, DMSO has typically had a strong following among the severely arthritic who suffer extreme joint pain. Many of my own clients use it for chronic joint pain caused by autoimmune disease and have found it much more effective in reducing pain, without any systemic side effects of medications. In emergency settings, DMSO has even been known to replace morphine in cases where opiates are not tolerable to the patient.

Despite the lack of FDA approval, DMSO is legal and is readily available and inexpensive. It’s usually available at veterinary supply stores, natural food and holistic medicine stores and it’s also available for purchase at It’s usually sold in a 99.9% pure gel suspension, although it sometimes also appears as a cream based product.

How to use DMSO…

The skin gets an almost instantaneous sensation of warmth after application. Care must be taken to cleanse the area being treated since any impurities on the skin can be instantly carried to the blood stream via the DMSO. Within a minute or so, a taste in the mouth appears – for some it is garlicky, for others it is like tinned corn. Either way, it is normal and indicates that the DMSO has reached the bloodstream. If the skin becomes unbearably itchy, wash the area with a natural soap and water, if you have very sensitive skin, you may need to dilute it further with a natural aloe vera.