Improves bio-availability of nutrients and enhances uptake and absorption of nutrients by cells and tissues. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, has been shown to relieve painful musculoskeletal and urinary conditions, and may even fight Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. 

DMSO is used topically to decrease pain and speed the healing of wounds, burns, and muscle and skeletal injuries. DMSO is also used topically to treat painful conditions such as headache, inflammation, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and severe facial pain called tic douloureux. It is used topically for eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, and problems with the retina; for foot conditions including bunions, calluses, and fungus on toenails; and for skin conditions including keloid scars and scleroderma. It is sometimes used topically to treat skin and tissue damage caused by chemotherapy when it leaks from the IV that is used

Since the early 1960s, DMSO’s pharmacological actions and efficacy have been documented in hundreds of laboratory studies and holds promise in treating the following conditions: 

Alzheimer’s disease. DMSO has been shown to dissolve amyloids, the proteins that occur in the hallmark brain lesions of patients with Alzheimer’s and almost invariably lead to the functional loss and eventual death of brain cells.

Arthritis. With its ability to penetrate tissues, DMSO shows value in reducing pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and possibly gout.

Atherosclerosis. In laboratory animals, DMSO has demonstrated its ability to retard the development of atherosclerosis induced by dietary cholesterol, as well as suppress the accumulation of cholesterol in tissues despite severe hypercholesterolemia (elevated blood levels of cholesterol).

Down’s syndrome. Researchers have noted that when children born with Down’s syndrome were treated with DMSO, mental and neurological functions improved in a number of areas.

Drug extravasation injury. When chemotherapy drugs exude into surrounding tissues (extravasate), the effects are highly damaging. DMSO application significantly improved anthracycline-associated extravasation tissue injury in a study conducted by Stephen B. Strum, MD, a member of the Life Extension Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Fibromyalgia. According to Dr. Jacob, 70% of fibromyalgia patients he treated with DMSO for several years experienced benefits with no side effects. He believes these effects were due to pharmacological actions of DMSO such as free-radical scavenging, analgesia, anti-inflammation, softening of scar tissue, reduction of muscle spasms, and stimulation of healing.

Herpes. DMSO has been used to enhance penetration of alpha-interferon ointment in the treatment of herpes.

Interstitial cystitis. Instilling DMSO in the urinary bladder is an FDA-approved palliative treatment for this chronic inflammatory condition.

Malignancy. Researchers concluded DMSO exerts a significant survival advantage in gastric cancer.

Plastic surgery adjunct. DMSO has been shown to aid healing and reduce pain and swelling.

Prostatitis. Significant symptomatic relief occurred when DMSO was injected by catheter into the prostatic urethra.

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy. DMSO helps relieve the pain of this condition, an autonomic nervous system disorder characterized primarily by overwhelming pain in the extremities. Dr. Jacob notes that in Holland, a physician is breaking the law if he does not prescribe topical DMSO for reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

Scleroderma. In basic work done at the Cleveland Clinic, topical DMSO was found to have an anti-inflammatory effect while increasing blood supply to the skin.

Spinal cord injury. Data shows that if DMSO is given intravenously within the first 45-60 minutes after injury, the number of laboratory animals that recover was much higher than in those not receiving DMSO. Dr. Jacob says this is an area he would like to pursue, noting, “If we have 10,000 severe spinal cord injuries per year in the US—quadriplegic and paraplegic—there could be fewer patients who will need long-term care.”

Stroke. DMSO combined with a sugar that fuels energy production was well tolerated in elderly stroke patients, and could be of benefit in reducing neurological disability after stroke.

Ulcerative colitis. In controlled human studies, orally administered DMSO produced some improvement in the condition.

For more information, please visit Dr. Jacob’s website at

To deliver it. DMSO is used either alone or in combination with a drug called idoxuridine to treat pain associated with shingles (herpes zoster infection).

Intravenously, DMSO is used to lower abnormally high blood pressure in the brain. It is also given intravenously to treat bladder infections (interstitial cystitis) and chronic inflammatory bladder disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain DMSO products for placement inside the bladder to treat symptoms of chronic inflammatory bladder disease.

DMSO is sometimes placed inside bile ducts with other medications to treat bile duct stones.