Holistic Benefits of DMSO
What is it?
(Excerpted from the book by Dr Morton Walker1)
DMSO - dimethyl sulfoxide - is a simple by-product of the wood industry and is a solvent that can be produced in industrial or pharmaceutical grade. DMSO has variously been called a 'miracle' compound capable of relieving pain, diminishing swelling, reducing inflammation, encouraging healing and restoring normal cell function. One of the most well known and exotic properties of this solvent is its ability to penetrate living tissue and transport other medicines in their integral state deep into the body. For this reason, DMSO has been used by many in the treatment of burns and sprains, sports injuries, paralysis, arthritis, scleroderma, herpes and many of the degenerative diseases.
American doctor, Stanley W Jacob has worked with DMSO for many years and is considered one of the foremost authorities on the substance in the world. He states the following with regard to the therapeutic potential of DMSO: "We've barely scratched the surface [of DMSO's capabilities], for this is a new principle in medicine. We've only had three new principles in our century - the antibiotic principle, the cortisone principle, and now the DMSO principle - and the DMSO principle is the only one of our generation. Despite all the controversy, my guess is that history will record it this way."
When US Governor George Wallace travelled across the country to find pain relief from DMSO administered by Dr Jacob, the reputation of this pain killing solvent got a tremendous boost too. Wallace had been confined to a wheelchair, since he was wounded in a 1972 assassination attempt while campaigning for the Democratic nomination for President at Laurel, Maryland. Wallace's discomforture was located in his flank. A condition which reportedly disappeared by faithfully dabbing DMSO over the affected area.
DMSO Goes Public
On 23rd March 1980 and again on 6th July of that year, the popular television program 60 Minutes reported on DMSO. In a presentation entitled "The Riddle of DMSO", presenter Mike Wallace covered the anecdotal patient history of the solvent and interviewed it's main critics at the FDA. As a result of the broadcast, which reached the homes of 70 million viewers, the switchboards at Dr Jacob's office and others associated with the program were immediately swamped with up to 10,000 people figuratively crying, "Save me! Save me from my pain!" Pain victims sought out other physicians around the United States who were known to prescribe DMSO. They arrived in droves. Telephones in the offices of doctors and pharmacies in Florida, Oregon, Louisiana and Nevada rang busily for several days following the Sunday evening broadcast of 60 Minutes. A subsequent wire service report about the FDA's refusal to approve DMSO appeared around the country in Tuesday's newspapers. In his program footnote, presenter Mike Wallace stated, "Tomorrow morning in Washington, the House Committee on Ageing begins an inquiry into why DMSO is not available to all Americans for any appropriate ailment, including plain and simple pain." The numbers of letters and telephone calls that came into congressional offices enquiring about the cause of DMSO unavailability were massive. A sampling of the letters sent to just one congressman, Claude Pepper of Florida, are found in chapter 4 of my book.
DMSO - Bane of the Establishment
Dimethyl sulfoxide has had a battered thirty-year history completely out of proportion to its true track record. Officially, DMSO has never been approved for widespread medicinal use because medical authorities declare that the quality of medical trials and research on the substance has not been up to statutory requirements. Dr J Richard Crout, the chief FDA opponent to DMSO, reported that double-blind tests were mandatory before approval would be forthcoming from his agency. Yet researchers cannot conduct double-blind tests on DMSO because of the distinctive odour produced by the product after application. Within a few minutes of putting it on your skin, you can taste it on your tongue; it penetrates the skin and runs through the bloodstream so effectively. The alternative reason for not approving dimethyl sulfoxide, according to some DMSO proponents, could also be a simple question of economics: DMSO, painkiller extraordinary, is a common by-product of the wood industry and cannot be patented to great profit by the pharmaceutical industry. Ironically, even drug companies have had their DMSO INDs turned down4.
The Medical Community Divided
Because of the general public out cry about it's ban in the United States, and of course because of Mike Wallace and his 60 Minutes, DMSO has become a household word and medical-political cause célèbre. Those doctors among us who have been using the drug for twenty-six to twenty-eight years never dreamed that it would become a focal point in the continuing battle between individual freedom and the power of government. My colleagues and I have been criticized, ridiculed and even persecuted in some medical circles for promoting and using DMSO. But I, and others like me, have come to the conclusion, having observed establishment thinking for forty years, that the only way a truly revolutionary treatment principle can be brought to the patient is by appealing to the general population through the information media. It is for this reason that I wrote the book, DMSO - Nature's Healer.
In spite of the rumors, DMSO has not been found unsafe for humans. Any side effects are merely minor irritations. DMSO stops bacterial growth. It relieves pain. As a vasodilator, the drug enlarges small blood vessels, increasing the circulation to an area. It softens scar tissue and soothes burns. DMSO's anti-inflammatory activity relieves the swelling and inflammation of arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, and other musculoskeletal injuries. DMSO has been found to benefit human body cells, tissues and organs in ways not yet properly understood by medical science. For this reason, I believe DMSO is the 21st century's newest healing principle with a very wide range of usefulness. It represents an entirely different way of treating diseases.
DMSO and Cancer
Cancer seems to respond well to DMSO. At Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, Charlotte Friend MD has turned cancerous cells into harmless, normal ones in the test tube by putting them in touch with the DMSO solutions. DMSO is routinely used by alternative cancer clinics in Mexico to transport laetrile intravenously into the body. Because of extremely promising clinical results, research is still ongoing on a privately funded basis into DMSO's potential role in the breaking up of tumors and the killing of metastatic cancer cells in its own right. Yet the United States Food & Drug Administration and the UK Medicines Control Agency continue to forbid the advertising and retailing of DMSO for any medicinal purposes save one: for the treatment of the rare urinary bladder condition, interstitial cystitis.
As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in November 1988, twenty cancer patients with extravasation of anthracycline (destructive secretions from tissues of the toxic chemotherapeutic agent anthracycline onto the recipient's skin with the potential to form cancerous ulcers) were treated on a single-arm pilot study with topically-applied 99% DMSO and observed for three months with regular examinations and photographs. DMSO was topically applied to approximately twice the surface area affected by the extravasation and allowed to air dry. This was repeated every six hours for fourteen days. In no patient did extravasation progress to cancerous ulceration or require surgical intervention, as is usual with this toxic chemotherapeutic agent for cancer. The authors of this report suggest that ulceration was statistically likely to have occurred in at least 17% of these patients. The only side effects reported from DMSO usage included a burning feeling on applications, subsequently associated with itch, redness, and mild scaling. Six patients reported a characteristic breath odour associated with oysters. The oncologists stated that topical DMSO appears to be a safe and effective treatment for the cancer-related condition, anthracycline extravasation5.
Numerous drugs dissolved in DMSO retain their therapeutic activity and their specific properties over a long period of time. DMSO not only maintains but strengthens and multiplies the action of the drugs dissolved in it, thus permitting the administration of lower doses than normally required to obtain a satisfactory response. In organ banks around the world, organs and tissues are stored and preserved in DMSO so that they are available for transplanting and grafting. Tissues such as red blood corpuscles for transfusions and semen for artificial insemination are preserved in this manner.
As a penetrating carrier of drugs, DMSO is unsurpassed. It easily carries necessary pharmaceuticals to any part of the body for therapeutic effect. It passes through cellular membranes and tissues. It is for this reason, among many others, that DMSO is properly described less as 'a drug' by those intimate with it, more as a new and little understood therapeutic principle. As Dr Jacobs reported to an assembly of the American College of Advancement in Medicine, DMSO is more effective when used in conjunction with other medications which it can deliver throughout the body with spectacular ease. This can occur even when DMSO is applied topically, and the other medication ingested orally or intravenously.
For instance, DMSO will carry hydrocortisone or hexachlorophene into the deepest layers of the skin, producing a reservoir that remains for sixteen days and resists depletion by washing the skin with soap, water or alcohol. DMSO mixed with hydrogen peroxide 9% solution has proven highly effective in the treatment of oral and genital herpes when applied topically to the affected areas. Periodic outbreaks of the virus have been known in many cases to cease altogether with regular application.
An interesting observation is that the application of DMSO to one affected joint or area often leads to pain relief in some other location. DMSO has systemic effects. It is a depressant to the central nervous system and, of course, it reaches all areas of the body when absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. (END)
DMSO, is also great for many other uses including Herpes Simplex I & II. I will be adding more information, as we go along on it's benefits.
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Contact email Sonja@sonjaecklund.com