DMSO – Human Use

DMSO – Human Use

Q. A friend recently told me about the many uses of a product called DMSO. You can buy it at health food stores. She said it can relieve just about every ailment you can think of from acne to joint pain and that it works on pets too. I looked it up on the internet and it certainly sounds like a "wonder drug." Has anyone heard of this before or has anyone used the product? Are there any testimonies out there? I would like to hear from others who may have used it. Thank you. – Ana

My aunt used to use it all the time. I think it comes in a gel and liquid form. She would swear by it! If you had anything that hurt she would get that out and rub it on. She mostly had neck pain. She would rub some on the back of her neck and then cover it with a thin cling wrap. That is because it would otherwise leave a wet-greasy mark on her shirt collar. It has a very weird odor also. But she was such a believer in DMSO! – Connie

We have long used DMSO for our horses. It works great on the legs when they have been worked and are a bit sore. I have never heard of people using it, though. I guess if it is good enough for your beloved animals, then it must be fine for humans—IF used moderately and not in large doses. I would do some careful checking with your own doctor AND veterinarian before using it on your own self.

An alternative might be Everflex Cream which has proven scientific research to help.  I go with the natural stuff before drugs, but I’ve found mixed feelings on DMSO.

My father used DMSO for years. We used it on our horses, and you could only get it from a veterinarian. I am surprised that you can now buy it at health food stores. He claimed that it relieved his aches and pains – the problem? It smells! It goes through your system quickly and the smell comes out your pores!! No one else in my family would use it because of the smell. I don’t know of any scientific research, but he swore by it! – Nancy

DMSO is a bi-product of the pulp and paper industry. It was discovered and tested in Camas Washington more than 25 years ago. Many people claim to receive relief from arthritic joint pain. Since my mother-in-law worked in this paper mill she was able to get some of the product for herself and my husband, unfortunately it did not work on his arthritic knees AND it has a very strange side effect. No matter where you use it you will have the strong taste of garlic in your mouth. So it’s like any other ‘wonder’ drug. Maybe it will help and maybe not. – Toni

My dog has a disease called panniculitis, which is inflammation of the subcutaneous fat under the skin. It is the result of an allergic reaction to her rabies vaccination. She has been ill for almost 2 years with this with no cure in sight, just management. She get lumps under her skin. We had one removed which helped her but is getting more. Our Vet Dermatologist and the lab analysts have told me to use DMSO on these lumps and it should shrink them and to be sure to use MEDICAL grade. It also comes in an industrial grade that is NOT for use on humans or animals. All the research I did on the Internet showed me that this is a dangerous drug if you don’t really need it. The vet told me to use latex gloves when I apply it to the dog’s skin because it will be absorbed into my skin which is dangerous. It is used on horses as a liniment on their legs for soreness. Take care and do some research before you use it. I have decided not to use it on my pet unless she gets really bad. – Erline

I used to work with horses at K-State. We used DMSO some there and it does indeed help with almost all that ails the joints, etc. HOWEVER, please be advised that when you touch it, even the tiniest bit, you will have a horrible (sort-of rotten garlic) taste in your mouth ALL day. When I used it on the horses, I always used gloves and tried not to breathe it either because that did it too. It absorbs through your skin and causes the taste. But some people don’t have this problem. I took an unscientific survey with my co-workers and it doesn’t seem to bother men as much as women. The vet I worked with in KC used it on his knees and never had the taste problem but I sure do and so did the other women in both places. So, before you spend much money on it take heed. If your pain is bad enough, you may want to try it anyway. LeAnn

DMSO was used by horse owners and vets for years for swelling and achy joints. Because the orginal was so smelly it wasn’t used by people. Now that it has been perfected, you will get noticable relief from it. I use another form of it internally, MSM, because I have fibromyalgia and at times, hurt everywhere. Mine is combined with glucosomine but you have to take it a couple of weeks before you feel the difference.. – Crystal


  1. says

    If the smell bothers you, place your bottle of DMSO in the refrigerator overnight (capped), it will freeze, it freezes solid at 65 degrees F, then take it out and allow it to thaw, most of the smell will be gone without affecting the healing properties. You do not need to use the freezer, just place it in your refrigerator.

    I notice that the DMSO I purchase in winter doesn’t smell as bad as the ones I buy in summer, the frozen/thawed less smelly DMSO works as well as the smelly ones.


  2. Pamela says

    I first heard about DMSO horse liniment from Tampa FL critical care nurse. I have suffered from chronic nerve pain due to extreme damage from a dog attack when I was 12 years old. At that age. Doctors told me to “just live with the pain”. Pain that at times has been so severe that I would begin to hallucinate. Of course, Doctors don’t like to prescribe pain meds. And nothing available over the counter has ever helped, until DMSO! I use DMSO very sparingly, and only when my pain levels are so high that I cannot sleep because of the pain. I use absolutely nothing else.

  3. Ed says

    Where are you purchasing your DMSO? I bought mine from ebay and it is supposed to be 99.9% Pharma grade. It has never left me with even the slightest taste in my mouth so I am wondering if it is the real stuff. I have also read somewhere that high quality DMSO shouldn’t have that garlic taste but I don’t know if that is true.

  4. mory says

    I’ve been using DSMO and comfrey cream as a facial daily for almost a year— great results! but I’m getting a little nervous about it, thinking maybe it’s not good for me?

  5. Marilyn Halterman says

    My mom used it for years and my daughter ran a 5k race once and i used it on her lags when she had cramps. I really like it and i would recommend it.

  6. un_tuch_abull says

    Back in 1983 I played college baseball. We played from April to the end of May in Ohio. Needless to say the weather was a bit chilly. Many of my teammates developed different kinds of injuries throughout the season. I was the catcher and had a hamstring pull. I tried everything to ease the pain for weeks. Then our manager prepped me with a dose of DMSO on the back of my thigh. We first cleansed the area with alcohol and washed it thoroughly with warm water. After applying the DMSO we then wrapped it with a clean dressing. I played a double header that day without even thinking I had a hamstring injury. This chemical is certainly the best when it comes to pulled muscles. From what I understand it passes through the skin and penetrates the muscle fibers clearing out any residue of blood or liquid that may be trapped thus eliminating the pain. Be safe, clean, and be sparing when using DMSO. Do not apply it like liniment. It will allow you to go about your daily chores as if there were nothing wrong at all. Oh by the way, I was 29 that year so maybe age had a bit to do with DMSO’s success also. I swear by it though.

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