Lyme/MSIDS patients are always looking for relief.  The pain we endure is indescribable.  We clearly understand most of the pathogens we are dealing with are persistent, despite the CDC/IDSA/NIH denial. Our experience shows that we function well off treatment for a while and then the dreaded symptoms return. We cycle in and out of treatments which are expensive, time consuming, and often have significant blow-back. While antibiotics kill or disable bacteria, we all know they disrupt the microflora of the gut and damage mitochondria. Similarly to other treatments for other diseases, say cancer for instance, sometimes the treatment is as bad as the disease and some are affected more negatively than others.

This article is about two substances that you should learn about and discuss with your medical practitioner. These two substances are described as “therapeutic principles,” – not drugs.  In many aspects they are quite similar and one is derived from the other.

It’s important to condense and overlap treatment modalities as much as possible for two reasons:  time and money.  Another lesson Lyme/MSIDS patients learn is this disease can take over your life and cost you everything you have since it’s a long-term treatment – perhaps life-long.  I believe the substances in this article to be worth real consideration as they do so many things simultaneously, and are cheap & effective for most who use them.

As always, this article is meant for educational purposes only and not meant in any way to diagnose or treat.


Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) is a colorless, odorless, transparent substance obtained from wood; however, small amounts are naturally present in common foods such as milk, tomatoes, tea, coffee, & beer, among others.

First discovered by Russian chemist, Alexander Mikhaylovich Zaitsev in 1867, today DMSO is obtained as an industrial by-product from lignin in paper manufacturing. Because of its polarity and low acidity, it is a highly aprotic (doesn’t yield protons) solvent that can be mixed with other substances to increase their effect. It’s ability to penetrate biological membranes and transport other substances with it has also made it an excellent carrier.

Hartmut P.S. Fischer has explained in great detail in his groundbreaking book, “The DMSO Handbook: A New Paradigm in Healthcare,” the structure of DMSO and its chemical properties as well as the following brief summary of pharmacological properties on humans and animals:

*regenerator *anti-inflammatory *analgesic *diuretic *loosens connective tissue *penetrator *carrier *protector *modulator *relaxant *vasodilatory *antioxidant *anticoagulant *healing *anti-sclerotic *oxygenator *anti-anaemic *induces histamine release by mast cells

These qualities play out in reducing pain, alleviating inflammation, diuresis, vascular dilation, free radical scavenging, wound healing, and muscle relaxation. All issues Lyme/MSIDS patients deal with at some point.

The father of the medical use of DMSO, Dr. Stanley Jacob, enjoyed notoriety in the 60’s but admits the reception was short-lived due to DMSO’s long list of pharmacological properties and its being labelled a “miracle medicine.”  In other words it did too many things to be taken seriously.  The FDA approved DMSO for preservation of stem cells, bone marrow cells and organs for transplant, as well as for therapy of interstitial cystitis and cancer radiation protection – by prescription.  It’s also used under medical supervision to treat several other conditions, including shingles.  DMSO is available without a prescription in gel, cream, or liquid forms. It can be purchased in health food stores, by mail order, and on the Internet.  Great article explaining MTHFR & its relation to Lyme/MSIDS and the fact some patients can not properly detox.  Here’s another:

MSM, which I explain next and is derived from DMSO, is considered a methyl donor and reduces homocysteine levels suggesting a role in the methylation process and in reducing oxidative stress.  Since many patients struggle with high homocysteine which leads to inflammation and neurological problems, this is another boon for Lyme/MSIDS.

Speaking of Methyl donors, I would be amiss if I didn’t mention their importance in the issues of mood & energy:  (I have no affiliation with any products)

For an excellent list of DMSO studies:

A “60-Minutes” interview with Jacob on DMSO, one of the most researched substances in history:

Approx. 16 Min.

A 2014 video by Integrative Medicine Orlando on DMSO IV Therapy

Approx. 2 Min

DMSO has been used for cancer and an article by Camelot Cancer Care states the reason it protects against radiation damage and side-effects of traditional cancer treatments is due to how it stimulates parts of the immune system and scavenges hydroxyl radicals that promote tumor growth.  Since this usage is considered “off label,” insurance companies can not be billed for it.  Go to link for more info on how it’s used for cancer.  Review Article:  Medicinal Use of DMSO

  • Cutaneous manifestations of scleroderma (an autoimmune rheumatic disease) appear to revolve following topical applications
  • IV DMSO may benefit amyloidosis (an abnormal protein builds up in tissues & organs)
  • Dermal application provides rapid, temporary, relief of pain in arthritis and connective tissue injuries
  • Animal studies indicate IV DMSO is as effective as mannitol & dexamethasone in reversing cerebral edema (brain swelling) and intracranial hypertension (a neurological disorder where cerebrospinal fluid pressure is high in the skull)– a human clinical trail in 11 patients supports this
  • DMSO is used with mixtures of idoxuridine in the UK for topical treatment of herpes zoster
  • Adverse reactions are related to the concentration of DMSO and are usually minor  This article explains how DMSO helps head trauma:

According to Dr. Jacob, “DMSO is a potent free-radical scavenger and diuretic that reduces swelling and improves blood supply to the brain… “we observed that when the human brain was treated with intravenously administered DMSO after a head injury, the swelling could be reduced within five minutes.  No other treatment comes close to acting that quickly.

Astonishingly, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any new pharmacological agent of significance for the treatment of traumatic brain injury in more than three decades. With so much attention focused on the plight of severely injured soldiers returning home from war, Dr. Jacob is leading the charge to gain FDA approval of DMSO to treat this type of injury. He believes that DMSO would be more effective than some current therapies such as removing parts of the brain to reduce swelling.

Dr. Jacob and his colleagues previously sponsored preliminary clinical trials of DMSO on traumatic brain injury patients in Europe. The results of the trial were remarkable, with an 80% survival rate (about twice the historical rate of 30-40%) and 70% of the patients experiencing a favorable outcome (far higher than the historical rate of less than 10%).1  The effects of DMSO make it potentially useful in the treatment of medical disorders involving head and spinal cord injury, stroke, memory dysfunction, and ischemic heart disease.

How’s all this relate to Lyme/MSIDS?  Glad you asked.

First, many with neuro-Lyme have brain swelling.  Excruciating head pain is a hallmark symptom – often worsened with Babesia & other coinfections.  Second, many Lyme/MSIDS patients suffer with various viruses – the herpes virus being one.  Some patients struggle with dermal issues such as Morgellons and various rashes.  Third, nearly all patients suffer with inflammationpain.  Pain, pain, pain and more pain.  Fourth, DMSO is a strong anti-oxidant and powerful free radical scavenger.  Both are helpful for immune health and fighting pathogens.  Fifth, DMSO is known as the “Supreme detoxifier,” and assists in heavy metal detoxification.  If patients can’t detox all they are killing, they will not improve. For more on this important issue:

Fischer has a section in his book about DMSO usage and Lyme. He, unlike the CDC/IDSA/NIH, acknowledges that the borrelia bacteria is very persistent and that standard treatment is either very long and/or mostly unsuccessful.  He recommends a combination of an oxidative bactericide (MMS, MMS2, or hydrogen peroxide) and DMSO as a carrier to ensure penetration into the favorite hiding places of borrelia as well as deals with the various forms and stages of the pathogen.  DMSO is an excellent detoxifier which is a boon for eliminating the endotoxins caused by borrelia when it is destroyed.  This last element is just as important as killing organisms as the die-off can make patients miserable and cause significant symptoms.  Whatever bactericide is used needs to be pure as DMSO will take it directly into the body.

IF your brain works like mine you are thinking, “If DMSO is such a great carrier, why don’t we use this with antibiotics to make them more effective?”  Great question.  Ask your doctor.  It could also be said that it could take essential oils into the body as well…..  See where this is going?  It also penetrates the blood, brain barrier.

While Fischer recommends combining DMSO with an oxidizer for Lyme, DMSO alone is bacteriostatic, antiviral, and antifungal.  Between 30-40% aqueous solutions have inhibited the growth of Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli.  Other tests have proven diluted DMSO fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi and improves distribution of other antimicrobial substances and enhances their effects.

Speaking of oxidizers, I want to share how ozonated olive oil completely healed up a basal cell carcinoma MOHS surgery.  I was told I’d need two successive plastic surgeries but I used ozonated olive oil with a tad of petroleum jelly to fix it into place.  See results:

 Approx 2 Min.

You can clearly see how the ozonated olive oil infuses surrounding tissue with oxygen and heals the wound from the inside out.  I’m currently using ozonated olive oil with a tad of DMSO on another suspicious spot.  I’ll keep you informed of the outcome….

**UPDATE Jan. 2022**

I recently had yet another MOHS surgery on the other side of my face.


Nearly home-free, it is pulling a bit in the corner. The last picture was after stopping ozone for about a day and a half.  The healthy progression is truly due to keeping the wound wet with ozonated olive oil & a dab of petroleum jelly to keep it in place.  The redness is caused by the ozone which is infusing the tissues with 03.  I only cover it at night when I inadvertently itch it.  And it does itch!  

Last but not least, I highly recommend holistic health practitioner Amandha Vollmer’s video on using DMSO on the skin and for scarring:  This will be my next experiment to hopefully resolve the pulling of the skin.

Video Summary (Approx. 16 Min):

  • DMSO can completely erase scars
  • DMSO can work on stretch marks from weight loss or pregnancy
  • She recommends less than a 40% DMSO solution for skin use
  • DMSO is transdermal, and a penetrating agent which is able to deliver nutrients to tissues
  • She has a product called “DMSO with added nutrients”. It contains reduced DMSO with aloe vera and with 1-3% of essential nutrients which includes iodine, vitamin C, MSM, B complex, buffered C, magnesium, and rose geranium flower water
  • Make sure you are getting adequate food nutrition as that is the bedrock of healing
  • There are other skin, eye, and hair products available from the company she sold to
  • Coupling DMSO with other nutrients/herbs is powerful medicine as it drives it into the skin where it can be directly utilized

One other personal note: Lyme patients can struggle with hair loss.  I sure do, which has led me to research healthier options than the Minoxidil products for women (which I have also used). This search led me to Amandha Vollmer’s helpful book: “Healing With DMSO.”  In it, I learned of a hair growth/scalp care spray which consists of:

  • at least a 100ml glass spray bottle with a cap (I recommend capping the solution in between uses rather than leaving the plastic spray attachment in the solution)
  • 50ml (1.7oz) of 99.9% pharmaceutical grade DMSO
  • 20ml (.7 oz) preservative free aloe vera juice
  • 30ml (1.1) distilled water
  • 6 drops 100% pure rosemary essential oil
  • 4 drops of 100% pure peppermint essential oil
Spray on dry, clean hair 1-2 times a day.  May take a year of usage before results are seen.

This find sent me on another search for homemade shampoo as anything put on the hair will go systemically into the body with the DMSO.  I experimented until I found:

  • 1/4 C coconut milk (homemade or canned)
  • 1/4 C pure castile soap
  • 20 drops essential oils (peppermint, lavender, rosemary, or orange are good)
  • Combine all the ingredients in an old shampoo bottle or jar
  • Shake well to mix & each time you use (only need about a tsp)
  • Keep in the shower for up to a month
  • a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar & water is a good rinse as well

To make your own coconut milk:

  • 4 C filtered or distilled water
  • 2 C unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Heat water until hot/not boiling
  • put water and coconut into a Vitamix and blend on high for a few minutes until thick
  • pour through mesh strainer and squeeze through cheese cloth if needed.  Essentially, you only want the milk, not the fiber (keep and use fiber in your smoothies)
  • use required amount for the homemade shampoo and drink the rest (will keep for 5 days in refrigerator for drinking)

I used the shampoo/DMSO spray combo for a while after I had tried the Rogaine product. I did not lose any hair on the experiment but got a perm and discontinued until all the chemical has been eliminated from my scalp.  Experiment still in progress…..


DMSO has a LD50 value and is safer than ibuprofen, aspirin, caffeine, and cooking salt!  Study after study has proven its safety record on both animals and humans.  If you search for DMSO on the U.S. National Library of Medicine (, you’ll get almost 30,000 indexed results, making it one of the most studied compounds of our time. Yet, we are led to believe that DMSO can’t pass the required regulations for its approval in other medical conditions even though its effectiveness and low toxicity profile is unquestionable.

The above link also completely refutes a 1960 animal study that DMSO caused eye lens trouble.  In fact:

As far as eyes are concerned, the evidence on DMSO is quite to the contrary. When several patients treated with DMSO for muscular problems reported to Dr. Jacob that their vision had improved, he sent them to Dr. Robert O. Hill, ophthalmologist at the University of Oregon Medical School. Confirming the favorable changes, Dr. Hill began his own experiments with DMSO (after it was known that the lens changes did not happen in humans). His research showed drops of 50% DMSO to be effective in retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration, and presented a report on this at the New York Academy of Sciences symposium in 1971. (Haley, 2000)  Great read on the importance of purity and cleanliness.  Please read.

Regarding pregnancy:

Dimethyl sulfoxide caused teratogenic responses in animals when administered intraperitoneally at high doses. Oral doses did not cause problems of reproduction in animals. In one study topical doses produced terata in animals, but in another study topical dose failed to produce any abnormalities. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. FDA pregnancy category C: Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

Contraindications:  According to Jacob in “The Miracle of MSM The Natural Solution For Pain,” DMSO has been found to counteract platelet aggregation.  He advises caution for those taking blood thinning agents such as heparin, aspirin, or dicumarol.  Accelerated blood thinning can not be ruled out.  Indications that that is occurring would be bruising or increased bleeding from hemorrhoids.

Now for the tricky part…….

When applied externally DMSO opens capillaries.  This can lead to temporary redness of the skin.  It can also burn and itch.  Evidently, not everyone experiences this but I did.  To me it felt a lot like taking niacin.  Wowza, but worth it.


The reduction in pain and swelling will be dramatic.  It’s worth the initial discomfort.  For me the pain went away in seconds.  Other patients have told me it took a number of days for noticeable improvement.

The next tricky part is understanding how DMSO breaks down into components.  Most of the DMSO will be broken down to MSM in the body; however, there is a small part (about 1%) that breaks down into a substance that causes a temporary odor.  Some say it smells like garlic.  I say it smells like oysters.

The viscosity of DMSO is double that of water which means it drips off the skin easily which is why many like gels and lotions; however, Fischer cautions that gels/lotions are made from raw materials such as polyacrylic acid derivatives which will be taken directly into the body.  He recommends the pure DMSO liquid that will  take a tad longer to be absorbed than the lotions.  If you choose gels or creams make sure you are confident about ALL the ingredients as they will go directly into your body.  Please keep this in mind.  Essential oils, antibiotics, anything applied with DMSO needs to be PURE.  Also, many EO’s can cause skin irritation so you need to work with a knowledgable practitioner.  I include a recipe on how to make your own DMSO gel a bit further down in the article.

And that’s another point that needs to be made.  DMSO MUST COMPLETELY DRY before anything touches it.  Again, because DMSO is a solvent/carrier, it will take everything and anything directly into your body such as perfumes, dyes, germs, etc.  So application must be done over an unbleached white towel, with clean hands and instruments and allowed to completely dry before covering with clothing or anything else.  Also note what the DMSO is stored in.  I would only get DMSO stored in glass as immune disruptors in plastics can leach into your body.

The next tricky part: Just like you will find detractors for DMSO, you will find detractors on MMS and the other oxidizers Fischer recommends for Lyme/MSIDS.  This is where you need to do your own research, talk to plenty of health professionals and make up your own mind.  Perhaps I’ll take on the subject of oxidizers in another article, but for now I’m just going to cover DMSO and MSM.

For a great read on why some put DMSO down:

In essence, between the fact it does so many things which would interfere with the sale of many other drugs, and the fact it smells a bit, which makes it virtually impossible to complete double blind studies as the smell would give it away, big pharma tossed it to the sidelines.  But read the article for yourself as there’s great info in it, including what it can do for you.  **Update on smell**  Recently I applied the pain gel on a larger area on my husband a couple times a day for a few days (listed below) on my husband.  Our kids stated, “What’s that old lettuce-like smell?”  After searching throughout the house we figured out it was my husband.  So it’s not horrible but it’s noticeable and if you are in a cramped office space, trust me, they’ll smell it.  But, desperate times turn to desperate measures, right?


by Gabriela Segura, M.D.

Quick Guide and Ailments

DMSO is generally applied to the skin in a gel, cream, or liquid. It can be taken by mouth or as an intravenous injection, in many cases along with other drugs. It has also been administered subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intraperitoneally, intrathecally, by inhalation, instilled into the eye, on the mucous membranes, and into the urinary bladder. Strenghs and dosages vary widely.

If you are just dealing with pain or an injury, use a topical application. Don’t drink it. Drinking it is for serious detoxing and other internal necessities. If you use a rose scented DMSO cream, chances are that nobody will be able to smell DMSO’s garlic-like smell. (My comment:  Be careful here – unless you know for certain that smell came from a pure source, don’t use it.  I called this company and heard nothing back which says everything to me.  I won’t be using the rose cream!)

The usual oral dose of DMSO is one teaspoon per day of DMSO 70% (Morton, 1993). But since it can trigger detoxification reactions and DMSO’s total excretion from the body can take several days, it is best to do it only once a week to begin with.Start with half a teaspoon of DMSO 50% and increase to a teaspoon of DMSO 70% only if any possible detoxification reaction is well tolerated.

When you use liquid DMSO in the skin, let it dry for over 20 to 30 minutes before wiping the rest out (with an unbleached white towel). The skin must be clean, dry, and unbroken for any topical use of DMSO. The face and the neck are more sensitive to DMSO and no higher concenrations than 50% should be applied there. Topical concentrations of DMSO should be kept below 70% in areas where there is a reduction of circulation. When 60 to 90% DMSO is applied to the skin, warmth, redness, itching, and somtimes local hives may occur. This usually disappears within a couple of hours and using natural aloe vera, gel or cream, will help counteract or prevent this effect. When 60 to 90% DMSO is applied to the palm on the hand, the skin may wrinkle and stay that way for several days.

Chronic pain patients often have to apply the substance for 6 weeks before a change occurs, but many report relief to a degree that had not been able to obtain from any other source. In general, the greater the chronicity of the disorder, the longer the treatment with DMSO must be employed in order to achieve palliation (Steinberg , 1967).

Common health problems for which people will apply topical DMSO at home include acute musculoskeletal injuries and inflammations. The earlier DMSO is used, the more dramatic the result. A 70% concentration of DMSO mixed with water in volumes ranging from 8 to 12 ml, applied on and around the injury in a wide area at least three times daily, will have a healing affect in 4 out ot 5 people.

Arthritis, Sprains, Strains

It provides rapid amelioriation of pain and increased mobility and reduction of inflammation when used topically. You can see a positive response within 5 to 20 minutes and usually lasting for 4 to 6 hours. (Steinberg, 1967).


You can make your own gel: (make sure hands, utensils, and body are completely clean) Mix 1oz 70% pure DMSO and 3 oz Aloe Vera gel (at least 99.5% pure) in a glass container & store in a cool place.  It’s best to mix right before application.  I like this idea much better than the creams/gels on the market with questionable preservatives.

**For my personal recipe that has been used successfully for pain, please continue reading as it’s in the MSM section as MSM is one of the ingredients**

http:// Approx. 8 Min

I include this video to show there are DMSO creams on the market; however, I am concerned about it being stored in plastic as well as the added ingredients such as perfumes and dyes as they will go directly into the body.


According to Fischer in the DMSO handbook, due to the long half-life of DMSO, levels increase as you continue taking it.  Fischer recommends starting at a low dose of 3.5g (1 tsp = roughly 3ml) in a glass of water and to observe symptoms.  If pain is relieved and it is well tolerated, remain at that low dose.  If not, he recommends increasing in increments of 3.5g per day.

Interactions:  DMSO has been found in studies to counteract platelet aggregation.  If you are taking blood thinners, please consult your physician before starting DMSO.

Oral directions:

  • Pour 3.5g DMSO into clean glass (about 300ml or 10 oz)
  • Fill with water or chosen drink (DMSO releases histamines from body cells so he advises against tomato juice, but that cooled tea, or grape juice work well)  DMSO is bitter in water so some prefer something to mask it.  I say “tough it out” and use water.  You don’t need all that added sugar.
  • Mix well as DMSO will sink to bottom of glass
  • This gives you a 1-2% DMSO solution
  • Many find doing this after breakfast agreeable
  • DMSO has a diuretic effect.  Taking before bed is not advisable unless you like to get up to go to the bathroom a lot!
  • 3.5ml of DMSO at a density of 1.1 g/ml is equal to 3.85g giving you a dose of about .05g DMSO per kilogram of body weight if you weigh 75kg.  This is a long way from quantities that are labeled as clinically safe in most clinical trials and toxicity tests.

There is no promise of a cure; however, and there are some “non-responders.”  And of course, it’s important to work on all aspects of health such as proper rest/sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, addressing hormonal, nutritional, mineral, and emotional imbalances.   Take some time off regularly from DMSO use

Dimethyl sulfoxide exits the body in about 24 hours. Nevertheless, in both acute and chronic cases, it is recommended that you take some time off on a regular basis, say two days in a row each week. For example, just take Saturday and Sunday off every week. If you are using it daily, long term, take two to four weeks off, in a row, every six months. Or, you could do 30 days on and 30 days off.

Personal usage:  I have personally used a 70% DMSO gel purchased on-line topically myself as well as on numerous Guinea pigs – i.e., my family.  Once we got past the initial redness, burning, and desire to itch, pain & swelling reduced within minutes.  Dr. Jacob states this pain reduction lasts for 4-6 hours and that was our experience as well.  The smell of oysters in this case was very mild as the amount of DMSO used was small.  My LLMD has used IV DMSO and states that really smells – but the results were worth it.

One other note:  I have a suspicious spot under my eye that looks remarkably like another cancerous spot I had removed a few years ago.  I did have it treated with silver nitrate first, but after that healed, I applied the 70% DMSO gel on it.  I went back for a checkup and the dermatologist stated it looked great but to keep observing it.  I then told him about my experiment with DMSO to which he replied he just read an old study the previous night about the effectiveness of DMSO on cancer.  He also said to keep using it.


Before you try DMSO you may want to try MSM first as it is devoid of the odor, and doesn’t cause redness and itching when used topically.  Since it worked so well for me (as well as numerous other patients) I never have had to even take DMSO internally.  I have only used it topically when I’ve had specific pain and it worked like a charm. Using  DMSO topically will also yield less odor.  If you use at night before bed, odor should be gone by morning.

MSM stands for Methylsulfonylmethane and is a naturally occurring sulfur compound which is 34% sulfur by weight and is a metabolite of DMSO.  It is a dietary mineral element that is an odorless, white crystalline powder that is somewhat bitter tasting. It was approved as a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) substance in 2007 and is well-tolerated by most.

MSM is produced naturally as part of the Earth’s sulfur cycle involving algae, phytoplankton, and marine organisms, where it is absorbed into the soil, taken up by plants or soil bacterium and is expressed in minute amounts in many fruits, vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic, onions), coconut & olive oil, eggs, pasture-fed meats, and grains. It is destroyed when pasteurized or heated at high temperatures and is also volatile when frozen or irradiated.

It’s synthetically produced through the oxidation of DMSO with hydrogen peroxide and then purified via crystallization or the preferred method of distillation which particular method yields no detectable differences from the naturally produced product. The synthetic method allows patients to ingest far more than possible through food alone.

According to Stephanie Seneff PhD for the Weston Price Foundation,

“Sulfur is the eighth most common element by mass in the human body, behind oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. The two sulfur-containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine, play essential physiological roles throughout the body. However, sulfur has been consistently overlooked by those addressing the issues of nutritional deficiencies. In fact, the National Academy of Sciences has not even assigned a minimum daily requirement (MDR) for sulfur…..

Experts have recently become aware that sulfur depletion in the soil creates a serious deficiency for plants,17 brought about in part by improved efficiency in the U.S. agricultural industry, which has steadily consolidated into highly technologized mega-farms.

It is estimated that humans obtain about ten percent of their sulfur supply from drinking water. Remarkably, people who drink soft water have an increased risk of heart disease compared to people who drink hard water.2 Many possible reasons have been suggested for why this might be true, and just about every trace metal has been considered as a possibility.3 However, I believe that the real reason may simply be that hard water is more likely to contain sulfur….

I recently came upon a remarkable article in a 1997 issue of FASEB11 which develops a persuasive theory that low blood serum levels of two sulfur-containing molecules are a characteristic feature of a number of disease conditions. All of these diseases are associated with muscle wasting, despite adequate nutrition. The authors have coined the term “low CG syndrome” to represent this observed profile, where “CG” stands for the amino acid “cysteine,” and the tripeptide “glutathione,” both of which contain a sulfhydryl radical “-S-H” that is essential to their function. Glutathione is synthesized from the amino acids cysteine, glutamate and glycine, and glutamate deficiency figures into the disease process as well, as I will discuss later.

The list of disease conditions associated with low CG syndrome is surprising and very revealing: HIV infection, cancer, major injuries, sepsis (blood poisoning), Crohn’s disease (irritable bowel syndrome), ulcerative colitis, chronic fatigue syndrome and athletic over-training….

In summary, a number of different arguments lead to the hypothesis that sulfur deficiency causes the liver to shift from producing cholesterol sulfate to producing arginine (and subsequently nitric oxide). This leaves the intestines and muscle cells vulnerable to oxidation damage, which can explain both the intestinal inflammation and the muscle wasting associated with Crohn’s disease.”

Doctors Jacob, Lawrence, and Zucker in their book “The Miracle of MSM – The Natural Solution for Pain,” explain that Sulfur is necessary for the proper formation of proteins and helps produce amino acids, connective tissue, enzymes and hormones.  And that  sulfur insufficiency is probably related to many disease states – perhaps including Lyme/MSIDS.

It all stems back to the 70’s when chemists from Crown Zellerback Corp, and doctors Herschler and Jacob of Oregon Health and Science University experimented with MSM to determine if it had similar therapeutic uses to DMSO. In 1981 Herschler obtained a patient to use MSM for skin, nails, and as a blood diluent. There were further patents claiming to relieve stress, pain, treat parasitic infections, increase energy, boost metabolism, enhance circulation and improve wound healing, despite little scientific proof. Current research has shown proven clinical improvement in arthritis, inflammatory disorders like interstitial cystitis, allergic rhinitis, and acute exercise-induced inflammation.

Both DMSO and MSM get into tissue due to their small size.

Dr. Mercola interviews Dr. Rod Benjamin on MSM

Story at-a-glance

  • The clinical use of sulfur as an adjunct in our diet is becoming progressively more recognized as an important tool for optimizing health. MSM is already well-known for its joint health benefits, but may also be helpful for other conditions related to chronic inflammation and damage due to oxidation
  • MSM, which is a metabolite of DMSO approved for use in humans, primarily impacts your health by reducing inflammation. It’s widely used as a supplement for arthritic conditions. Like DMSO, MSM also appears to improve cell wall permeability, so it can be used to help deliver other active ingredients
  • MSM may be providing a missing link for optimal health, which appears to be related to sulfur. It also affects sulfur metabolism in the human body, although it’s still not entirely clear how
  • Sulfur also plays a critical role in detoxification, as it is part of one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces: glutathione. Without sulfur, glutathione cannot work
  • Toxicity studies have shown that MSM is extremely safe and can be taken at very high doses. Even if you have a very rich diet full of raw vegetables and MSM-rich foods, you can still supplement and not hit that toxicity level. Clinical research studies have found that the effective amounts range from about 1.5 grams to 6 grams

*Reduces cytokines & inflammation(in vitro studies show MSM reduces IL-6 (a marker implicated in chronic inflammation as well as suppressing NO and prostanoids) *antioxidant *free radical scavenger *kills gastrointestinal, liver, and colon cancer cells *restored normal cellular metabolism in mouse breast cancer and melanoma cells *helps wounds heal *increases blood flow *reduces muscle spasms*antiparasitic properties(especially for giardia) *normalizes the immune system *cholinesterase inhibitor *alleviates allergy symptoms *increases energy *improves condition of hair, nails, and skin


Dr. Michael T. Murray discusses MSM in under 2 minutes.


Karlene Karst, registered dietician, gives a 3.5 Min supplement review on MSM.  

Like DMSO, MSM is more of a therapeutic principle than a drug and seems to be providing some kind of missing link within the body.


Toxicity studies have shown that MSM is extremely safe and can be taken at very, very high doses. Even if you have a very rich diet full of raw vegetables and MSM-rich foods, you can still supplement and not hit toxicity. Clinical research studies have found that the effective amounts range from about 1.5 grams to 6 grams, although at higher doses, potential side effects include:

Intestinal discomfort
Swelling of the ankles
Mild skin rashes

These are likely detoxifying effects that can typically be mitigated or minimized by cutting back on the initial dosage, and slowly working your way up. In that case, you might want to start out with half a gram (500 milligrams) for a couple of weeks and then slowly increase until you get up to the desired dose.

Pregnancy:  Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation in humans is lacking; however, according to the MSM book by Jacob, he states, “Clinical experience indicates MSM is safe for pregnant women.  We recommend; however, that you consult first with your physician before taking this or any other supplement or mediation.”  (p. 47)

Regarding children:  Jacob states that healthy children do not usually need MSM; however, those with allergies, asthma, or an inflammatory illness should consider using it.  He also states many kids have taken MSM – some in high amounts without problem.

Contraindications:  While DMSO has been found to counteract platelet aggregation, MSM has not been similarly tested in studies; however, clinical observations indicate it may also have a blood-thinning, aspirin-like effect.  Discuss MSM supplementation with your doctor before taking it.

MSM & blood tests:  Dr. Jacob recommends stopping MSM before a liver function test as it may interfere with the accuracy of the test and produce a false positive.  Resume supplementation after the test.

How to Select a High–Quality MSM Supplement

There are two methods of purification of MSM:

  1. Distillation
  2. Crystallization

For MSM, distillation is by far superior. But crystallization is less expensive, and a lot less energy-intensive. According to Dr. Benjamin, only two companies that produce MSM use distillation. Mr. Benjamin explains why you should consider a product that has been purified using distillation.

“A lot of the problems with [crystallization] is you’re essentially crystallizing it out of a parent solvent or liquid. If there are any impurities, which could be salts of heavy metals, you could have aromatic hydrocarbons in that… It’s actually the parent solvent. It’s usually water. It is dependent upon water quality.” Distillation brands for MSM Immune and allergy research Inflammation/oxidation research Safety and metabolism research

I recently posted this:  Lyn-Genet Recitas, NMT, Sports Nutritionist, Holistic Health Pracitioner, RYT, and author of “The Plan,” calls MSM the wonder supplement for your gut. It can alleviate allergy symptoms, helps with detoxification, eliminates free radicals, and improves cell permeability. She states that with given time, MSM will start to actually repair damage caused by leaky gut – a common problem with Lyme/MSIDS patients. It can also help the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. Many Lyme patients struggle with paralysis of the gut where the muscles of the stomach and intestines stop being efficient. MSM helps this muscle tone as well.

For a great MSM guide: This article gives a current 2017 review of MSM as well as studies and 195 references. MSM has been studied for decades.


Similar to DMSO you can take MSM topically and internally.  It is recommended to start at a low initial dose and allow the body to acclimate. You can slowly increase the dose after a week. It is also stated that those with chronic conditions may take up to 6 or more months to notice a difference.


MSM comes in creams, gels, and lotions. Make sure you read about the other ingredients and if the MSM is made from distillation. Like any other supplement, the devil’s in the details.  Recently I made my own MSM cream, which was quite easy and I loved how it worked as a skin cream as well as for a pain cream.

  • Get pure 100% MSM powder made by distillation.  (Should have OptiMSM patent on it)
  • Get pure aloe vera gel (99.5% or higher)
  • Mix 1/2 Cup aloe vera with 1-2 Tablespoons MSM – a tiny whisk or stirring stick works best.  **Update** I’ve reduced the amount of MSM in half due to the drying effects for the facial cream.  Play with this amount for your own needs.  The pain cream obviously has much more MSM in it – read below.
  • (Optional) Add your favorite pure, organic therapeutic grade essential oils –  I used 3 drops lavender and 3 drops frankincense for a facial cream.  Guys this is for you too.  It is non greasy, tightens pores, & smells great.  **Update** I switched this to a synergy blend from Plant Therapy called Zit Fighter – 6 total drops for half C aloe.  
  • This same cream can be used for pain relief but add another tablespoon of MSM (total of 3 Tbsp).  Desired EO’s include Capaiba for inflammation (3 drops), Lavender for skin conditioning (3 drops) and peppermint as a cooling and driving oil taking the MSM deeper (4 drops).  Mix all well.  **Update**  I’ve switched this to a Plant Therapy synergy blend called Organic Rapid Relief  for the pain cream – 10 drops, and I’ve added liquid DMSO – 10 drops.  You can play with the amount of DMSO for your own personal preference.  I’ve used this on many and they all have responded with fairly immediate pain reduction, even a person who reactivated pain from an old foot fracture.  One word; however, sometimes a sheen of the white MSM crystals remain on the skin after it dries.  Just brush them off once it’s dry.  Also, since DMSO has been added, make sure this all dries before touching it to clothing or anything.  For tougher pain, I will take the appropriate amount of pain cream in my hand & add 10 or more extra drops of DMSO.  Immediately it heats up in your hand.  This has almost always worked for the worst kind of pain.  Of course the more DMSO you use the higher the potential for that lovely smell… it’s a balancing act if you are around people.
  • Store in glass with a tight fitting lid like a small wide mouthed mason jar in a cool, dark place.  I would also make sure the level of cream is such that it doesn’t touch any part of the lid – be it plastic or metal.  If it’s glass, that should be fine.  But it needs to be air-tight.


If you take 2-3g a day or less, capsules are convenient.  For higher doses crystals are cheaper and easier.

You should take the least amount to achieve the desired benefit.  More is not necessarily better.  According to the MSM book a dosage of 2g (2,000mg) is adequate; however, higher doses are often necessary to experience therapeutic effects.  You may need 3-4g of MSM to control allergy symptoms and for deep-seated severe conditions, you may have to even go higher.  It is also recommended to divide the dose throughout the day, but since MSM increases your energy, it’s best not to take it before bedtime.

For pain and inflammatory conditions, Jacob recommends topical and internal MSM.

Personal usage:  Currently, most of my family uses MSM internally, daily – including the dog.  We all started at 1/4 tsp once a day for a a few days then increased to twice a day.  After that, it was individual preference.  I increased to 1/2tsp twice a day and all of my pain is GONE.  My husband takes 1 tsp twice a day.

Initially we simply put the crystals in a few ounces of waters, stirred it up, and drank it.  Now, after reading from health practitioner Amandha Vollmer, that parasites do not like MSM, I simply dump the crystals into my mouth and then drink water, so I’m not dissolving it before hand. 

My daughter struggles with Mast Cell issues and this has helped her a lot.  As you read it reduces or eliminates allergy symptoms and for her it has reduced mucus production and has boosted her immune system as well.  

I’ve used a manufactured MSM cream with glucosamine chondroitin in it; however, it does have the caprylic ingredient along with parabens and other nasty ingredients Fischer warns about so I won’t be purchasing more, just making my own.  I will say it worked for pain – within minutes.

Update:  I’ve been taking the MSM internally for months now with complete resolution of pain.  The only negative side-effect I had was my skin broke out due to the strong detoxification effects.  I broke out on my face, chest, and back just like a teenager.  Due to that I lowered the MSM to about half of what I took to give my body some help in clearing debris.  Within a couple of weeks that went away and I upped my dose back to 1/4tsp twice a day.  The pain never returned.  Please know this has been miraculous as nothing else has worked.  

**Progress update** After a year or longer we are back on antibiotics as numerous symptoms came back.  This demonstrates once again the need to remain open-minded and adjust to the curve balls in life.  For us it’s pain in the C7 with accompanying occipital pain (right in the juncture between the base of the skull & the neck), stiffness of the spine, painful bottoms of the feet, migrating pain sometimes affecting the hip and/or other areas, as well as pain in the center of the palm (think crucifixion).  These are all past symptoms popping back up and and the body never forgets cellular memory!  It appears we are still dealing with Lyme (borrelia) and Bartonella.**

**UPDATE Feb. 2022**

After developing a Baker’s cyst which is extremely painful and debilitating, I’ve been sleuthing yet again for relief.  I plan on writing a separate article on what I’ve been learning and it is revolutionary – niacinamide and vitamin C for arthritis.  For now, if you want to study it yourself, go to Dr. Saul’s website and read the wonderful accumulation of articles there:, specifically:

All I can say is those with you suffering from arthritis and the pain it causes, you owe it to yourself to learn about niacin, niacinamide, and vitamin C therapy.  It’s a game changer.

Depending upon your goals, if your doctor gives you a thumbs up, I would try MSM first as it is easy to obtain and has no side-effects or smell.  If the MSM works (primarily for pain, inflammation, detox, & leaky gut) then you are home-free.  If it doesn’t, you may want to then move on to get the OK from your doctor to try DMSO as it demands more knowledge, effort, attention to detail, and has a smell, depending upon amount used.  FYI:  I have never noticed the smell for the amount used topically in my recipes.  For those who desire to try DMSO and an oxidative bactericide for a full Lyme/MSIDS treatment, please work under the direct supervision of a practitioner.

And remember what your granny told you: “Necessity is the mother in invention.”  

And finally, after reading my last update, never feel badly about needing to return to anti-microbial treatment, be it antibiotics or others.  This is the nature of this beast.  It is persistent, it is stealthy, and it is tenacious.  You and I need to decide we are stronger and do what is necessary to get back on top.

Do not let the bugs get you down!
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