Why Use DMSO in Bloodroot Salve?

Thousands of studies have been carried out on DMSO and as a result, it is acknowledged to be effective worldwide, yet it remains on the sidelines of medicine in the United States. MSM, a recognized anti-inflammatory, is a metabolite of DMSO.

Structure and Properties

Dimethyl sulfoxide is an organic compound of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. Side-effects are very rare, and usually manifest as skin irritation. As an adjunct in after-care, DMSO is a proven effective anti-inflammatory; it also reduces scarring, improves healing time, diminishes pain and fights infection.


DMSO was discovered by the paper industry in the 1800s and was first used as a water-miscible solvent. Since the 1860s, DMSO has been extensively studied in the chemical literature. In the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (Sept.2012), an article authored by four medical doctors states that there are more than 1,200 publications on the merits of DMSO. (FDA) has only approved its use for cystitis of the bladder. There are many veterinary DMSO preparations including eye drops, approved by the FDA. DMSO has been used in Bloodroot Salve since the 1980s.

Medical Uses (non-USA) including in Bloodroot Salve

DMSO is a prescription medicine and dietary supplement that can either be taken orally or applied topically or injected. DMSO is used for the management of amyloidosis, and 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 caused by tic douloureux. It is used topically for conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, and problems with the retina; for foot conditions including bunions, calluses, and fungus on toenails. DMSO is used to treat pain associated with shingles (herpes zoster infection). Intravenously, DMSO is used to quickly lower abnormally high blood pressure in the brain, making it very useful after head injuries.

Why Isn’t DMSO Recognised by the FDA?

Dr. Stanley Jacob currently serves as the Chairman of Abela Pharmaceuticals which was formed in 2005 for the purpose of developing and clinically testing DMSO and DMSO-related products. The company’s mission is to bring DMSO to market for the treatment of injuries and conditions affecting the central nervous system, including traumatic brain injury, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Abela Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is based in Orange County, California.

So why does it remain unrecognized when it is proven effective and inexpensive? Here is the answer of one diplomatic doctor, who has a research application before the FDA. There are several reasons he says, but…

It’s a square peg being pushed into a round hole, says Dr. Stanley Jacob. It doesn’t follow the rifle approach of one agent against one disease entity. It’s the aspirin of our era. If aspirin were to come along today, it would have the same problem. If someone gave you a little white pill and said take this and your headache will go away, your body temperature will go down, it will help prevent strokes and major heart problems–what would you think?

A faculty member at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and “father of DMSO,” Dr. Jacob maintains that DMSO can be an effective treatment for closed head trauma and holds promise for other conditions such as spinal cord injuries and embolic stroke. (

Dr. Jacob and his colleagues 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 favorable outcomes (far higher than the historical rate of less than 10%).

Proven Results

Research Results
Cutaneous scleroderma responded to DMSO
Dramatic healing of ischemic ulcers of fingertips was achieved
Increased skin flexibility and decreased pain were also noted in scleroderma patients
Keloids and hypertrophic scars showed flattening after several months of using DMSO
Its effect on wound healing has been remarkable. Applying DMSO cream during early stages of pressure ulcers leads to a decrease in their occurrence among high-risk patients.
It shows analgesic effects especially for inflammation such as arthritis and bursitis
It is also “dramatically effective” for healing severe skin necrosis caused by IV chemotherapy accidents
When the human brain was treated with intravenously administered DMSO after a head injury, the swelling could be reduced within five minutes

Further Reading