The Mind-Boggling History of DMSO
The wonders of nature are indeed endless. With each passing day, she somehow manages to surprise us in every way imaginable, good and bad.
The year 2020 is the greatest example of what I mean when I say that nature is highly unpredictable.
But not all surprises are dreadful.
Some come in the form of a blessing too.
And one such blessing is DMSO.
You might be wondering if you’re unaware, what DMSO is.
Let’s cut to the chase and tell you about this double-edged sword.
What exactly is DMSO?
DMSO or Dimethyl Sulphoxide:
is a colourless, slightly oily liquid that is primarily used as an industrial solvent for herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics, and plant hormones.
So why call an industrial solvent a blessing?
It’s a blessing in disguise! In the disguise of an industrial solvent.
In the search for cheaper and more efficient methods to produce paper from wood pulp, a process was developed in which its by-products included a variety of sulfide-containing compounds.
These malodorous sulfides were converted to less noxious sulfoxides, including DMSO.
This colourless liquid found immediate application as a polar, aprotic solvent miscible with water and able to dissolve an enormous catalogue of polar and nonpolar small molecules, unlike its other by-product counterparts.
In layman terms-
Dimethyl Sulphoxide (DMSO) is a by-product of the paper industry. That’s not all, because there’s much more to DMSO just being a by-product.
How was DMSO discovered?
Its discovery in Germany in the 19th century was an unusual one.
When the industrial solvent spilt on the palms of factory workers, they swiftly noticed a garlic taste on their taste buds.
This was absolutely fascinating at that time!
Research began soon after to study the medical properties of DMSO.
To date, Dimethyl Sulphoxide is known to be one of the best prescription-based drugs for physical illnesses- medical-grade DMSO.
The easy absorption quality of DMSO makes it an ancillary medicine for other ointments to be applied topically on the skin.
This way the chemical compounds get easily absorbed by the skin pores in the mammary gland because of DMSO thus adding to its medical properties, apart from only industrial.
Scientists realised quickly how DMSO easily penetrates the skin layers and other biological membranes, making it the perfect carrier to pass small molecules through the skin.
Search Results of DMSO- Then and Now
Preliminary searches had revealed that DMSO might be effective for treating Alzheimer’s disease, a condition with no known cure!
Not only humans but medical-grade DMSO is also prescribed for animals!
in horses, DMSO is used intravenously, alone or in combination with other drugs.
Some researchers also suggest that medical-grade DMSO for humans might also be useful for:
- reducing pain and inflammation caused by arthritis
- treating bladder pain and inflammation
- slowing the progression of cancer in the body
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) though, has approved the use of medical-grade DMSO in humans only for one sole purpose-interstitial cystitis.
To date the research on medical-grade DMSO is ongoing. Scientists even today are making efforts to research the potential benefits and risks of using DMSO to treat a variety of conditions.
DMSO may have promise in treating a variety of conditions that include the following:
- Alzheimer’s disease
However, research to date has been endless and ongoing. More research on its potential uses will likely continue for decades to come, with possibly more revelations about this drug and its uses.
Remember to talk to your doctor before using even medical-grade DMSO. They can help you understand the potential benefits and risks.
To conclude, it would be best to say that one must not take nature and its gifts for granted. The biggest example right now in front of our eyes is an industrial waste- DMSO, which has gone from being a waste to medical-grade DMSO.
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