Emu Oil vs. DMSO

 

When I first heard of Emu oil I was excited about it, as it penetrates skin tissue and could be used a solvent that delivers various topical oils into the scalp. I then found that this oil should be prepared carefully to prevent contamination, it is from the Emu bird, the largest bird in Australia. I have only used topical plant oils so far and ingested plant oils and the other old fashioned cooking oils, butter or lard, and also consumed fish oil, cod liver oil and krill oils.

I’ve never applied a fish or animal oil topically and was uncomfortable with that idea, so I put off purchasing Emu oil.

In my search I came across DMSO. DMSO is Dimethyl sulfoxide, it is an organosulfur compound  with the formula (CH3)2SO.  It is a  colorless liquid, it is an important polar aprotic solvent that dissolves both polar and nonpolar compounds and is miscible in a wide range of organic solvents as well as water.It is weakly acidic.

DMSO’s ability to penetrate the skin readily is what interested me, and many other researchers.  DMSO is used as a solvent for chemical reactions involving salts, most notably Finkelstein reactions and other nucleophilic substitutions. It is also extensively used as an extractant in biochemistry and cell biology.

DMSO has a very high boiling point (189 °C; 462 K), this means it evaporates slowly. In labs reactions conducted in DMSO are often diluted with water to precipitate or phase-separate products.

DMSO is something one could add to shampoo (along with many beneficial topicals) and then wash off.

DMSO is used in medicine. Around 1963, a University of Oregon Medical School team, headed by Stanley Jacob, discovered it could penetrate the skin and other membranes without damaging them and could carry other compounds into a biological system.

Thus, in medicine, DMSO is mostly used as a topical analgesic, in other words it is used as a vehicle for topical application of pharmaceuticals, as an anti-inflammatory.

DMSO increases the rate of absorption of some compounds through organic tissues including skin, it can be used as a drug delivery system. For instance, it is frequently compounded with antifungal medications, enabling them to penetrate not just skin but also toe and fingernails.

In a 1978 study at the Cleveland Clinic  Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, researchers concluded that DMSO brought significant relief to the majority of the 213 patients with inflammatory genitourinary disorders that were studied.

DMSO by itself has low toxicity, and it is an odorless liquid, but due to its ability to penetrate tissue, it has an interesting effect, it is secreted onto the surface of the tongue after contact with the skin and causes a garlic-like taste in the mouth.

It follows that one should use thick rubber gloves when handling it. Nitrile gloves (common in chemical laboratories) dissolve rapidly with exposure to DMSO.

Because DMSO easily penetrates the skin, substances dissolved in DMSO may be quickly absorbed, do not mix it with substances you do not want being absorbed into your skin and body.

Quote:

DMSO has Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval only for use as a preservative of organs for transplant and for interstitial cystitis, a bladder disease.

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In addition, DMSO can carry other drugs with it across membranes. It is more successful ferrying some drugs, such as morphine sulfate, penicillin, steroids, and cortisone, than others, such as insulin. What it will carry depends on the molecular weight, shape, and electrochemistry of the molecules. This property would enable DMSO to act as a new drug delivery system that would lower the risk of infection occurring whenever skin is penetrated.

DMSO perhaps has been used most widely as a topical analgesic, in a 70 percent DMSO, 30 percent water solution. Laboratory studies suggest that DMSO cuts pain by blocking peripheral nerve C fibers.3 Several clinical trials have demonstrated its effectiveness,4,5 although in one trial, no benefit was found.6 Burns, cuts, and sprains have been treated with DMSO. Relief is reported to be almost immediate, lasting up to 6 hours. A number of sports teams and Olympic athletes have used DMSO, although some have since moved on to other treatment modalities. When administration ceases, so do the effects of the drug.

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DMSO reduces inflammation by several mechanisms. It is an antioxidant, a scavenger of the free radicals that gather at the site of injury. This capability has been observed in experiments with laboratory animals7 and in 150 ulcerative colitis patients in a double-blinded randomized study in Baghdad, Iraq.8 DMSO also stabilizes membranes and slows or stops leakage from injured cells.

At the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1978, 213 patients with inflammatory genitourinary disorders were studied. Researchers concluded that DMSO brought significant relief to the majority of patients. They recommended the drug for all inflammatory conditions not caused by infection or tumor in which symptoms were severe or patients failed to respond to conventional therapy.9

Stephen Edelson, MD, F.A.A.F.P., F.A.A.E.M., who practices medicine at the Environmental and Preventive Health Center of Atlanta, has used DMSO extensively for 4 years. “We use it intravenously as well as locally,” he says. “We use it for all sorts of inflammatory conditions, from people with rheumatoid arthritis to people with chronic low back inflammatory-type symptoms, silicon immune toxicity syndromes, any kind of autoimmune process.

“DMSO is not a cure,” he continues. “It is a symptomatic approach used while you try to figure out why the individual has the process going on. When patients come in with rheumatoid arthritis, we put them on IV DMSO, maybe three times a week, while we are evaluating the causes of the disease, and it is amazing how free they get. It really is a dramatic treatment.”

As for side effects, Dr. Edelson says: “Occasionally, a patient will develop a headache from it, when used intravenously–and it is dose related.” He continues: “If you give a large dose, [the patient] will get a headache. And we use large doses. I have used as much as 30ÝmlÝIV over a couple of hours. The odor is a problem. Some men have to move out of the room [shared] with their wives and into separate bedrooms. That is basically the only problem.”

DMSO was the first nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory discovered since aspirin. Mr. Bristol believes that it was that discovery that spurred pharmaceutical companies on to the development on other varieties of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. “Pharmaceutical companies were saying that if DMSO can do this, so can other compounds,” says Mr. Bristol. “The shame is that DMSO is less toxic and has less int he way of side effects than any of them.”

Read more: http://www.dmso.org/articles/information/muir.htm

 

I am researching this as a delivery method for a few topicals. I found a study relating to hair loss that utilized DMSO.

DMSO is not natural, and I prefer natural things when possible.  Emu oil is natural..

I plan on experimenting with both Emu and DMSO as the delivery methods. Emu may be best for a topical you plan on leaving for an extended time, DMSO may be best used in the shower where it is washed off after some minutes to remove unabsorbed DMSO to prevent irritation, some individuals may experience irritation with DMSO.

I’ll post more later..

For now, if you would like to read more, you can start here: http://www.dmso.org/articles/information/muir.htm

here’s a PDF with testimonials Pro-Emu Oil – emu-vs-dmso

Sources:

“Chemical Hygiene Plan” (PDF). Cornell University. October 1999. http://people.ccmr.cornell.edu/~cober/complete.chemical.hygiene.plan.2000.pdf

“DMSO”. exactantigen.com. http://www.exactantigen.com/review/DMSO.html

Novak, K. M., ed (2002). Drug Facts and Comparisons (56th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Wolters Kluwer Health.. p. 619. ISBN 1574391100 .

Vignes, Robert (August 20–24, 2000). “Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) – A “New” Clean, Unique, Superior Solvent.” (PDF). American Chemical Society Annual Meeting. http://www.gaylordchemical.com/bulletins/vignes-acs.pdf






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