What is MSM?

MSM is an abbreviation of methylsulfonylmethane, an organic form of sulfur.The chemical formula of MSM is CH3SO2CH3. It is the form in which sulfur appears in nature in all living organisms, and in which it is biologically active. MSM is an odorless, white, crystalline powder that is highly soluble in hot water and in a wide range of organic solvents .


Biologically active sulfur has incredible preventive and therapeutic properties. The medicinal properties of biological sulfur are profound, and they are also based on obvious principles.


Because of these characteristics, the discovery of biological sulfur’s role in health, and the process that enabled its successful delivery in supplemental form, are generally considered among the biggest advances in orthomolecular medicine in the second half of this century.

Remember when we would suffer from acidity or constipation and swelling in our joints owing to an injury or gout or arthritis and would be unable to walk about spritely, our Grand Mother would suggest taking a clove of garlic? In fact, garlic has historically been used to treat earaches, leprosy, deafness, severe diarrhoea, constipation and parasitic infections, and to lower fever, fight infections and relieve stomach aches. All such properties, and much more, can also attributed to methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM in short, one the most fascination discoveries of the twentieth century.


It may surprise you when you come to know that there is a connection between the garlic and MSM: Both owe their healing properties to sulfur.


Discovery of MSM

Methylsulfonylmethane is the pure, synthesized form of organic sulfur. Its pain-relieving and wound-healing properties were discovered perchance in the early 1960s when workers of a US paper mill came in contact with the wastewater that contained a good amount of the by-product dimethylsulfoxide.


This discovery drew attention of the world, and one such pioneer to have been intrigued by its healing qualities was Dr. Stanly Jacob, who taught surgery at the Oregon Medical School and began research into the compound in right earnest. He also ran a pain clinic at this school, which later became a full-fledged university, Oregon Health Sciences University, for many years and treated hundreds of patients with MSM.


As the word spread about the “Miracle MSM” and its divine healing properties, it won millions of admirers across both in medical community and among common users, as thousands of researchers published their works on MSM’s medical and clinical use in numerous journals, establishing it as part of alternative medicine.


However, MSM remains one of the most studied but least understood pharmaceutical agents of our time. Doctors in about 125 countries, including Canada, the UK, Germany and Japan prescribe MSM it for a variety of ailments, including pain, inflammation, scleroderma, interstitial cystitis, arthritis and elevated intercranial pressure in the brain. In fact, only in the recent past has the US Food and Drug Administration approved clinical trials of MSM use in brain injuries and trauma. Surprisingly, FDA has limited its approval as a drug to bursitis in humans the overwhelming evidence not with standing.