MSM - Editor's Choice

Over the years, Earth Clinic readers have sent us many reports about their treatments for MSM. The editors at Earth Clinic consider the below posts to be some of the most helpful and informative and have named them 'Editor's Choice'. We hope that you will find this useful.

Prevented Hip Replacement

Posted by Freda (Gauteng) on 02/12/2021

I have been taking MSM intended for horses, for the past 12 years. Started after hip replacement. Second hip was also in a bad way. Recent X rays indicated cartilage growth sufficient to never have second hip done!! Needless to say I have no arthritis or any other pains. I am 79 years old and walk 3km 4 times/week.


Posted by Art (California) on 08/28/2020

Many people swear by MSM as an effective pain reliever in oral and topical application, but like other supplements, alternatives and prescription medications, it works excellently in some and not at all in some and in some, there can be unpleasant side effects.

As an example of this I will describe what happened with my sister and my neighbor who were both using mag oil (MO) for diverse body pain issues. Both were getting approximately 80% pain relief using Magnesium Oil (MO). My neighbor noticed, after years of use, that MO pain relief was declining and she came over to ask what I thought about it.

Previously she was using borax for pain management and it worked extremely well for her, but her doctor asked her to stop taking it, but did not explain why to her. From that point forward, her pain level increased and her quality of life (QOL) decreased very noticeably. I noticed when I would see her outside that she was moving very poorly and was obviously in pain. She normally had very good posture, but when I saw her outside, she was bent over and could not stand straight up. From that point forward she was using MO to effectively relieve the majority of her pain for years, but more recently she told me that MO seemed to be losing effectiveness for her and was wondering what else she could use. I asked her about going back on borax and she said her doctor was insistent that she not go back on borax, but still gave her no reason. Oddly, her doctor was not offering her anything to help her pain even though he could clearly see that she had deteriorated.

From that point forward, she started using topical MSM and that alleviated about 90 % of her pain so she was thrilled! She wasn't good with taking it orally because she couldn't get past the bitterness of it at the dosage she wanted to take and that dose made the MSM capsules too impractical for her. I was watching her and how she was moving and clearly the topical MSM was doing wonders for her. She was standing straight again and moving like a healthy 65 year old(she is in her early 80's). Needless to say, she is now a very happy lady!

On the other hand, my sister who is currently using MO to relieve pain in her neck and upper back with very good effect, wanted to give topical MSM a try also. First she tried it orally and found it to be too bitter to tolerate so she applied it similarly to how she normally applies MO and she was horrified to find out that almost immediately after applying MSM topically, she got that unbearable bitter taste in her mouth again! To add insult to injury, she also lost her sense of smell and taste for 2 to 3 days! She is now back on MO.For me, MSM and DMSO offer me no pain relief at all or at least none that I am able to discern, but I recognize that its effects vary widely from person to person. Borax on the other hand works unbelievably well for me while I have seen many people who did not benefit from borax. It's a lot about trial and error to see what works best for you.So there you have it, sometimes supplements work incredibly well for one person while being a nightmare for someone else or just not effective for the purpose!


Multiple Cures

Posted by Grammyping (Bangkok, Thailand) on 12/29/2018

MSM has cured trigger thumb, frozen shoulder and joint pain (losing weight also helped with joints), and I have used it for two elderly dogs. It extended their quality of life substantially. One of those dogs came with us to Thailand - at 16 years old! Still likes and is able to run!

Multiple Cures
Posted by Deedee (Texas) on 06/01/2017

I love MSM!! But the first few days that I tried it (1 gram) I had insomnia and a horrible headache. I kept researching and found that lots of people have to started really slow. I bought the capsules and split one capsule into 4 smaller ones. That was only 250 mg. a day. Did this for a week. Then up to 500 etc, and at this low dosage, I felt fine. I am 67 years old now, and I have been taking it for 4 years. I couldn't walk, severe back, hip pain. I had the injections but they did absolutely nothing for me. Decided I would have to help myself.

By the time I hit 8 grams a day, they were definitely working, but I continued up to 12 grams a day, and was totally pain free. I had to retire at 63 years old due to all the pain, but 2 years ago, I decided I felt well enough to get a part time job. I am on my feet at least 6 hours a day, and I run circles around the kids!! Also I think it is important to take Vit C in large doses with the MSM. In any case, good luck to you, and "low and slow" is my motto!!

Cold Sores

Posted by Maisie (Az) on 01/23/2017

For herpes simplex cold sore virus I would try taking around 3000 mg MSM twice a day. This is a powerful immune booster. Read about it. You have to start with 1000 mg twice a day until you detox. Then when the cold sore happens I would try 3 capsules of whole neem leaf twice a day until the sore is gone. I did this and with first dose of neem leaf (3 caps), it died and fell off within three hours and that has been a month and not come back thus far.

I love MSM because my hair had quit growing and I was totally going bald. Also, I stopped having stasis ulcers on my legs and my calf muscles which had been atrophying went back to normal size. MSM increases blood circulation.

Total Body Health

Posted by Emgee (Nsw) on 01/04/2017

Ok so I read about msm recently for the first time so I ordered the organic powder online. I started low dose with 1/4 teaspoon twice a day. I thought I was imagining it when my lower back pain didn't seem so severe. Then I noticed the redness on my chest didn't look so bad. I upped the dose gradually. My hands are looking 100% better for a 61 year old. The skin tone is beautiful and my nails are finally strong but flexible and really white. I'm now taking one and a half teaspoons in water twice a day followed by a heavy duty vitamin C.

I've lost interest in sweets and am eating less but it's hot and I'm drinking alot. I've had no headaches or any side effects except a feeling of being bloated but that comes and goes and I'm overweight anyway lol. If the external is any indication of what msm is doing internally I can't imagine the improvement. I still have back pain but it's much less than it was and might improve with higher dosage and I haven't touched and anti inflammatory since I started.

I have more energy but it doesn't keep me awake at night which is good.

I've tried other supplement with the best results from wheatgrass but I'm totally won over by the msm and will keep taking it. Just starting on my second 100gm order of powder.

I want to try this on my husband as he has every health issue imaginable. I hope I can convince him.

Pity it tastes disgusting but so does spinach hahaha. I hope there are no adverse long term issues because I intend to take it for as long as it's needed which may well be forever.


Asthma, Joint Pain

Posted by Dee (So. Cal) on 01/11/2015

For years, "it feels as though I've had a lung transplant" with MSM has been my motto! (I thought I was the only one). I "had" allergic asthma and albuterol (sp) did not work. I also "had" joint pain, and my whole family had joint paint and arthritic, it seems, for generations. I started taking MSM about 10 years ago, and never looked back. My health is great, I can breathe fully and freely, and for the past few years, steady kick boxing -- not bad for a grandmother:)

Back Pain

Posted by Pickle (Boston, MA) on 11/05/2014

I'm a 44 year old active mom that loves to do hard work in the garden, bike ride, hike, etc. I am generally healthy, but had a small accident when I was 27. Diagnosed with a ruptured L4. I managed it well though my 30's & pregnancies. When I hit 40, it started to give me trouble. Worse in the past 2 years, esp after a physical therapist did a move on me that sent it into a new stratosphere of pain. A year of painful hell followed. I rehabbed myself after bad advice/treatments from spine drs, orthopedist, physiatrists, chiropractors, acupuncture, and a poorly administered cortisone shot. Trigger point therapy helped a TON. However, I have residual chronic low back pain. I don't like RX opioids, Advil, etc. I am a clean eater - lots of organic fruits, veggies, local meat/eggs/chicken/dairy, filtered water. I've been the same weight for 20 years (5'6,125 lbs) I supplement with probiotics, calcium, zinc, selenium, magnesium, B complex, Vit C with rosehips, those kinds. Nothing too exotic. No juices or sodas for me, one 8 oz cup of coffee a day. No real alcohol consumption.

I read an article on MSM and how it can help manage inflammation. I had a tub of MSM sitting around for a year and would take 1000 mg a day with NO relief. I gave it up. Another useless supplement...UNTIL!

I read another article 2 weeks ago about how you need to really UP your dose to relieve chronic inflammation. So I did.

I could not BELIEVE how much relief I have gotten in the past 2 weeks from 6000-8000 mg of MSM a day (with Vit C for better absorption). No side effects, really.

I am angry that not one single doctor, specialist, PT, etc., ever suggested trying this. Pushing tramadol and valium, ugh! I would be an addict now if not for MSM! I sent my mom a tub, hope she gets some relief from her chronic back pain.

Give it a try, you have nothing to lose with this one. Great book by Dr. Jacob Stanley on it, google it.

Dosage and Tips

Posted by Nat (Orange, Nsw ) on 07/06/2014

MSM in conjunction with HIMAYLAYAN SALT

I too experienced the general side effects that crew have mentioned taking MSM but they completely disappeared when I startled taking MSM in conjunction with the Himaylayan Salt brine, google it ... Tons of info on how to make the brine. I think the minerals within the salt brine helps the body to better assimilate the MSM and support the cleansing process . It was a fluke how I discovered this ... I hate the bitter taste that MSM leaves in the mouth ( I take the powder form with water ) and so then decided one day to have a glass of water with my salt brine mix as it leaves a sweet taste in your mouth to get rid of the bitter MSM taste and voila' noticed I didn't get the abdominal discomfort or headaches or nausea etc etc that I would always otherwise experience. Tried again day after day to see if it was just a one off or was really onto something, yep this really works!!! Hope this info helps any crew out there suffering side effects but want to keep on with the MSM. Cheers. Nat (*_*)

Dosage and Tips
Posted by Bill (Philly, Pa) on 12/11/2012

I've been reading all the comments about MSM on here for a couple of years now. Not to mention all the other info on line as well. I also read a book that surprisingly wasn't all that informative. You can also go to the infamous VIDEO site and find lots of useful health information.

When you first start taking MSM you WILL get a headache. That's a given. I don't know about a migraine, I don't know if I've ever had one. I had anywhere from a mild to a pretty severe.. Kind of dizzy like headache. This will pass if you can keep up with it. They say it will usually go away in about three weeks. Mine took about a month before it stopped. If you stop taking it and then start taking it again, It WILL start all over again. You can go a day or two but I would push my luck. I realize it's anoying but if you can stick it out you'll get past it.

Now the other thing is that you NEED to buy a powder. The tablets are useless. (or capsules)You would need to take the entire bottle in one day to get enough. Taking a thousand Mg once, twice, or three times a day is the same as taking nothing.

I am currently taking 20 thousand Mg a day. That's right 20,000. I take 10 thousand mg roughly 12 hours apart. When you really start investigating and reading enough on it you'll find that's the suggested amount. Most people start out really, really low and gradually work their way up. That may be a way to avoid the headaches. My theory was if I'm going to get them anyway I might as well take a useful amount and get them over with at the same time.

MSM is naturally occuring, just not as much as it use to. Like everything else. Some of these stories are a little out there as far as I'm concerned. These scare tactics just because you didn't like it or had some thing happen that you think was because of something you tried on Earthclinic are ridiculus and shouldn't even be posted as far as I'm concerned.

MSM has the same toxity as water. Meaning NONE. You can't take too much. Anything your body doesn't need will just come out in your urine. Just like water. You may find yourself going to the bathroom alot more when you first start taking it.

One more thing. I also used to buy it at a local Farm supply store down the street. 2 Lb's for about $17.00. That's half the price for twice the amount from a health food store or on line. The more I read about it the more I found out that maybe I shouldn't. The theory is that if it comes from China (this did) it is propably loaded with mercury and lead. China doesn't treat its water properly because it doesn't care about its poeple. They have horribly polluted water. Water is a big part of processing MSM and the polutants all get trapped in the MSM. I can't find a Horse/vet brand that isn't made in China. The container never says. When you call them it's like pulling teeth trying to get a strait answer. Eventually they admit it's from China. So until I find a safe Vet version I'll have to keep paying twice as much for half the amount. Or until I find that a china made brand is not neccasarily polluted.

Dosage and Tips
Posted by Brzegal (Raleigh, Nc Usa) on 07/13/2012

I have had severe seasonal allergies for years. But they are completely gone after eating reishi and cordiceps mushrooms for a 30 day course last year. They worked, and I am convinced this had to do with a number of factors. The vitamins & minerals in them were in a form my body could use. Also, I would leave mushrooms in the sun for 5 to 10 minutes befor eating them. I read a study where this increases the D3 amount substantially.

They brought parts of my body functions back into balance. But I still have trouble absorbing enough of what my body needs. This is how I learned about MSM.

Reading the comments here, it appears many do not understand that MSM is not a drug or supplement. And bodies differ in the levels of depletion, or areas affected by a lack of MSM. While some experience little to no detox effect and swift pain relief, while others experience detox. The difference is instructive about what is going on in the unique environment of the body.

Those who experience heavy detox should reduce their dose, in my opinion. Just as it is not healthy to lose too much weight too fast, detoxing too fast when areas and functions of the body are already stressed is not good. Detox is necessary if you really want to restore your body to health. But MSM alone is not "the answer. " You must gently detox, support your gut with probiotics, support your blood with vit E, supply the building blocks of healthy cell growth with vit C, vit D and A, preferrably from food. MSM resolves the absorbancy issue that has prevented those from working. If you take too much vitamins by supplementing a good diet, you will have even more flushing to do.

This places a big strain on the kidney and liver. What happens is, as the MSM does its job to restore permeability and balance to the cells, toxins and junk enter the bloodstream to be processed out through the kidney and skin. But you only have so many red blood cells and they can't carry it all, so your body decreases progesterone. This signals insulin to be unleashed in the bloodstream. This process happens right before a woman's period. Her body is getting ready to detox dead cells. She experiences headaches, bloating, depression, flu-like symptoms, fatigue. It's called PMS.

This is what happens when MSM is introduced to a body where toxins and unused food that could not be absorbed has collected in storage places, in the blood stream (causing diabetes). The circulatory system is choked up, the kidney is over-worked, and all kinds of havoc is occurring.

If you take MSM without regard for these circumstances, then you will likely suffer.

Instead, choose a lower dose - one your body can tolerate. Don't overdo supplemental vitamins, except E and get enough C, unless you are definitely deficient (such as iron deficient). Even then, be careful not to overwhelm your system with too much to deal with. Give yourself the time to clean out. Take probiotics.

Try food instead of supplementals: mushrooms, kale, spinach, ginger, cabbage, beets, tomatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, sweet potatoes, beans, fish and chicken and eggs, and cut back on potatoes, grains and rice. Drink Aloe Vera juice once a day. Drink water. If you notice you are going to the bathroom a lot drink more water. And don't MSM after noon, so you can sleep.

MSM deficiency is proven by the symptoms of toxin presence when you react to taking it by detoxing. Rash is toxins coming thru the skin. And headache/body ache/nausea/pms-like symptoms means the dead cells are on their way out! Reduce your MSM dose or switch to every other day, drink some Aloe Vera juice, use the bathroom when you need to & drink water every time you go. Steam in a hot bath with epsom salts to help the toxins sweat out of your skin. Not every rash is an allergy. People, be good to yourselves.

For resolving histamine issues, I recommend reishi & cordiceps. MSM will help them benefit you even better.

Dosage and Tips
Posted by Robyn (New Plymouth, New Zealand) on 07/30/2011

Re: side effects to MSM, it must be taken with a 1/3 Vitamin C.

I make capsules up with Vit C powder or make sure I have at least 1000 C every time I take MSM. This may help those who get a reaction to it.

Multiple Cures

Posted by John (Nyc, Ny) on 01/15/2010

I have been in the healing profession (practitioner, researcher, advocate) for 30 years, nothing comes close to my experience with MSM. I am so sorry it took this long to try it.

My chronic asthma gone in 3 days!! On albuterol for almost 40 years. I am in shock.

Some side effects which I consider to be cleansing symptoms. Nausea, sleeplessness and skin breakouts, but I did start on a high dose of 20 grams a day. After three weeks no more 'side effects'.

My energy has greatly increased, I feel quite euphoric every day now. The only time I had that kind of euphoria was by drinking three glasses of organic green juices a day. I think people on heavy medications, mercury fillings, toxic diet are going to have more difficulties with it, so building up from a small dose with extra vitamin C and plenty of pure water will help.

The other supplement that really helps is Vitamin D3, I take 16,000iu liquid daily, no colds for two years now and my chronic bronchitis of 20 years has disappeared.

Some years it was mild others, severe triggering serious asthma attacks. So the combination of Vitamin D3 and MSM has been miraculous for me. This great website encouraged me to try MSM. Thanks so much.

p.s. Brushing my teeth with MSM has whitened them.

MSM for Pets

Posted by Kim (Boise, Idaho) on 12/12/2008

I just found this site and love it. I read all on MSM. I have been using it for over 10 yrs. I first heard of it when my Bullmastiff ripped a musle in his back leg completely in half. He could not use his back leg at all. After about 7-10 days on 1TBS of MSN a day he started using his leg a little at a time. When he began using his leg regularly I then just added a sprinkle to his water eveyday. In about 6months I noticed his eyes had cleared up. He was almost blind when I adopted him.

During this time I read everything I could about MSM and found that it does detox you among other things. If you read anything on detox you will find that it is important to go slow, after years of use of perscription drugs, and loads of other toxins we breath and eat every day it is not suprising to me that so many people had bad reactions. I also noticed that almost every one was still taking perscription drugs as well as MSM. Some of the side effects if not all of them sounded like basic detox results. You must slow down your detox. Your body was telling you it needed more water. Was it tap water? You should have several BM aday your body is purdging things out. If I were havig these side effects I would do more research on detox side effects and how to slow down and treat natually. For instance look at what happens to drug addicts. It can be life threatening! Remember more is not always better and education is the answer. I hope you all find the answers you are looking for.

Another thing to try- If you have a sick dog put MSM in a bowl about a tablespoon. Right next to his food. I use loose not caps. I have done this with healthy animals as well. But every single time the ill dog has lapped it up. I give it to all my animals birds, turtles, snakes, hedgehog, lizard, cat, dog,and tortis. Animals instinctivly know what they need. They have always taken it when offered. Good luck to all of you.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn) on 10/14/2008 509 posts

At the end of August my 59 year old active male relative fractured, I believe it was 3 cervical (neck) vertabrae in an accident. He remembers floating face down in the water and thought he was going to drown before someone turned him over. He said he remembers telling them that he couldn't feel anything at that time. He was airflighted home on the ventilator and went through surgical repair after extensive studies of his injuries. Because of heavy sedation, still on ventilator, and complications of pneumonia communication was very limited, but about the only progress noted during the next two weeks was in trying to wean him off the ventilator, to find that he could do some breathing on his own, but he was still on the ventilator much of the time, however the respiratory rate was set much slower which means that he was doing a lot of breathing on his own (vent doesn't kick in as long as the patient is breathing adequately without it). When moved to rehabilitation, he had some sensory function of upper and lower extremities, very slight motor function of the upper extremities. When asked for prognosis, about the only thing his doctors would tell the family was that the longer he went without regaining use of arms & legs, the less likely that he would ever regain it.

About 2 or 3 weeks after entering rehab, he and his wife decided to restart him on MSM since it had helped his arthritis so much before the accident. Approximately 1 week after restarting MSM, when she carried carried him for walks in his wheelchair, he suddenly started talking about getting what he described as a "total body electrical buzz" everytime the wheelchair hit a bump, which was a new experience for him. He has regained more use of hands and fingers also. We are hoping that continuation of the MSM will awaken the motor function pathways in his spinal cord as it apparently has in the sensory pathways. His need for pain medication decreased after the "total body electrical buzz" began also.

Of course he has also had a lot of prayers sent out by many people which we are sure have made a difference also.

P.S. I googled MSM and found that DMSO is converted into MSM by our bodies and is composed of a methyl group (chemistry lingo) and two other methyl groups they mentioned were folic acid and Bl2. It also said that it is active in regenerating connective tissue. I think I told you about my brother starting what I called CNS twitching, my sister-in-law motioning me into another room and telling me that the oncology doctors at VUH saying it meant metastases to the brain and he didn't have as much chance as a snowball, you know where. After saying bull, I'll be back in a few, I went to the drug store and purchased that methyl group called folic acid to add to his macro vitamin/minerals we already had him on, and got rid of the CNS twitches in a few days. So just maybe old methyl group MSM can also regenerate neuron pathways in the spinal cord too.

IBS, Arthritis, Gum Problems

Posted by Irene (Brisbane, Australia) on 02/03/2008

My husband and I have had wonderful success for over 6 years taking MSM orally and using MSM topically. We each take a teaspoon daily - about 4 grams. It has stopped irritable bowel syndrome and arthritis and been fantastic help in gum problems (gargle).

The gel has reduced scars, insect bites, sunburn and creams are anti-ageing. We are passionate about MSM and will always take and apply it. Results have been so dramatic we started a skin care company.


Posted by Scott (Kent, OH) on 12/07/2007

I have been on a quest to cure my asthma for a few years now as I feel that allopathic medicine just makes my breathing worse over time. I recently tried apple cider vinegar and oil pulling with no siginifcant improvement. I have also tried many herbal remedies that I won't even list as they never helped enough for me to give up my inhalers. Let me clarify that my asthma is chronic and I have been on Advair, Singular, a daily nubulizer, Proventil, Albuterol, Primetine, and Asthmanex.

On most days I was using a combination of these medications and although they helped to a degree, they never gave me complete relief and if I missed doses I would be close to emergency room wheezing (actually, after starting Advair I went to ER two times and prior to this med - I hadn't been to ER in 15 years).

Now it may be that my quest is over as I started MSM last week and I feel as though I had a lung transplant.

I can't really put into words how overjoyed I feel and how thankful I am to this website for exposing me to this supplement. I

have made it through an entire week without using my inhaler at night and have decreased my inhaler to once a day. I was up to about 10-15 times a day depending on weather and allergens in air!!! I have quit taking singular and have thrown out asthmnex. I will continue to keep my albuterol for emergencies but if MSM continues to work so well - I may not have to use it. I have also found that when I have had difficulty breathing like sledding with daughter the other night - if I wait a few minutes it goes away.

Normally, I would reach for inhaler for relief but don't feel that it is as urgent or severe. MSM may not work for others but it seems worth a try because for me it is nothing less than a miracle. Thanks again for this site and happy breathing to all. I will post an update if anything changes.

Asthma, Weight Loss, Organ Repair

Posted by GG (Houston, TX) on 01/14/2007

My x pastor used msm when she was a severely asthmatic person. She had Asthma. For years from being allergic to all grasses, she ended up to 300 lbs in the hospital on predizone and dieting constantly on albuterol etc.

In the hospital, a nurse grabbed her and said you need MSM. She started taking like 6 pills a day, lost all the weight. It restored all her organs from the destruction of predizone and is now completely off albuterol. It saved her life!!

I just wanted to let ya;ll know, she has before and after photos and no one can tell her differently!

Joint Pain

Posted by Aujah (Huntington Beach, CA) on 01/06/2006

When i was a child my right hip would make a popping sound when i walked. Later on in life, after having a full pain in my hips i found out that my legs are different lengths and was on my way to having arthritis at the age of 21. A friend recommended MSM to help with my nail and hair growth (i can't keep up with how fast my hair and nails grow now). After a week of taking MSM my joint pain was completely gone!!! i was not expecting it at all. Every once in a wile i will forget to take MSM for a few days and my hip pain is back in full swing. I am hooked and it sure is nice to have such strong nail's and healthy long hair.