Top Health Benefits of MSM for Pain Relief, Skin and Lungs

Urinary Incontinence
Posted by Catherine (Wellington, New Zealand) on 05/04/2010
5 out of 5 stars

To Ted: Early this year I had a very bad UTI and ended up in hospital. Afterwards I had trouble with extreme urgency and thought that I would now have to rely on pads for the rest of my life. I had already been taking ACV regularly, so no obvious help there...However, a couple of weeks ago I started regularly taking MSM (500mg x 2 times daily).I was suprised on the second day after starting that I no longer had the "before and after" dripping problem. On the third day I was amazed at being able to hold on for 10 minutes instead of the usual 10 seconds. Since then I have had no real problems and no longer need to wear pads. I have an idea about why this worked for me but of course I have no proof, but perhaps the infection weakened my bladder (or kidneys) sufficiently to allow some opportunistic parasites to invade and the MSM killed them off. I would be interested in your thoughts on this. As ever Earth Clinic is a wonderful source of information and support.

How to Avoid MSM Side Effects
Posted by Dave (Nampa, Idaho) on 09/02/2021
5 out of 5 stars

My positive effects from MSM top out at about 1500 mg.

Take it all before noon, or insomnia will be a feature. Taper downward, too. The biggest dose first thing. Lowest dose at noon.

Processing sulfur requires molybdenum. You will use up molybdenum consuming sulfur, whether from supp's, food, preservatives, or sulfur chemistry like antibacterials. If your sulfur intake overruns your molybdenum intake, bad things happen. With more sulfur than can be processed, you bacically become allergic to it, until you get more molybdenum and can process it. Insomnia and migraine-like headaches are the standout symptoms.

Sulfur processing happens in the liver in the middle of the night. This is the key time when molybdenum is used up converting consumed sulfurs into forms usable by the body. So, while MSM is best taken in the morning, molybdenum should be reversed. Start dosing mid-afternoon, with the big bang at about 9 pm. If headaches pop up in early morning, increase the last dose of Mo until they disappear. In me, it takes around 1500-2000 mcg to cover 1500 mg of MSM. I don't store much, either. If I reduce the dose, early morning headaches soon follow.

Vitamin C is said to improve absorption. I eat a lot of fruit in the morning. More than about 500 mg of C per day starts to engage loose stool and 2nd and 3rd bowel movements in late morning. So I don't really take C.

Bowel issues from MSM have to do with not absorbing it out of the gut so that the sulfur goes to feeding organisms that should be in small amounts but instead proliferate on the excess sulfur in the gut. The very foul smelling stool is the big clue. Start low dose and work up. Include molybdenum from the start. Without the molly, you don't process. If you don't process, the sulfur in the MSM is in excess. If the sulfur is in excess, you have to stop absorbing. If you stop absorbing, the organisms get overfed deep in the gut. You have gut problems.

MSM and molybdenum are a team. Taking one without the other is the problem.

Multiple Cures
Posted by Clare W. (Banbury, England ) on 02/12/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Thanks for sharing what MSM has done for you. I'm 70 and years and years of bad posture has left me me lower back pain and now hip bursitis. Big ouch as my grandson would say. I have been taking a quarter of a teaspoon twice a day for about five days and am going to increase it gradually. Not sure if it's wishful thinking but I do feel I'm moving slightly better. Plus my shoulder, which has been painful, seems to have suddenly got better. So you have given me hope.

Posted by Barb (Ky) on 05/06/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I agree about msm for allergies.. I truly love this & noticed relief from the first week after talking..

I also love this for my joints (nothing better) & without the side effects for me.. 1,000mgs in my morning coffee!!! Absolutely a great supplement that worked wonders for me.. I will never be without this wonderful supplement msm. No, side effects ever.

Dosage and Tips
Posted by Lisafrequency (North Carolina) on 03/05/2017
5 out of 5 stars

It is my understanding that the skin assist the excretory system in elimination of waste. The body may push waste out thru the skin that it does not want to send thru the liver and kidney or, the waste maybe closer to the surface so it exits thru the skin.

The alternative health people seem to want to call a rash a detox symptom when detoxing substances are being consumed. Some say to increase the detox substance while others say back off and go slower.

I think itching with a rash while taking MSM could be caused by not drinking enough water and/or, not taking it in conjunction with vitamin C. We must not forget that it is recommended to do both while taking MSM.

There doesn't seem to be total agreement on what should be done about experiencing detox symptoms. If a rash is indeed a symptom of something being pushed out of the body to stop taking something altogether that is assisting the body to eliminate a toxin seems to defeat the purpose. I can see wanting to slow it down if the rash or other symptom is really sever.

I have worked to detox my body in many different ways. My first real cleaning was about 30 years ago. I was young and I did get some really sever symptoms lots of fever, congestion, and rash. At the time I choose to take more of the substance that I was taking my theory being that I would get it over with and done. I had about 2 weeks of discomfort. After that my health level increased by leaps and bounds.

Other times I have backed off and did it slower. The only symptom I have ever had that made me stop using something is if my throat closes and I can't breathe or if I have chest pains. Unfortunately honey and other bee products does this to me so I can't take anything that is made by bees.

The main thing about learning to have good health is to pay careful attention to your body and how you feel. Ask your body if a symptom you are experiencing is something your body is doing to get rid of something. Your body will tell you the truth so pay close attention to it if you really want to be in good health.

Sometimes we crave things that are really bad for us. I don't know why that is. I gave up soda many years ago and now I can't even swallow it. Yet I still want to drink it also, I crave sweet tea. I have found that every time I give in to the craving and drink it the next day my whole body hurts. I have decided that there is no amount of sweet tea I can drink without it making my body hurt the next day so I just don't ever drink it.

I look for things to keep me healthy yet I do not take many supplements. Eating what I know is good for me does the most good. I eat as much raw foods as possible. I eat a lot of slaw. I also eat fermented vegetables.

I decided to try MSM. I have experienced some itching which seems to have gone away now that I have upped my water intake and taken some vitamin C. I am taking it in a very low dose (1/8 tsp). I am also giving it to my dogs as I found out that it assist their body in eliminating parasites.

I have noticed that my skin and nails are looking better and, a pain that I have in one of my hips feels a little better.

Posted by Paula (Mississauga, Canaa) on 10/19/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Never take MSM before bed for the simple reason that it gives you energy! The best book out there on MSM is by Dr. Jacob, The Miracle of MSM. He is the foremost informative author on MSM. I just started taking MSM for my painful arthritic knees after reading the book 1st. I am 48 and have been suffering for years. I have had major surgery on one and scopes on both. I get Monovisc injections and it does help and makes my life easy but I am looking for more help and I hope MSM will be it. I must say right off the bat that applying MSM cream topically to my knees and legs and face has had amazing results.

I have suffered from dry skin ALL my life and in short order my skin is healthy and moisturized like I have never experienced. I walked down some stairs after a week on MSM and couldn't believe the ease I felt in more than a decade. Still experiencing pain doing simple things like walking but I am hopeful and will give it a year. The longer you have lived with your trouble it will take longer to benefit from MSM (as the book states) or any other remedy.

Multiple Cures
Posted by Wendy (Canada) on 10/03/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I find it odd that people are having problems with MSM!!! I have NEVER heard this before and I've loaned out my books to people and conviced them to start taking it for over 10 years!!! If you read Dr. Stanley Jacobs MD book The Miracle of MSM- you will see how amazing and non toxic msm is. Not saying the reactions aren't legit, obviously they are, but it definately warrants more in depth questions as to why?

I would think if ANYONE should react to MSM it should be ME!!! But I don't! I have intolerances and allergies to lots of foods, migraines, rashes, body aches, you name it- (BUT when my kids and I are gluten, dairy, corn sory etc. free and at 44 I feel amazing after years of following Hulda Clarks cleanses and cleaning up my diet 10 years ago.

Anyhow back to MSM. I have taken 3,000-4000mg a day in the past but didn't find it made enough of an impact to say it 'really' worked. Since I had read there really isn't an upper limit dose except for detox symptoms - diarreah-flu like symptoms etc. I thought what the heck. After using fulvic humic acid for over 6 months I felt so amazing I joined karate... But before long I was doing 5 days a week instead of my planned 1. It was pretty cool to have so much energy!!! I was still achy and stiff and sore after some of the workouts and I went oh ya, MSM!! Sometimes you forget what you have in your cupboard. ;-) This time however after tal;king with a local man who owns a successful health food store who believes most people don't take near enough MSM - I began upping my dosage of MSM. THEN I joined roller derby LOL I'm only 5'2" and 115 lbs so between being 44 and having big ass women knock me down and just the intensity of the 2-3 hour practices, plus the treadmill and the eliptical- I was pretty stiff and sore some days. I kept experimenting and I was taking 18, 000 mg or more a day (a handful of capsules 3x a day) of msm with absolutely NO side affects at all except for 100% pain free and energy to burn!! WOW! Did that for the better part of 10 months ;-) Unfortuntaely that many women can't get along and it gets ugly- kind of like highschool - so I am taking some time off til I can handle the derby drama again LOL Physically - no problem with MSM- it was AWESOME.

One thing I did find is that I could 'get away' with eating cheese or nachos or a beer when we would go out after games and practices. Something I could NEVER do before. MSM DOES handle allergies!!! My drippy nose when I would go into Walmart or a used clothign store? gone! Anyhow, it is amazing stuff. I used a brand in Canada and love it!!

COPD, Skin
Posted by Liz (Buffalo, Ny) on 07/24/2012
5 out of 5 stars

hi, I tried msm about 9 weeks ago for pain and allergies, did nothing for either, but my lungs feels so much better, I have copd and feel much better also great for skin, I use between 4-6grams a day. Yea to msm!

COPD, Shoulder Pain
Posted by Lois (Quanah, Texas, Usa) on 11/08/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I had a bad shoulder pain in the joint. My elbow throbbed and my last three fingers were numb. I saw the Dr. I got a shot in the joint of the shoulder and after a couple of months I still hurt. I bought some MSM and took 4000 milligrams that morning, by afternoon it had stopped hurting. My fingers are no longer numb. I have copd and it has helped my breathing. I had a pulse ox of 90 sitting down and I noticed my pulse ox is 97 now. I find I can walk further. I have been on msm a month. I am so thankful for msm.

Knee Pain
Posted by Karen (Sydney, Nsw) on 10/03/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I have really bad knees which seemed to be getting worse each week... I bought MSM on ebay here in Australia.. 400 gms and the cost was $20 for the MSM and $5 to send... I started on one teaspoon a day and have increased it to 2 teaspoons a day in orange juice, ( one teaspoon in each glass)... I wouldn't be able to walk if I hadn't started on MSM , as the pain was so severe.. I read the powder form is much bettr than the tablets as the tablets have fillers.. All I know is within one day of taking MSM, the pain was gone... I combine MSM with Castor oil.. The Castor oil I rub into the front and back of my knees.... It is fantastic... Look for the MSM that has some lumpy bits in it.... That way you know it has no fillers... It was the best $25 I've ever spent and the tub should last at least 3 months...

Tennis Elbow
Posted by Mark (Albany, NY) on 04/28/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I just read about MSM for tennis elbow. My elbow has been killing me for like 3 days. Cracking, snapping, just all around pain like you wouldn't believe. I don't play tennis or golf, I'm a plumber so I use my hands all day. I think it's from sitting at the computer with my elbow hanging off as I use the mouse. Anyways, I was ready to cut my arm off with a sawzall until I read about this MSM and decided to give it a shot. I went to the local Health store and they had come 15% pure MSM cream. Cost like $8.00 for a small bottle. Got home, still in pain and rubbed it on. Okay, so within like 1 minute...pain gone. I am not kidding, this really works! So whatever is in it totally works and I'm a believer. Magic bullet...pain gone! Still a little soreness but the aching, snapping is gone! Thanks Earth Clinic and your posts people! Love this site !!! Keep posting !!!!!

Spinal Cord Injuries
Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn) on 10/14/2008 510 posts
5 out of 5 stars

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
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Side Effects and Warnings
Posted by Troy (Dublin, Va, Usa) on 04/26/2010

Folks, you have got to understand what detox is. A detox can do all sorts of strange things, until it runs its course. The best thing may be to go slow in the beginning. I highly doubt there could be a true allergic reaction to pure MSM. Because, it is in pretty much every cell in your body, and in pretty much every living thing on the planet. It is a very important nutrient. If you are allergic to it, you would be allergic to your own body.

Posted by Laura (Ferndale, MD, USA) on 04/20/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have had Psoriatic Arthritis since I was 10 years old, & one of the worst symptoms I've had for 38 yrs now, is daily shooting nerve pains in my extremities. The good news: when I take 1000 mgs of MSM daily, the shooting pains are completely gone. If I miss a few days, they always start up again. Love this site.

Cardiovascular Health
Posted by Tessa (Okanagan) on 02/13/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I do have MSM crystals but keep forgetting to take it.

However, after receiving an email regarding MSM and cardiovascular health, followed the next day by Earth Clinic's email about MSM's benefits, I have resolved to start taking it twice a day (with Vitamin C to enhance the effects).

I now leave the jar on my kitchen counter as a reminder – I'll see if that works.

The information about keeping our heart healthy was from a company that sells MSM but their information is free and they do provide references and sources at the end of the article if you want to do some more research.

Speaking of hearts, Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow!

Take care,


Posted by Art (California) on 08/29/2020 1292 posts

Hi Rsw,

Regarding borax, a few things. Borax has a low toxicity that is even lower than table salt or roughly similar. If you look for studies on kidney toxicity from borax, if you can find any, they will have used dosing that is way beyond Ted's recommendations and there will be health issues under such conditions just as there would be if you consumed similar high doses of salt. You will be more likely to find studies showing that borax may have positive effects on the kidneys. Borax moves through the system quickly and Ted's actual protocol prevented any potential for toxic borax buildup because he called for 4 days supplementing and 3 days off.

The 3 days off was long enough to allow borax to clear, yet still get the very long lasting benefit of borax against multiple forms of arthritis with the 4 days on borax. I look at borax as more of an actual treatment that can reverse arthritis for every extended periods of time or possibly indefinitely, but I consider MSM as a very good pain reliever and antiinflammatory for some, but not me.

My experience with borax even when I was doing 5 days on and only 2 days off, is that it put my arthritis into remission for over 12 years now and I had a kidney and liver test done about a year ago with no problem with my kidneys or liver. I was concerned about taking borax when I was first contemplating starting on it, so I did as much reading as possible on it and I think that is what finally convinced me to start taking it as the very first box of borax I bought sat on the shelf for at least three months before I finally started taking it!

Another point is that I do not even take borax 3 days a week now. I probably average two times per week at most now and have gone well over three months with no return of symptoms after years of use. My psoriatic arthritis was "severe" and affected the majority of joints in my body. I may even be cured, but I won't stop taking borax because of its many other health effects in humans.

Topically applied borax is very poorly absorbed through the skin and that is why when I made a hand lotion for my brother in law, I was not sure if enough would be absorbed through the skin and dermal layers to be effective. It was, but it was slower than had he taken it orally. I think Ted once said that lower dosing would work, but it would just take longer to work and I think my brother in law's case tends to confirm what Ted said. I do not mean this as a knock on MSM because MSM works very well for some people in relieving pain and reducing inflammation and you can not really compare apples to oranges.

In the case of your husband, where he believes that borax will or could damage his kidneys at the dosing that Ted came up with, it may be better to follow what he believes rather than always being bothered by the idea that he is damaging his kidneys by taking borax. How are you doing and does the problem (OLP) persist or have you been able to figure out a resolution?


Dosage and Tips
Posted by Sheila (Toronto, Canada) on 10/17/2015
5 out of 5 stars

You must try Organic sulfur which is why you did not get the desired result from MSM. It is not NOT MSM or Methyl-Sulfonal-Methane.

Many MSM products are not true organic sulfur because they are tainted with chemicals (e.g. preservatives). Even the powder and crystal MSM products may not be true organic sulfur because they contain chemicals. It is REQUIRED that the label says “Organic Sulfur”.

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