Saturday, March 11, 2017

**REVIEW** MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

Methylsulfonylmethane.Try saying that just one time without spitting. Or you can just call it MSM.

It was a podcast that even led me to learn about this type of product. I was listening to The History Chicks discuss Madam C.J, Walker. Apparently, one of the ingredients Madam included in a product was precipitated sulfur. I remembered that my mother talked about how when she was a young girl, her own mother used sulfur for various things. Then I thought about the Sulfur8 hair products that are around today.

When I went looking for uses for sulfur, I fell down a bit of a rabbit hole. This is some of the information I found:

Nothing added
  1. Of course, I started with WebMD because, you know... The first thing I saw is what really hooked me in: People take sulfur by mouth for shortness of breath, allergies, swelling in the back of the throat (pharyngitis), high cholesterol, clogged arteries, menopause, and upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold. Well now. As someone with a chronic disease that affects my lungs, among other things, I had to know more. That I didn't see anything about interactions really brightened my attitude! (BTW: Make sure to consult with your healthcare provider before trying ANYTHING, even supplements that may seem harmless.)
  2. This helped explain the different forms and uses of sulfur. Still, I wanted to get even more specific.
  3. I'm sure a lot of folks would want to know if and how sulfur could promote hair growth. Since I take a medication that damages my hair, I wanted to know about this. Livestrong has an article on MSM and hair growth. It seems that more and larger trial studies are needed to support hair growth claims. (Also, please notice that sulfur comes in various forms. I have the crystals - or 'flakes' - but I've seen powders.)
  4. Black Hair Information led me to another form (or type, I guess) of sulfur that can be used topically for the hair and skin. There is a recipe for making an oil to use. I didn't even see the 'sublimed sulfur' when I found the crystals I have. I also saw information on some powders that strongly suggest checking amounts to use directly on skin and hair. So... go forth with caution!
Like I just mentioned in the last note, there are plenty of warnings to be careful of using sulfur direcly on the skin and hair. This was bothersome to learn because I really want to try treating my eczema with sulfur. For now, I am taking my crystals internally so that's all I can discuss from personal experience.

This is what the MSM that I am using looks like:

Like thick salt crystals...

The Kala brand came with a double-sided scoop - one side in a teaspoon measurement and the other in a tablespoon. Personally, I decided not to even attempt doing a full dose of either. I have been using about a quarter teaspoon twice a day.

The first time I took a tiny dose, I was pretty wowed. For one thing, I was super happy that the juice I mixed the MSM in totally masked any bitter or foul taste. (I haven't tasted the crystals solo, but I understand they can be horribly bitter.) The big surprise was that I could feel some physical effect just minutes after taking the MSM. It's hard to describe what I felt but, basically, there was a slight buzzy feeling of energy. Keep in mind that I only took about a fourth of a teaspoon because I wanted to be sure that my body would tolerate MSM.

As far as my eczema (which is on my feet), I haven't seen any results yet, but it is still only a couple of days into my MSM use.

Finally, I just want to share a thought I had the other day when I was considering energy supplements: A lot of us mistake 'energy' for 'motivation'. We'll say that we are tired when we might just be depressed or in a rut. I actually do suffer from fatigue, but I also have mild depression. I'm trying to be really careful to distinguish between the two. All the energy pills in the world are not going to get me up and functioning if I'm suffering from the blues. Anyway, I just wanted to throw that out there. I'm no doctor, of course, but if anyone is feeling prolonged symptoms of fatigue, they should probably see their doctor. Don't let things go undiagnosed or treated.

I will be back to update on my results with the MSM. In the meantime, keep smiling. Oh, and I'm including a video of a really nice song I heard while watching the show "Goliath". This is a real soul-soother. I'm going to have to buy a copy of this one!