Methylene Blue: A Molecule Made for This Time? 


Dr Tess Lawrie, MBBCh, PhD​

 Methylene Blue

You may have come across Methylene Blue (MB) before; it’s that deep-blue dye used to stain cells and tissues for viewing under a microscope, or to treat aquarium fish for parasites. But what does it have to do with my interest in health?

Previously, I had no idea that this compound – developed as an industrial dye in 1876 – was the first synthetic drug used in medicine. But recently I came across an editorial in the Ortho-molecular Medicine News Service by Dr Thomas Levy, which alerted me to the healing potential of this compound, and now I’m fascinated!

Some of Methylene Blue’s Super-Powers

Dr Levy writes of MB that “its documented beneficial health effects rival that of any other known substance, whether normally found in nature or coming out of a laboratory.”

MB was used as a highly effective anti-malarial agent in the 1890’s. It lost out to quinine at the time, but now it’s coming into its own as a treatment for drug-resistant malaria.

MB has a special affinity for the nervous system. From the late 19th century, for about 50 years it was used as an anti psychotic medication; it has also been used to treat depression, memory problems, and other neurological conditions.

With rates of dementia increasing around the world, and pharmaceutical solutions remaining elusive, MB could offer hope to the millions affected by neuro-degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Amazingly, MB is an antidote to cyanide poisoning. Recently it has also been shown to protect against brain damage following carbon monoxide poisoning.

It treats a wide range of infections, including serious ones like septic shock. It is active against many pathogens and was effective in treating acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and abnormally low blood oxygen levels caused by Covid-19.

And MB is a first-line therapy for methemo globinemia, a condition in which the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is critically depleted.

How Does MB Treat Such Diverse Conditions?

We’ve probably all heard the term ‘oxidative stress’ and know that for some reason it’s not a good thing. Essentially, the body experiences oxidative stress when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. This can cause damage to cells, resulting in inflammation, ageing, and disease.

Like vitamin C, MB is a powerful antioxidant that is able to both receive and donate electrons. It has the unique ability to enable the mitochondria (the cells’ energy factories) to produce energy much more efficiently than normal, while producing less oxidative stress in the process.

MB can thus enhance metabolism at the same time as enabling healing to proceed. And because MB is a small molecule, it can easily reach all parts of the body, allowing these benefits to be felt wherever they are needed. After more than a century of clinical use, it’s also been shown to have an excellent safety profile.

There Is Hope!

With many of us feeling under siege from countless threats to our health, isn’t it wonderful to come across a molecule, manufactured so many years ago, that feels like it was designed for our time!

By dampening down oxidative stress, and enhancing energy generation, experts like Dr Levy show that Methylene Blue can support the miraculous ability of our bodies to heal when given the chance.

I hope you’re now as curious as I am to find out more! We shall come back to this topic, but in the meantime, please dive into Dr Levy’s informative article. And enjoy the video of Dr Joseph Mercola’s interview with MB expert Dr Francisco Gonzalez-Lima HERE.


[1] Free radicals are atoms (often oxygen) that have an unpaired electron, which makes them unstable. They are able to react with other atoms or molecules; this process is called oxidation.

[2] Antioxidants are molecules that can donate an electron to a free radical without themselves becoming unstable. This stabilises the free radical and makes it less reactive.