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Sulfur, a natural mineral, is mostly found in close proximity to hot springs and volcanic craters. It can be recognized by its unusual smell which has been characterized as a "rotten egg" smell, which is created by sulfur dioxide gas in the air. Sulfur supplements can either be in the dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) forms, both of which are thought to help with pain. MSM comes from plants and is important for joints, connective tissue formation, as well as pain reduction. DMSO has been approved for use in treating interstitial cystitis and is also taken by mouth for pain, and used in creams for other conditions. Some people also choose to take mud baths with sulfur to help with skin issues and arthritis.

Also known as:  Azufre, Enxofre, Schwefel, Soufre, Sulphur, Zolfo

Diseases and Conditions

Sulfur is possibly effective at treating dandruff and scabies. More evidence is needed to determine its effectiveness at treating other conditions.


Sulfur is possibly safe when used topically and short-term (up to eight weeks for adults and six days for children).

Medication Interactions

There are no known interactions between sulfur and other medications.

Supplement and Food Interactions

There are no known interactions between sulfur and other herbs, foods, or supplements.


When used topically, preparations are usually 1-10% sulfur, although they may be up to 20% in the treatment of scabies.


Sulphur is present in eggs, milk, dairy products, nuts, cruciferous vegetables, fish and seafood, dried fruits, beef, chicken, pork, barley, bran and other grains.

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