When we think of sulphur we think of the smell – not a pleasant smell at that. But there is much more to sulphur than meets the nose!
It is an important part of our body’s make-up and has long been used as part of a healing program for arthritis. Sulphur has been prized since ancient times for healing throughout history by bathing in sulphur springs – often recommended for rheumatic or skin problems, high blood pressure, neuralgia or digestive disorders.
However, you do not have to bathe in smelly sulphur waters to benefit from sulphur’s healing powers. There are three common foods that are extremely rich in sulphur – garlic, onions and eggs. At least a hundred sulphur compounds have been identified in garlic, verifying its reputation in folklore. There are however plenty of other foods that contain sulphur be it in smaller amounts like fish, poultry, dairy products, brown rice, oats, beans, lentils, avocado, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and sunflower seeds. Also sharks cartilage.
Sulphur itself is a brittle non-metallic mineral, found in iron, gypsum and Epsom salts. It is also a major ingredient in amino acids – methionine and cysteine. What are amino acids? They are the building blocks of proteins, which provide the structural material for muscles, bones, joints, hair, teeth, blood, brain, skin, and other organs of the body. Proteins are also used to make enzymes and hormones, taking part in a huge number of biochemical processes that are continually taking place in the body. Sulphur, unlike other minerals does not have a recognised RDA (daily recommended allowance).
In the past it was assumed that because sulphur is so closely linked with protein, as long as people ate protein, everyone would be getting enough sulphur. Now it would seem not, many people are not getting enough.
The supplement MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) is made from a form of sulphur that has been getting a reputation for helping with several conditions especially arthritis. MSM itself is a white, odourless, slightly bitter tasting crystalline substance, best taken with food. Some people have found it boosts their energy levels, so is best not taken at night. MSM is a natural form of sulphur that our bodies are able to absorb easily. It can be taken in powder form or in capsule form. Two grams is a good maintenance dose. It is fast becoming well known as a safe, natural and effective solution for pain and inflammatory conditions. The leading experts on MSM, US doctors Stanley Jacobs and Ronald Lawrence, believe that sulphur amino acid abnormalities and possible sulphur deficiencies maybe a contributing factor to many health problems, and that MSM can help to correct imbalances. Though a lot of research has been done on SAM (sulphur adensyl methionine), there hasn’t been as much work done on MSM. Only a few double bind placebo controlled studies have been carried out so far but with some good results. I need to point out that no one supplement is a cure for arthritis, or any other chronic condition, a full healing program would need to be undertaken in which there would be several aspects to the program depending on the individual case study. Like any natural supplement it will need to be taken for a few weeks before some of you will notice a difference.
One drawback of MSM, is its expensive and you need to take quite a lot of it, so change to a diet high in the above foods and soak your feet in a foot bath, several times a week in a solution of Epsom salts. Epsom salts is magnesium sulphate a really amazing substance, put one to two handfuls in some hot water and soak your feet for at least 20 minutes or longer if you wish, add more hot water if needed. Our feet are highly absorbent, soaking up what the body needs. Epsom salts can be readily found in most pharmacies, cheaply.