This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
The mild action of sulphur on the mucous membrane, or muscular coat of the intestine, renders it a useful aperient for children and delicate persons, especially if there be congestion about the rectum or pelvic viscera. In cases of haemorrhoids it is one of the best laxatives, and if not powerful enough may be combined with tartarated potash, or with confection of senna. A "compound liquorice powder," in which sulphur is the main ingredient, has recently been introduced into the British Pharmacopoeia, but the Prussian formula, which includes also finely powdered senna, is superior. In the treatment of piles, sulphur need not be given in quantity sufficient to produce a laxative effect, unless this is otherwise required, for it can relieve by virtue of a stimulant and tonic action on the venous and capillary circulation, especially of the rectum and pelvic viscera, without any direct aperient action. The ordinary dose should be 5 to 10 gr. morning and night. Weak sulphur ointments locally applied increase the good result. The remedy may also be used in the form of vapor, and if the fumes from burning sulphur can, by means of apparatus, be applied directly, they often relieve congested, painful, bleeding piles; this is a popular domestic "cure" in some parts of the country (Pairman). Dr. Thorowgood attributes to sulphur a special value in torpor of the colon, which often causes or complicates dyspepsia; he recommends 10 to 20 gr. to be taken in the early morning with nux vomica; the lozenges of Holsverck contain the same ingredients (Lancet, i., 1869; Medical Times, i., 1858, p. 457).