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.
Dr. Scoffern writes recommending the sulphite of lime in choleraic diarrhoea (Lancet, ii., 1866, p. 279), but it has not been much used. On the hypothesis of cholera being dependent upon the absorption of organic poison, sulphurous acid ought to prove of some service in its treatment, more so than the sulphites and hyposulphites, which are slower in action and liable to irritate. Professor Graham, indeed, first introduced the solution of sulphurous acid to Sir Wm. Jenner as a possible remedy for cholera, but it has never received full trial. A main difficulty, as regards any remedy in cholera, is to secure its absorption, all vital function being annihilated with such fearful rapidity: hence we can never hope for the same results as in enteric fever, but sulphur fumes should certainly be used as disinfectant and prophylactic.
It has been pointed out that workers in copper, and in powder factories (at Madras especially), have shown special immunity in cholera epidemics, and although Dr. Burq claims specific virtues for copper in this respect (v. Cuprum), the presence of sulphurous acid is a more likely explanation (Lancet, ii., 1873).