(S. Eq. = 16.) An elementary body found native as virgin sulphur; also in combination, as sulphurets of metals, etc. Sulphur Sublimatum. [U. S.] Sublimed Sulphur; Flowers of Sulphur. [Sulphur Lotum. Washed Sulphur. U. S.]
Sulphur Praecipitatum. Precipitated Sulphur; Lac Sulphuris. Prep. Sublimed sulphur is generally prepared from the virgin sulphur, by causing it to rise in vapours, which are condensed in a chamber. It may also be made from any metallic sulphuret, but is then more liable to contain impurities, as arsenic, etc. The precipitated sulphur is directed in the Pharmacopoeia to be prepared by first forming a sulphuret of calcium, by heating sulphur and lime with water, then causing the precipitation of the sulphur by means of hydrochloric acid, and washing the product with distilled water until the washings cease to have an acid re-action or precipitate with oxalate of ammonia; showing that the acid and lime have been removed. The sulphur should be dried at a temperature not exceeding 120°.
Prop. & Comp. Sublimed sulphur is a citron or bright yellow coloured powder, without taste and odour, sp. gr. 1.98, which rises in vapour at 600° Fah., it is soluble in hot oil of turpentine and bi-sulphuret of carbon, and to a small extent in oils. It burns with a blue flame, and the evolution of sulphurous acid. Precipitated sulphur forms a pale yellow powder; in other respects resembles sublimed sulphur. Neither should give an acid reaction to water. The composition of both kinds of sulphur is the same. When heated to a certain point sulphur assumes a peculiar viscid condition.
Off. Prep. Of sublimed sulphur.
Confectio Sulphuris. Confection of Sulphur. (Sublimed sulphur, four ounces; acid tartrate of potash, in powder, one ounce; syrup of orange peel, four fluid ounces.)
Unguentum Sulphuris. Ointment of Sulphur. (Sublimed sulphur, one ounce; prepared lard, four ounces.) [Sublimed sulphur, one troy ounce; lard, two troy ounces; mix them. U. S.]
Therapeutics. In small doses sulphur is absorbed and then acts as a stimulant to the skin and different mucous membranes, passing off as sulphuretted hydrogen from the skin, becoming partly oxidised, and increasing the amount of sulphuric acid in the urine. In larger doses it produces a laxative or very mild purgative effect upon the bowels. Externally it is a slight stimulant, and has the power of destroying the acarus scabiei or itch insect. It is given as a stimulant in chronic cutaneous affections, chronic 3 bronchitis, and rheumatism; as a laxative to children and delicate persons; also in diseases of the rectum, as piles. Externally it is applied as an ointment in skin affections, especially scabies.
Dose. Of either form of Sulphur. As a stimulant, from 10 gr. upwards. As a laxative, 30 gr. to 60 gr. or more. Of confection, 20 gr. to 120 gr. Formerly sulphur, dissolved in olive oil, and called balsam of sulphur, was a favourite remedy.
Adulteration. Sublimed sulphur may contain a trace of sulphurous acid from oxidation during sublimation; it should, however, be free from this, and not redden moistened litmus paper; and a solution of ammonia which has been agitated with it should not leave any residue; when washed it is called sulphur lotum. The precipitated sulphur contains sometimes from 50 to 70 per cent. of sulphate of lime, arising from sulphuric acid being occasionally used to precipitate it; this impurity can be detected by its not subliming with heat; sublimed sulphur when pure does not show any crystals under the microscope, but simply opaque globules.