The Sulphur

The good effects of sulfides are distinct in certain scrofulous sores which are seen not rarely in children. Scrofulous children at times in the first few months of life show indolent abscesses in the cellular tissue which take a very persistent course. At first only small hard masses, not larger than a pea, are noted under the skin; the skin is natural in color and freely movable over it. The small masses then suppurate and gradually enlarge. The skin becomes adherent;the color is altered into red or even violet, while the small vessels in the vicinity at times enlarge and even become varicose. The tumor can attain the size of a florin and when it is mature, feels soft and spongy. After some time, a small circular opening appears perhaps not larger than the head of a needle and through it a thin unhealthy pus is discharged. Beginning in a deep position, as in the buttocks or in fat children, very slight or no discoloration of the skin is observed. The frequently observed characteristic is then the sharply defined opening as though a piece had been punched out. These formations may follow one another and continue over months and years and make the child very miserable. In mild cases only a few are formed; in severe cases ten to twelve may be present in different stages of formation at the same time. When healing, a white sharply limited but not deep scar remains. This tormenting and indolent state will rapidly change under the use of 1/10 or 1/20 grain (0.006-0.003 g.) of calcium sufide. The formation of new nodules at once ceases, for a fresh one is quite rare although the child up to that time may have suffered for months or years with ever-recurring attacks. Many abscesses, especially in the very early stages of development, dry and disappear; other rapidly bring their contents to maturation the thin and unhealthy pus becomes creamy and laudable’. The already opened abscesses improve, the pus becomes healthy and wounds rapidly heal.

Here Ringer seems to describe an ecthyma cachecticorum. Moreover, he depicts the well-known tuberculous bony affections of the phalanges, the spina ventosa, in which the sole use of calcium sulfide gave definite results. But at times in place of the improvement of general well-being under the use of sulfides appears a decided anemia which Ringer traces to the use of excessive doses. In suppurating scrofulous glands the results are also favorable; here one must employ doses of 1/2-1 grain (0.03-0.06 g.) several times daily and in resistant cases continue it for weeks.

Accordingly, the experiences of Ringer agree entirely with those of homoeopathy and likewise the doses range in similar realms. The lower potencies, perhaps D 3, accelerate the maturation and the delimitation of inflammatory and purulent processes while the high potencies under certain conditions prevent the suppuration. Furuncles, phlegmons, paronychia, panaritium, purulent tonsillar inflammations, suppuration of the serous surfaces, acute as well as tuberculous bone affections, suppuration of the accessory sinuses, glandular suppurations, suppuration of the ear, inflammation of the eyelid with purulent styes, ophthalmias, corneal ulcers with hypopyon these are all the chief field for the use of hepar sulf calc., especially when the discharges are thick and have a disagreeable odor as of old cheese.

Common to the external inflammation is the soreness on the lightest contact, aggravation from cold, improvement from warmth, development and increase of pains at night, especially with nocturnal chilliness.

The close relationship of hepar with two so important remedies for scrofula as sulfur and calcarea allows understanding of its special suitability for the manifold phenomena of scrofulous nature from the same basis as both remedies. To these belong: sickly unhealthy skin (every scratch suppurates); fissured hands; cracks on the feet; itching of the body especially mornings on arising; bleeding of sores on contact; pustular, nodular eruptions; moist offensive scald head; soreness and weeping between the thigh and scrotum or labia; in the folds of the skin and on the flexor surfaces; scrofulous scleral and corneal inflammation with blepharospasm, lachrymation and subsequent ulceration of the eyes; inflammation of the nose and the upper lip (again with soreness on contact); fissure in the middle of the lower lip, cracks at the angles of the mouth; inflamed glands which can be recognized through the sensitiveness on contact and tendency to suppuration. The various stages of inflammation passing over into suppuration correspond to the following classic series of agents: mercury, hepar, silicea.


Of the general indications for hepar the most important is the extreme sensitivity to cold and drafts (dry as well as moist cold). Chilliness prevails both day and night and requires excessive clothing or covering. Warm or hot, damp weather is borne better. Any part becoming cold, for example, and arm or leg becoming uncovered in bed, aggravates the most diverse symptoms, especially the catarrhal phenomena of the upper air passages.

There is also hypersensitivity towards pain apparently light pains cause attacks of faintness sore or inflamed areas of skin are hypersensitive to contact. The pains are sharp, sticking, cutting like a splinter, for example, as from a fish bone in the throat. The hepar patient is very sensitive to impressions of environment, is easily irritated, impatient, is always irritated at anything new. The sensitivity to odors is increased, outside of the previously described affections of the nose.

The sweat is worse at night, clammy, sour or offensive, and does not relieve. It develop from the least exertion, and is especially marked in the folds of the skin, especially the axilla. The secretions from the mucous membranes, boils and abscesses are often offensive; therein hepar is similar to sulfur.

So far as one may speak of habitus in hepar, it stands near to the lymphatic, blond, relaxed type of calcarea; still the great sensitivity is a peculiarity which calcarea does not have.

In hepar the headaches are many, and they arise easily from the shaking of coughing, for example, the sensation as from pressure of a nail or plug in the vertex or temples. A pain characteristic for hepar is a boring and tensive or bursting pain at the root of the nose (better from warm covering or firm bandage) and one can use this particularly as an indication for affections of the frontal sinus.

The frame of mind with hepar is the same as with sulfur and calcarea, that is, depressed with crying and anxiety, at the same time with impetuous irritability, with rapid hasty speech and greater weakness of memory.


The chief trend of hepar is on the mucous membranes of the throat and upper air passages. There we find swelling of the tonsils and glands in the throat with discomfort in the throat as from a plug, sticking as form splinters or a fish bone; likewise cutting pains running to the ear; itching sensation in the throat; rough, hoarse throat; cough from pain or irritation in the larynx; evening cough from any part of the body becoming cold, from inspiration of cold air; cough worse after cold drinks. All these symptoms in the upper air passages are found chiefly in people easily chilled. In general, the dry stage is not suitable for hepar, which is indicated after the appearance of the secretion. Many symptoms suggest simple acute catarrh: sneezing from itching the nose; coryza from inflammatory swelling in the nose which pains as if an ulcer were present; the coryza is worse in the open air better in a warm room, and drafts and change in weather provoke a recurrence; coryza with internal febrile chill and irritability and a feeling of soreness in all extremities; in short, coryza, at its high point. Pressure, burning and sticking in the eyes refer to simple catarrhal conjunctivitis. In general, all secretions are yellow and offensive.

The nocturnal cough of bronchitis is severe so that the head hurts, but the secretions from the mucous membranes are copious. Outside of the nocturnal aggravation of hepar there is also a morning and evening aggravation of the cough.

A series of symptoms make hepar seem suitable for plastic croupous inflammations of the larynx and bronchi; a deep, moist cough with respiratory oppression; attacks of husky coughing with anxiety and nausea often ending with crying; anxious, husky, piping respiration with fear of suffocation on lying down; nocturnal rising up as from deficient air with crying and great anxiety. According to Farrington the breathing is so labored that the child throws the head back to extend the respiratory passages. There is a predominantly expiratory stridor ( in contrast to spongia) The cough is hard, ringing, resounding; and at the same time there are mucous rales. This cough should be worse toward morning. The picture corresponds to a progressive croupous inflammation and mucous rales indicate a release of the membranes.

Otto Leeser
Otto Leeser 1888 – 1964 MD, PHd was a German Jewish homeopath who had to leave Germany due to Nazi persecution during World War II, and he escaped to England via Holland.
Leeser, a Consultant Physician at the Stuttgart Homeopathic Hospital and a member of the German Central Society of Homeopathic Physicians, fled Germany in 1933 after being expelled by the German Medical Association. In England Otto Leeser joined the staff of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. He returned to Germany in the 1950s to run the Robert Bosch Homeopathic Hospital in Stuttgart, but died shortly after.
Otto Leeser wrote Textbook of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Leesers Lehrbuch der Homöopathie, Actionsand Medicinal use of Snake Venoms, Solanaceae, The Contribution of Homeopathy to the Development of Medicine, Homeopathy and chemotherapy, and many articles submitted to The British Homeopathic Journal,