How to apply sulfur to garden?


Understanding how much of the major base cations (Ca, Mg, K, Na) to apply is relatively straightforward. Understanding how much sulfur to apply is a bit more complex.

Sulfur has three functions:

1) It is attached to other critical minerals. Potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, and some sources of magnesium and calcium are all sold as sulfates. If we are applying these critical minerals, we are applying sulfur too. Let’s make this our first principle: Always apply as much sulfur in sulfate form as needed to carry these important elements.

Always keep track of how much sulfur is going into the soil, but never limit these important elements because of their sulfate component. The sulfate form of sulfur doesn’t do any harm to our friends the microbes, but the elemental form of sulfur does set them back for a short time. So, we limit Ag Sulfur to less than 100 lbs/ac.

2) A certain amount of sulfur is necessary to grow a crop. How much? Good question. Gary Zimmer says at least 25 lbs/ac, but he likes to see 30 to 40 lbs/ac. Bill McKibben, who works with the same Logan Labs tests we use, targets 40-50 (TCEC < 10) or 60-80 lbs/ac (TCEC > 10). Let’s use Bill’s numbers, 45 or 70 lbs/ac, depending on TCEC. Sulfur is a necessary nutrient; it works with nitrogen and enables plants to form complete proteins (some amino acids contain sulfur).

3) Sulfur is a powerful tool for removing excess cations. Sulfur in the sulfate form never stays around in the soil for long because all sulfates are readily soluble so excess cations attached to sulfate leach out easily. Excess sulfate, being an anion, combines with the base cations sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium; it also combines with manganese, copper, zinc, and iron. Then, these sulfates are leached by rain or irrigation. This can be a good thing, if you need to remove excess cations in order to balance the soil. But if balance has been achieved, excess sulfur will remove cations you would rather keep, and thereby decrease the fertility of your soil.

So, in figuring how much sulfur our soil needs, we will consider the following three parameters:

We will apply whatever sulfur is required to carry the sulfate forms of important minerals into the soil. We will supply at least enough sulfur to grow our next crop, and apply additional sulfur when there are excess minerals in the soil.

To determine if the soil needs extra sulfur to remove excess cations, look at the major base cations, Ca, Mg, K, and Na, to see if any of them exceed our ideal percentages, e.g. Ca > 70% and Mg > 18% or K > 120% of target K or Na > 2.5%. Another way to look at whether the soil is balanced is to look at the pH. If our pH is high, we want to apply more sulfur to acidify the soil. Conversely, if the pH is low, we don’t want to apply more than is necessary — we don’t want to further acidify an already acid soil. So, we can define high pH and low pH as: High pH > 7.2 and Low pH < 6.0. If you have a high pH, you have excess cations. If your pH is low, you are lacking some cations. This pH test is useful in finding a middle ground for our sulfur application target, as we shall see.

We are going to establish three targets for sulfur, depending on how many excess cations we want to strip, if any. Some of these numbers are linked to the TCEC, so they appear as ratios of other elements. But, they don’t have any intrinsic relationship to these other elements. The ratios are just a convenient way of getting the sulfur target into the right ballpark. Sometimes it is necessary to have a maximum, to keep from applying too much to high TCEC soils, as in the 432 lbs/ac limit below. Also below, you will recognize McKibben’s number as the minimum target, necessary to grow a crop. No Excess Cations: If pH is less than 6.0 or (Ca < 70% and Mg < 18% and K < 8%and Na < 2.5%): Then if TCEC <10, TARGET S=45 lbs/ac. TCEC>= 10, TARGET S=70 lbs/ac.

Excess Cations:

If pH > 7.2
Then TARGET S=Mg/2, or 432 lbs/ac, whichever is less
(This is a range of 101 to 432 lbs/ac, depending on TCEC)

Some Excess Cations:

Here’s a shorthand version of what we have done to establish the sulfur target:

Those are the sulfur targets. Except for one more thing. We have another source of sulfur we haven’t talked about yet. Gypsum. And, whether to use lime or gypsum to supply any calcium the soil needs. This is pretty simple, really. Here’s what we want to do:

No Excess Cations:

Use lime, not gypsum, to get the pH up

Excess Cations but calcium is deficient:

Use gypsum, not lime, to strip the excess cations

Some Excess Cations:

Use gypsum, not lime, to strip the excess cations.

For reasons described elsewhere we always want to use lime to reach 60% calcium saturation. Then we can use gypsum, if it is called for.

Is it too late to add sulfur to my vegetable garden soil?

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Uses for Flowers of Sulphur

What is flowers of sulphur?
Flowers Of Sulphur (FOS) is also known as yellow sulphur (sulfur) powder, is a bright yellow powder obtained from naturally-occurring volcanic brimstone deposits.

FOS is a natural mineral that has been used for centuries. In ancient texts such as the bible it is called brimstone, and 2,000 years ago.

You can buy flowers of sulphur at pet shops and animal stock feed stores. Farmers, those with animal stock, and pet breeders have used it for many decades, but the pharmaceutical and medical industries prefer that people do not know about it. It is too cheap and too effective.
When you look at Flowers of Sulphur under a microscope the crystals resemble flowers, hence the name.
Flowers of sulphur is not the same as MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), which is also a source of sulphur.

Flowers of sulphur uses / properties
Flowers of sulphur is an antiseptic and anti-fungal. It is suitable for use on humans, animals, vegetables, fruits, flowers and as a gardening additive in the soil. It is safe to ingest in the correct quantities provided it comes from a reputable source.
Skin. Dry, scaly reduces scratching.
Sulphur is critical to many of the body’s biological processes. Without adequate sulphur, glucose metabolism is inhibited. You become glucose intolerant, energy is low, and all manner of skeletal and muscle . This can lead to weight gain. When sulphur deficiency occurs with a low fat diet, the problem becomes more serious as the additional sugars present in a low fat diet are converted to fat and released into the bloodstream/.
Insect protection (chiggers/mites, fleas, mosquitoes). Douse your legs and shoes with powdered sulfur before walking through grass or bush and you will remain bite free.
Hair. Aids hair growth, assists healthy hair.
Nails. Healthy, fast-growing nails.

Animals – FOS treats most in pets and farm animals. It kills and repels fleas, ticks, mites and lice.

Ants. Pour a trail around an ants nest, sulphur is a safe way to eradicate ants.

How to use flowers of sulphur

You can apply flowers of sulphur directly to your skin as a dry powder. Shake it on, rub it in, or use a powder puff or a flour shaker. Use it like talcum powder (note: We do not recommend talcum powder as it is harmful to both skin and lungs).
When using it on your skin, test it with a small quantity at first, and then use whatever quantity seems to be effective for your particular situation and apply in a well ventilated area.

You can mix FOS with skin oils and skin creams, for use on your own skin, also for pets, farm animals and poultry.

To make , use coconut oil, palm oil, petroleum jelly, olive oil, cocoa butter or any other skin oil as you need. Slowly warm the oil to melt it, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of sulphur powder to a cup of oil, mix well and allow to cool.

Animals. To use Flowers of sulphur in their fur, mix 1 part Flowers of Sulphur with 2 parts talcum powder. Part the coat and rub in gently on body, head and back of ears. Make sure you are in a ventilated area as talc powder is damaging to your lungs.

If you use neat Flowers of Sulphur without adding talcum powder on cats and some other animals, it makes their coats (fur) very dry and brittle resulting in breakage.

Flowers of Sulphur is also highly-effective when mixed with Pig Oil for horses and other animals. It will protect their coat in damp conditions.

You can add FOS powder to animal’s food. However it is difficult to add to their water as it tends to float rather than dissolve in the water.

However you want to use Flowers of Sulphur, please test on a small unaffected area first prior to general use to check for allergic reaction. If you or your animal should have a reaction, simply wash the area and apply a little cream, such as E45 or Sudocrem.

Flowers of sulfur is a pharmaceutical grade of the compound referred to in the Bible as brimstone. These yellow granules have several uses, as both a gardening aid and a homeopathic remedy for certain medical conditions. Users of sulfur should remember to take proper care in avoiding contact with the eyes or sinuses, as it can cause minor burns and irritation.

Disease Prevention in Plants

According to the Royal Horticulture Society’s website, flowers of sulfur may be used in the garden to prevent the growth of certain fungi and bacteria that cause plant rot. Sulfur combined with fatty acids also can control powdery mildew growing on roses, house plants and several other varieties of fruit-bearing plants. Growers should be careful not to use sulfur on seedlings and should not allow the vapors to accumulate, as it can kill flowering plants.

Homeopathic Medicine in Humans

Sulfur has several applications as a homeopathic remedy. According to the U.K. based gardening website Morganhorse, skin disorders such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis have all been effectively treated with the use of sulfur granules. Additionally, sulfur has applications for fighting skin infection by parasites such as chiggers and scabies. Be careful to avoid wearing silver jewelry while applying sulfur to the skin as any granules that contact the precious metal will turn it black.

Remedies for Pets

Flowers of sulfur also provides a remedy for cats and dogs afflicted with skin disorders, infestations and fungal infections, such as mange or fleas. The granules also can be used with horses that have been afflicted with mud fever, a rare but serious bacterial infection which causes inflammation of the skin, lameness and high fever. Flowers of sulfur fights this condition, because it robs the bacteria of the moisture required for it to spread through the horse’s system.

HomeopathySulfurSulphur / Flowers Of Sulfur / Brimstone

The homeopathic remedy sulfur is prepared from mineral sulfur and is used to treat several health conditions, especially skin problems. In fact, very ancient societies around the world were familiar with mineral sulfur and it has been referred to as brimstone in the Bible. Therefore, it is not surprising that people in the ancient times were also aware of the therapeutic properties of mineral sulfur and have been using it as a medication for about 2,000 years to treat several skin conditions, for example scabies (a skin infection caused by the mite called Sarcoptes scabiei).

In fact, most of us are very familiar with the word sulfur for various reasons. The mineral as well as its various properties were well known to the people in ancient times and, hence, it is not surprising that the mineral has been in use for over 2,000 years now. People in the ancient times discovered the therapeutic properties, especially sulfur’s antiseptic attributes, of this mineral and used it as a medication to clean the skin as well as the blood. Besides its use in medicine, mineral sulfur is extensively used commercially, especially in the production of gunpowder, dyes and fungicides.

In homeopathy, physicians are likely to prescribe the medication sulfur in highly watered down doses to cure health conditions. It is especially effective for treating the skin disorders that go together with tetchiness, severe itching, scorching aches as well as disgusting smells. It is important to note that the homeopathic remedy sulfur is prepared from unpolluted mineral sulfur powder. This pure sulfur powder is diluted by adding plenty of milk sugar (lactose) or a solution of water and alcohol.

Individuals who respond best to the homeopathic remedy sulfur are those who have an inclination to become creative and ingenious, but usually do not possess practical or common sense. In addition, such people are generally all mess up and in numerous instances, they may also be philosophical in nature instead of being realistic. People requiring the homeopathic medication sulfur actually get pleasure from accepting appreciation and exert a great deal of energy to convey their contemplations for other people. However, to other people, the nature as well as approach of such individuals may seem to appear as indolent and even self centered.

It may be noted here that the mineral sulfur has basically been related to fire for all time. In fact, sulfur is a highly inflammable substance that burns with a disgusting odour, which one may get a whiff of at the sites of active or eruptive volcanoes. Placing sulfur powder on one’s skin will result in a burning sensation accompanied by irritation, which makes it all the important as a medication in homeopathy. In fact, the color of natural sulfur is yellow, which reminds one of the mineral’s flaming resemblances.

People said to be belonging to the Sulfur type are known to be very fiery or hot in every sense of the term. It may be noted that people have always considered fire to be a symbol of the Divine Spirit in mankind – something that illuminates the clay of the physical body. Majority of the individuals belonging to the Sulfur type possess a distinctive religious aspect in them – that is somewhat motivating and not just scholarly. In addition, fire is also said to symbolize the passions, and hence, there is hardly other type of people who are more passionate compared to Sulfur, irrespective of what one is considering – the cravings for the flesh, academic, romantic love, motivation or fervent passion for almost anything anywhere. Individuals belonging to the Sulfur type always pursue all their interests with great passion. On the other hand, fire also represents anger or fury and, therefore, the energy of the Sulfur type individuals may be vented in the form of exasperation and utter wrath when whatever they might have determined to do is obstructed or when such people have a feeling that they have been victimized in some manner or the other. Last, but not the least, fire also symbolizes the ember of inventiveness and brilliance. Therefore, it is not surprising that people belonging to the Sulfur type are usually highly creative in nature, especially intellectually.

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It is interesting to note that most of the illustrious philosophical as well as scientific minds that have been documented in history were people who belonged to the Sulfur type. The list of such prominent personalities includes people like Socrates, Einstein and also many of the best composers over the centuries. In effect, it may be concluded that the world would indeed be a monotonous place if the inspiration, hopefulness and weirdness of Sulfur were missing.

Parts used

Although sulfur is a very vital mineral, when it is used to prepare the homeopathic remedy sulfur it needs to be done differently and significantly because the medication is entirely different compared to how the mineral is found in its natural state. After cleansing the naturally found mineral sulfur, it is pulverized into a smooth powder. Subsequently, the finely powdered sulfur is dissolved in a solution of water and alcohol and is diluted to the desired levels. It is then triturated (pulverized into a pulp) and the resultant substance is the homeopathic remedy sulfur, and, as with any other homeopathic medication, it does not retain practically even the slightest trace of the naturally found mineral sulfur. As a homeopathic remedy, sulfur is an extremely versatile medication that is used to cure a number of ailments. Hence, it is not surprising that people often and extensively turn to this homeopathic remedy for several dissimilar uses.


Although the homeopathic remedy sulfur is prescribed for people suffering from various dissimilar ailments, it is primarily used to treat different skin conditions, especially acne, eczema, candidiasis (a fungal infection occurring in the mouth, respiratory tract and even the vagina), scabies, cradle cap (an redness of the scalp especially occurring in infants), dry scalp, ringworm as well as diaper rash wherein the skin appears to be enduringly dry, itchy, flaky, reddish. The last condition actually worsens when the affected area is scratched.

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Sulfur is also effective in treating digestive disorders such as indigestion that deteriorates following consumption of milk or any dairy product; an inclination to vomit or throw up ingested foods; hunger aches accompanied by a sinking sensation in the stomach that usually crops up around 11 in the morning and chronic diarrhea and vomiting occurring early in the morning. Such type of digestive problems is usually accompanied by other symptoms, such as a bloated stomach and a number of serious problems associated with digesting foods. The symptoms associated with this kind of digestive disorders may also include belching and flatulence (accumulation of gas produced by the gastrointestinal tract), upset stomach, redness as well as itching in the region of the anus, scorching hemorrhoids (accumulation of enlarged veins in swollen tissue at the fringe of the anus or inside the rectum), and also anal fissures (cracks in the mucous membrane of the anus). Turning to the homeopathic remedy sulfur in such cases not only helps to cure the actual condition, but also provides quick relief from the associated symptoms.

In homeopathy, sulfur is an extremely beneficial remedy for the health conditions endured by women. This homeopathic medication is effective in treating the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as tetchiness, headaches, sleeplessness or insomnia and excruciating menstruation. It is also useful in alleviating gynecological problems, such as painful and erratic menstruation periods, dizziness, flushing and profuse perspiration. In addition, homeopathic practitioners also recommend the use of sulfur to treat other bothersome conditions endured by women, such as burning pain, itching in the vaginal region, yellow discharges as well as any other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that are difficult to treat with other medications.

This supplement is aimed at boosting memory, attention, focus, and mood, increasing concentration, energy, clarity, and alertness, as well as improving the quality of sleep and learning abilities. It is based on high-quality nutraceutical-grade amino acids and associated neuro-nutrients that ensure purity and maximum effectiveness.

Besides all the health benefits offered by the homeopathic remedy sulfur so far, it is also useful in treating certain mental problems. Homeopathic physicians often prescribe this medication for people enduring mental tension, suffering from absence of vitality and determination, absentmindedness or lack of memory, tetchiness, depression, troubled sleep accompanied by nightmares, indecisiveness as well as those who wake up early from their sleep in the morning.

The homeopathic remedy sulfur is also a beneficial medication for men, especially who have been suffering from conditions such as impotency and/ or erectile dysfunction. Such conditions generally come together with aches and itching in the penis and adjoining areas. It may be mentioned here that in homeopathy, physicians recommend the use of sulfur for treating the above mentioned health conditions in men as well as any other type of inflammation that may occur in the penis or the prostate gland.

Sulfur is also an appropriate medication for treating breathing problems that are characterized by arid and throbbing throat that also comprises an almost suffocating sensation. This condition may come together with a cold or cough along with a yellowish or green catarrh as well as distended and painful tonsils. In case the patient does not take medical assistance to cure the condition, it is likely to develop into bronchitis. Hence, most people suffering from this condition turn to the homeopathic remedy sulfur as soon as the initial symptoms begin to appear. In effect, in homeopathy, sulfur is an effective remedy for different types of breathing problems as well as infection of the respiratory tract.

Apart from the health conditions discussed above, the homeopathic medication sulfur is also useful to treating other health conditions, such as headaches, migraines, fevers, coughs accompanied by sneezing, conjunctivitis and redness of the eyes (eye inflammation) as well as aching backs, especially in the lower regions that may be caused by bending or sitting for long, standing for a prolonged period, or menstruation.


The mineral sulfur, which forms the basis of the homeopathic remedy sulfur, is found in the vicinity of the volcanic craters as well as hot springs in the United States, and Italy, Sicily.

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From Gayle Millar – Apr-28-2016 Many years ago in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) I was being treated for infected sinuses, I was first prescribed antibiotics, then sent to the physiotherapist for ultrasound treatment. Of which wasn’t very successful. Then a young woman in our hair salon told me to take a good pinch of Flowers of Sulphur once a day for a week. Then once a week then once a month if I wished to continue. I found that after the 1st week only, my symptoms had all gone. Never to suffer again. I have since helped many sinus sufferers. Think about it. When walking around New Zealand in the sulphurous boiling mud areas ones nasal passages open up resulting in an extremely runny nose. Cleansing the sinuses. From Debi – Oct-30-2013 We rescued some dogs with dog lice. Gave them all 2 pellets of homeopathic Sulfur for 3 days and bathed them in neem oil shampoo (left on for 10-11 minutes). We did 2 more neem baths every 7 days and all the lice and eggs were gone. Sulfur and neem oil are amazing and really work. We didn’t have to use any toxic products which don’t always work but damage their health and liver. From Bryn Davies – Jul-12-2013 I have a young female king charles cavalier, as everyone knows they have drooping ears. My dog’s ears were very sore and I took her to the vets, she gave me a week’s dose of steroids and a week’s course of antibiotics and charged me £30; I was told that they could send skin scrapings off for testing at a cost of £500 which I couldn’t afford. I was told by a friend about sulphur and decided to try some. I ordered some flowers of sulphur; the dog’s ears are now much better, it cleared up in 3 days, marvellous stuff. From Penny – Jan-25-2013 I have been to the vet on numerous occasions with my dog having Mange or Hot spots as they call it. Antibiotics helped for a week and then it came back. Her skin was oozing and sore, she kept licking her sores and her skin became dry and patchy. I was actually embarrassed to take her to the beach. Someone suggested an old wives tale about sulfur and I was willing to try anything. I promise you, within 2 days I noticed her sores healing, her patches being covered with hair. Her fleas seem to have disappeared. I then started giving to my moms dog who had chronic mange. I swear to you, his hair is growing back and the mange is going away. I give them a slice of bread and butter with a little coating of sulfur. I have now started taking sulfur for my skin irritations. From Yvonne – Oct-25-2012 I have found that flowers of sulphur have been effective in treating open wounds and causing the healing process to be much, much quicker. By sprinkling sulphur into open, infected wounds such as staph infections the sulphur gives an almost instant effect. I have also gotten great results in the prevention of parvovirus in dogs by sprinkling the powder in their food. Parvo was rampant at my house when an abandoned dog came to my home that was already stricken. I had several abandoned dogs that people donated considering I lived in the country. One dog died even after taking him to the vet. Hearing of this old time remedy I started sprinkling sulphur in the five gallon buckets of feed every day for a week and then once a week thereafter and the dogs who showed signs of sickness got better quickly and for the next 7 years of taking in strays I never had not one animal sick with parvovirus again.

Sulfur Topical

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Blom I, Hornmark AM. Topical treatment with sulfur 10 per cent for rosacea. Acta Derm Venereol 1984;64:358-9. View abstract.

Blum, J. E. and Coe, F. L. Metabolic acidosis after sulfur ingestion. N Engl J Med 1977;297(16):869-70. View abstract.

Food and Drug Administration. Classification of benzoyl peroxide as safe and effective and revision of labeling to drug facts format; topical acne drug products for over-the-counter human use; final rule. Federal Register 2010;75(42):9767-77. View abstract.

Goszcz, A., Kostka-Trabka, E., Grodzinska, L., et al. . Pol Merkur Lekarski 1997;3(13):33-6. View abstract.

Gupta, A. K. and Nicol, K. The use of sulfur in dermatology. J Drugs Dermatol 2004;3(4):427-31. View abstract.

Lin, A. N., Reimer, R. J., and Carter, D. M. Sulfur revisited. J Am Acad Dermatol 1988;18(3):553-8. View abstract.

Nimni, M. E., Han, B., and Cordoba, F. Are we getting enough sulfur in our diet? Nutr Metab (Lond) 2007;4:24. View abstract.

Parcell, S. Sulfur in human nutrition and applications in medicine. Altern Med Rev 2002;7(1):22-44. View abstract.

Pelle, M. T., Crawford, G. H., and James, W. D. Rosacea: II. Therapy. J Am Acad Dermatol 2004;51:499-512. View abstract.

Sanfilippo, A. and English, J. C. An overview of medicated shampoos used in dandruff treatment. P and T 2006;31(Jul):396-400.

Schmiedel, V. and Klein, P. A complex homeopathic preparation for the symptomatic treatment of upper respiratory infections associated with the common cold: An observational study. Explore (NY) 2006;2(2):109-14. View abstract.

Strong, M. and Johnstone, P. Interventions for treating scabies. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007;(3):CD000320. View abstract.

Weiser, M., Gegenheimer, L. H., and Klein, P. A randomized equivalence trial comparing the efficacy and safety of Luffa comp.-Heel nasal spray with cromolyn sodium spray in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Forsch Komplementarmed 1999;6(3):142-148. View abstract.

MSM: Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

MSM stands for Methylsulfonylmethane or more commonly referred to as the “miracle supplement” and with good reason. It has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, boost immunity, improve flexibility and naturally increase energy.

But what exactly is MSM? In this article, we’ll discuss what MSM is, the host benefits that come along with ingesting MSM and how you should be supplementing with it.

What is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane)?

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an organic sulfur compound that’s naturally derived during the earth’s rain cycle.

Sulfur is present in many natural, unprocessed foods, but it’s quickly lost during the cooking process.

Biologically active sulfur is one of the most critical nutrients for our bodies to remain youthful and energetic.

As we age, along with a diet deficient in essential nutrients, our bodies become stiff, our cells become rigid, and our overall energy begins to decelerate rapidly.

Methylsulfonylmethane helps to mitigate this process and is gaining a lot of attention due to the recent focus on longevity and anti-aging technologies.

Here’s a list of 7 benefits that MSM delivers.

3 Benefits of Regular MSM Intake

1. MSM Helps Improve Joint Pain

One of the many benefits of Methylsulfonylmethane is its ability to decrease joint inflammation and research has shown that MSM is also highly effective in improving joint flexibility.

Additionally, it helps to produce flexible skin and muscle tissue. This leads to an increase in overall flexibility due to a restoration of the “juiciness” in the tissues.

Methylsulfonylmethane is a natural and efficient anti-inflammatory because of how sulfur impacts the immune system and facilitates normal cellular activity.

Sulfur needs to be present for our cells to release many by-products and excess fluids that can accumulate and cause swelling/tenderness.

Methylsulfonylmethane is thought to deliver sulfur to the body in a usable way. Sulfur helps maintain the structure of connective tissue by forming cross-linkages through disulfide bonds, i.e., sulfur strengthens the tissues that make up the joint.

In a noteworthy animal experiment published earlier this year, Japanese scientists bred mice to develop premature knee arthritis, then dosed some with levels of MSM equivalent to that found in most over-the-counter preparations for people, while others received 10 times as much Methylsulfonylmethane, and others none.

After a month, the animals taking either dose of Methylsulfonylmethane had developed less degeneration of the cartilage in their knees than the control animals.

2. MSM is Anti-Inflammatory and Helps Improve Digestion

Due to MSM’s ability to remove metabolic wastes from cells, its can help rebuild the lining of the body’s digestive tract and lower the inflammation reactions to specific foods.

The cells of the body are chronically inflamed and retaining the byproducts of metabolic processes. Sulfur needs to be present for these toxins and wastes to be removed from the body.

When these byproducts can be removed from the system, then the cells can also dispose of excess fluids that were being stored as a buffer. What results are a natural and efficient reduction in unwanted weight and a healthy digestive process.

3. MSM Helps Improve Skin Health and Complexion

Along with the miracle supplement, Methylsulfonylmethane is also known as “nature’s beauty mineral.” The origins of this pseudonym come from MSM’s ability to enhance the collagen and keratin in our skin, hair and nails.

Methylsulfonylmethane is an essential compound necessary for collagen production, and collagen is the main structural protein found in animal connective tissue. It’s what helps your skin keep its youthful glow.

We lose collagen and healthy tissue as we get older, which is exactly why our skin tone and elasticity suffer, making Methylsulfonylmethane supplements more relevant with age.

Collagen isn’t the only thing doing the heavy lifting when it comes to regaining that youthful glow. Keratin, also present in the skin, hair, and nails is abundant in the amino acid cystine, which is found in sulfur.

This sulfur bond in keratin gives it greater strength. Sulfur is also present in two B vitamins, thiamine, and biotin. Interestingly, thiamine is essential to skin and biotin to hair.

Recommended Dosage & Natural Sources of MSM

One 500 mg capsule a day is good insurance for most people to prevent sulfur deficiency and support construction of healthy connective tissues, detoxification, and beautiful, strong hair, skin and nails.

Treating specific health problems can require anywhere from 1,000-6,000 mg a day (and higher doses under professional supervision) depending on body size, age and severity of symptoms.

MSM is particularly good for symptom-relief related to allergies, athletic injuries, digestion, and for skin problems such as acne, sunburn, and scars. Reduction in symptoms is usually seen within 2 to 21 days.

For many people, MSM has been a miracle — an answer to their prayers. But adverse reactions, especially at the beginning, prevent others from staying with it long enough to get MSM’s benefits.

Are There Any Potential MSM Side Effects?

MSM is very safe. Animal toxicity studies have shown it’s as safe as pure water, and there are no reported allergic responses to it in the medical literature. However “mild adverse reactions” are common. According to anecdotal reports, these stop when MSM is discontinued.

Many adverse reactions are probably to impurities in the MSM, not to the MSM itself. But uncomfortable reactions are common with even the purest MSM. This is because MSM is a potent detoxifier.

It dissolves many compounds, reacts with certain toxins and greatly facilitates elimination of toxic wastes from the cells.

Reactions, if there are any, tend to be quite individual. With any new supplement, it’s wise to start out with a small dose and build up gradually, and this is particularly true with Methylsulfonylmethane.

Start out with half a capsule (250 mg) for several days to see how you do with it before adding more. If you’re very sick, very toxic, or know you are extremely sensitive, begin with even less.

If you experience really uncomfortable detox symptoms it is an important message from your body that it is being asked to do more than it can handle. Reduce or stop the Methylsulfonylmethane completely.

Drink plenty of water and take extra vitamin C to help clear the symptoms. When you’ve recovered, you can start the MSM again, slowly and cautiously.


Author: Mr. Guy Sela, CEO of SMART! Fertilizer Management software and an international expert in plant nutrition and irrigation.

Sulfur is an essential nutrient for plant growth. In recent years, sulfur deficiencies have become more frequent and the importance of sulfur in crop production is becoming more and more recognized.

Although it is considered a secondary nutrient, it is now becoming recognized as the ‘fourth macronutrient’, along with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Oil crops, legumes, forages and some vegetable crops require sulfur in considerable amounts. In many crops, its amount in the plant is similar to phosphorus.


Sulfur has various functions in plants. Some major roles are:

  • It is found in some amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Most of the sulfur absorbed by plants, about 90%, is used for that purpose.
  • Sulfur is essential for chlorophyll formation. It is a major constituent of one of the enzymes required for the formation of the chlorophyll molecule.
  • Essential in the synthesis of oils, especially in oil crops.

  • Active in the metabolism of nitrogen.


Sulfur deficiencies are more likely in sandy soils with low organic matter (less than 2%) and under high rainfall conditions. However, even in high organic matter soils, often, the breakdown of the organic matter and the mineralization process are not rapid enough to meet the sulfur requirement of the crop. When this occurs, fertilizers or amendments containing sulfur have to be applied.

Sulfur is immobile in plants and does not readily translocated from older leaves to young leaves. Therefore, sulfur deficiency first appears on younger leaves.

Sulfur deficiency symptoms show up as light green to yellowish color. Deficient plants are small and their growth is retarded.

Symptoms may vary between plant species. For example, in corn, sulfur deficiency shows up as interveinal chlorosis; in wheat, the whole plant becomes pale while the younger leaves are more chlorotic; in potatoes, spotting of leaves might occur.

Sulfur deficiency in corn Sulfur deficiency in soybean

Sulfur deficiency in tobacco Sulfur deficiency in wheat

Take control and plan your crops nutrition to optimize your fertilizer use



Most of the sulfur in soils is found soil in organic matter . However, it is not available to plants in this form. In order to become available to plants, the sulfur must be first released from the organic matter and go through mineralization process.

The mineralization process is a result of microbial activity. In this process sulfur is converted to the sulfate form (SO4-2), which is readily available to plants.

The process is affected by the C/S ratio, temperature and moisture.

Immobilization of sulfur is the opposite process in which available sulfate is converted back into the organic form.

Due to its negative charge, the sulfate inorganic form (SO4-2) is mobile in soils.


Plant analysis is the best way to estimate sulfur sufficiency. Combining the plant analysis with soil test result will give the best indication on if and how much sulfur should be applied.

Many times, soil test alone is not reliable enough. Soil tests are valuable only if a correlation was found between the sulfur test level and the crop response to application of fertilizer.

Because sulfur leaches readily, the top soil might test low in sulfur, while subsoil samples will show higher levels of available sulfur.


Today, there are various fertilizers containing significant amounts of sulfur. The most common ones are listed in the table below.

% S

Suitability for fertigation

Ammonium Sulfate


Calcium sulfate (gypsum)

Not suitable

Magnesium sulfate

Potassium sulfate

Superphosphate (normal)

Potassium magnesium sulfate

Including sulfur in a fertilizer program to avoid deficiency is more efficient and less costly than correcting a sulfur deficiency once it occurs.


Sulfur interacts with other nutrients in the plant and in soil. These interactions will be discussed in another article.

SMART! Fertilizer Management Software – Innovative Solution

  • Recommends the ideal fertilizer mixture/ blends
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  • Comprehensive data on hundreds of crop varieties
  • Interprets test results for any extraction method


Sulphur Deficiency Sources and Symptoms

Sulphur is an important plant nutrient necessary to produce bountiful food crops. Grains, fruits and vegetables and pasture crops all need sulphur to sustain growth. Visual cues and soil tests can be used to identify potential sulphur deficiencies.

Sources of Sulphur Deficiency

Historically crops got their sulphur from the environment via SO2 gas from industrial processes entering the sulphur cycle in large quantities. Today, crops aren’t receiving the necessary amounts of sulphur from the atmosphere alone. Why the change? Regulations altering the composition of fuels and other pollution controls improved air quality for humans but lowered the amount of sulphur compounds available in the atmosphere for plants.

Also impacting sulphur availability is the increasing scale of agriculture. More sulphur is removed from the soil as a result of an increase in agricultural production by increasing fertilizer use, intensifying cropping systems, promoting high-yield crop varieties, and improving irrigation.

Further, less sulphur is added to the soil due to the increasing proportions of high-analysis, sulphur-free fertilizers, such as urea, diammonium phosphate (DAP), and potassium chloride; decreasing use of traditional organic manures; and reduction in use of sulphur-containing fertilizers.

Detecting Sulphur Deficiency

Soil Analysis: A number of chemical methods have been developed and tested for estimating the available sulphur status of soils. The important thing is the selected method should be accurate, precise, rapid and highly correlated with crop response to sulphur application. The most often used method in India and some other places involves extraction of soil sulphur with 0.15 percent solution of CaCl2. Soils containing less than 10 ppm sulphur are considered to be low or deficient in plant available sulphur by this method. Globally, monocalcium phosphate is also a popular extrant.

Plant Analysis: Plant analysis is carried out by standard analytical methods. Normally leaves of cereal plants containing less than 0.2 percent sulphur are considered to be deficient in sulphur and require sulphur application for optimal growth and yield production. The optimal sulphur concentration in growing plants is usually higher for legumes and cruciferous crops than for cereals.

Sulphur Deficiency Symptoms in Plants

Whenever the sulphur status of growing plants drops below the critical level required, visual symptoms of sulphur deficiency start appearing on the plant. The appearance of such symptoms indicates a serious condition because crop yields can decrease even without the appearance of such symptoms.

Sulphur deficiency symptoms in many ways resemble those of nitrogen – that is, the leaves become pale-yellow or light-green. Unlike nitrogen, sulphur -deficiency symptoms appear first on the younger leaves, and persist even after nitrogen application. In cotton, tobacco and citrus, some of the older leaves are affected first.

Plants deficient in sulphur are small and spindly with short and slender stalks, their growth is retarded, maturity in cereals is delayed, nodulation in legumes may be poor and nitrogen-fixation reduced, fruits often do not mature fully and remain light-green in color, forages contain an undesirably wide N:S ratio and thus have lower nutritive value.

When sulphur deficiency symptoms have been confirmed, soil application through a material containing readily available sulphur should be applied.

S Deficiency Symptoms in 30 crops

Banana: Young leaves show chlorosis (loss of green color resulting in pale yellow tissue) but as they age, the green color returns. Youngest uncurled leaves become yellowish-white as the deficiency progresses. If S-deficient conditions continue, chlorosis is clearer and pale stripes become visible between the veins. Growth is retarded and small fruits are produced.

Blackgram (Urid): Chlorosis starts from the tips of young leaves and spreads along the margin. Young leaves which emerge after onset of S deficiency are severely chlorotic. Stems become thin and woody. Plants have a bushy appearance.

Chickpea (Gram, Bengal gram): Sulphur deficient plants appear erect. There is premature drying and withering of young leaves. Eventually entire foliage (leaf mass) turns chlorotic. Nodulation and thus N fixation is severely restricted and so is the seed setting.

Coconut: Typical symptoms are yellowish-green or yellowish-orange leaflets. Leaves droop as the stem becomes weak. In older palms, leaf number and size are reduced. Sometimes an apron of dead fronds develops around the stem due to weakness of the rachis. Nuts may fall prematurely. The kernel (copra) is rubbery and of poor market quality.

Coffee: There is yellow discoloration on the youngest pair of leaves. A general chlorosis of mature leaves is characteristic with newer leaves smaller in size and usually more chlorotic than the mature leaves. Interveinal tissue can become severely chlorotic and give a mottled appearance.

Cotton: Persistent yellowing of new leaves and reddening of the petiole is visible. Older leaves may be affected first.

Cowpea (Lobia): Plants remain stunted with short internodes. Young leaves turn pale and their size is reduced. Flowering is delayed. New leaves are chlorotic and fail to expand. Number of pods and seed yield is low.

French bean: Plants have short internodes, fewer and smaller leaves. The entire foliage appears pale green. Growth is poor and yield is low.

Greengram (Moong): Plants are stunted, branching is poor and they have a bushy appearance. Flowers are drastically reduced and pods have shrunken seeds.

Groundnut: Young plants are smaller than normal, pale and more erect from the petiole than normal plants giving the trifoliate leaves a “V” shaped appearance. Older leaves may remain green. In new leaves, area around the main vein may be pale. Nodulation and pod formation is restricted and maturity of seeds is delayed.

Horsegram (Kulthi): The entire leaf turns pale followed by interveinal (area between the veins) chlorosis of leaflets of young leaves. Under severe deficiency, symptoms spread from young to middle leaves.

Linseed: Yellowing, curling and premature drying of tips of young terminal (top most) leaves is evident. Chlorosis gradually spreads on old leaves. The stem remains slender with poor branching. Number of floral buds is reduced and most of these fail to open.

Maize: Yellowing between the veins along the entire length of the leaves is seen especially in younger, upper leaves. In later stages, reddening at the base of the stem and along the leaf margins may occur.

Oilpalm: Seedlings have small pale-green to almost white fronds and show some interveinal streaking while older leaves develop necrotic spots (dead tissue) followed by terminal necrosis.

Pea: Young leaves turn pale followed by chlorosis of interveinal areas first on young leaves and then on middle and old leaves. Root nodulation and hence N fixation, flowering and yield is reduced.

Pigeonpea (Arhar): Young and middle leaves turn yellow, branching, leaf size and flowering are suppressed. Flowers lack normal yellow color and shed early. Pod formation and seed development is retarded.

Pineapple: Leaves first become yellowish-green. Later, margins of the older leaves become pinkish red and such discoloration spreads to all the leaves. In the end, neither flowers nor fruits are formed.

Potato: There is pronounced inward curling of youngest leaves along with considerable yellowing of the stems. General yellowing of the plant is observed.

Rapeseed Mustard: Cupped leaves and a reddening of the underside of leaves and stem is observed. Flowers abort prematurely resulting in poor pod formation. Sulphur deficiency reduces oil content in seeds and thus lowers the economic yield. This holds true for all oil crops.

Rice: Initially the leaf sheath and then the leaf blade become yellowish. The whole plant may look chlorotic at tillering stage. Plant height and number of tillers are reduced. Panicles are fewer, shorter and bear fewer spikelets/grains than normal plants.

Rubber: The entire leaf may turn yellowish-green, is reduced in size and has typical brown necrotic spots at the tip and sometimes all over the surface. Leaves of young shoots are first to be affected.

Sesame: Growth is retarded, leaves are smaller and fully emerged leaves first turn pale and then golden yellow. Number of flowers and pods, hence yield is reduced.

Sorghum: Blades of young leaves are shorter and more erect than usual. At first, these turn pale green while older leaves remain green. In very severe deficiency, older leaves also turn pale green.

Soybean: New leaves continue to remain pale-yellowish green. Size of leaves and length of internodes is reduced. Chlorosis starts from leaf margins and spreads inwards. Under severe deficiency, the entire plant may turn yellow leading to premature leaf fall, reduced flowering and fruiting.

Sugarcane: Younger leaves develop a uniform yellowish-green color. Later, younger and older leaves show a faint purplish tinge. Stems are thinner and taper towards the tip.

Sunflower: Leaves and inflorescence (flowers) become pale. Plants are markedly smaller with shorter internodes than normal. Number and size of leaves remain small.

Tea: Sulphur deficiency is known as “tea yellows”. Leaves of S deficient bushes turn yellow, are reduced in size, the internodes are short and the entire plant appears shrunken. Under severe deficiency, leaves may curl up and their edges and tips turn brown. Axial buds produce dwarf yellow leaves.

Tobacco: Older leaves are affected first. New leaves are uniformly pale yellow-green and this condition extends to the whole plant with time. Leaves are smaller and internodes are shorter than normal.

Tomato: Plants are smaller and lighter green in color than normal. Yellowing may occur in various plant parts. In the case of severe deficiency, petioles and stems show a marked reddening.

Wheat: General yellowing of the plant is observed which is usually more prominent between the veins. Older leaves remain green.

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