Sublimed Sulfur vs MSM

Sublimed sulfur and MSM (organic sulfur) are commonly misunderstood substances. Many people confuse them to be the same things. While both are sulfur, the form and how they are created are very different.

Although both substances can be used internally and topically, MSM is predominately meant to be ingested, because it gives a wide array of health benefits whilst sublimed sulfur is mainly used for topical application to help treat various skin problems. 

In this article, I am going to share with you the difference between sublimed sulfur (flowers of sulfurs) and MSM, and ways to use these substances.

Without further ado, let's get started!

Sublimed Sulfur (Flowers of Sulfur)

Sublimed sulfur is also know as flowers of sulfur or yellow sulfur powder. When you look at the powder under a microscope, they resemble flowers, hence the name flowers of sulfur.

Sublimed sulfur is a bright yellow powder obtained from naturally-occurring volcanic brimstone deposits. It has been used as remedy for skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, scabies, and dermatitis and other ailments for many centuries.

When using sublimed sulfur, remember to take proper care in avoiding contact with the eyes or sinuses, as it can cause minor burns and irritation.

Historically, flowers of sulfur were extensively used medically to cure ailments, particularly skin diseases. Sublimed sulfur also has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. According the Wikipedia, in the early 20th century, it was widely used for agricultural purposes as fungicide, particularly in the cultivation of hop plants. It was used to combat and prevent fungal diseases caused by molds that can kill crops.

Sublimed sulfur can also be used on humans, animals, vegetables, fruits, flowers and as a gardening additive in the soil. Some pet breeders and farmers who own animal stock have found that topical application of sublimed sulfur helps to repel fleas, ticks, mites, and lice.

This sulfur is safe to ingest in the correct quantities assuming that it has been obtained from a reputable source. Before the sulfur can be used topically or internally, it must be heated and melted after excavation. This helps to separate and remove any impurities that may be present.  

When taken orally, part of sublimed sulfur actually forms hydrogen sulfide in the intestines to stimulate the intestinal peristalsis, and thus lead to laxative effect. According to an article posted on the Chinese Herbs Healing website, if taken orally the unpurified or unprocessed sulfur, it may lead to arsenic poisoning.

Keep in mind that the raw sulfur is for external application only and for oral administration it needs to be cooked with tofu and then place the mixture in the shade to dry.

Therefore, it's highly recommended that you use the processed sulfur in oral administration. Nevertheless, long-term use and large dosage is inadvisable.

The product should not be consumed for more than 3 days in a row. If you choose to take sublimed sulfur orally, be sure to test yourself first by taking a very small amount and watch for any reactions.

MSM (Organic Sulfur)

Unlike sublimed sulfur, organic sulfur (methylsulfonylmethane, otherwise known as MSM) is not sourced from brimstone and is a complex compound composed of 34% sulfur, 34% oxygen, 26% carbon and 6% hydrogen bonds.

It's not a drug but an organic form of sulfur and a potent antioxidant that's known to treat a variety of health ailments such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, muscle pain, skin problems, hair loss, autoimmune disorders, athletic strains and sprains, and much more.

MSM is a naturally occurring substance that can be found in foods such as cabbage, broccoli, onion, meat, and egg, but the amount of sulfur is low unless the plants are grown in sulfur-rich soil.

The highest concentration of MSM in nature is actually found in mammal’s milk, but these food sources contain MSM only in parts per million. This means  you would need to destroy thousands of trees just to produce a very small amount of usable MSM, which is not sustainable or economically viable.

Since you can't extract, isolate or grow the compound from nature, the most “natural” way to create MSM is to mimic the formation, function, and structure of MSM found in nature. The way all commercially available MSM is created is by synthesizing pharmaceutical grade dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and pharmaceutical grade hydrogen peroxide.

This creates a chemical reaction that forms a new molecule: Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Once this new molecule forms it must be purified so it's safe for use. If MSM is produced properly under very stringent conditions, the result is 99.9% pure organic sulfur in large flakes or crystals, which is 100% identical to the MSM found in nature.

MSM has been used topically as well as internally for a wide array of health conditions. Many people take MSM daily to help alleviate chronic back or joint pain, while others make homemade products such as anti-aging cream to help reduce signs of premature aging by fighting the damaging free radicals, and keeps your skin complexion looking healthy, clear and youthful.

In addition, many pet owners give their beloved pets a daily dosage of MSM to help improve the texture of their fur, reduce their joint pain, and give them more energy.


After reading this article, I hope you have a better understanding of the difference between sublimed sulfur and MSM.

While both substances are sulfur, the form and how they are created are very different. Although they can both be used topically and orally, sublimed sulfur is mainly for topical applications and MSM is primarily for internal use.

Be sure not to take sublimed sulfur for more than three days in a row.

Have you ever used sublimed sulfur or MSM, if so, what is your experience with them? I would love to know what you have to share. Feel free to leave your comment, thoughts, concerns in the comment box below!

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