by Chandran KC
Homeopathic study of sulphur should be undertaken with the understanding about the role played by sulphur radicals and suphur-containing functional groups in the interactions of biological molecules.
Sulphur-containing HS functional group is present in 'cysteine' radicals contained in almost all active sites of protein molecules such as enzymes and receptors.
Bacterial toxins and other biological toxins of protein nature also have sulphur-containing functional groups. Many phytochemicals which are used as drugs, or are essential parts of our diet also contain sulphur radicals or functional groups.
As such, sulphur and sulphur containing substances can interfere in hundreds of essential biomoecular interactions through competitive inhibitions and produce pathological errors in vital processes.
Potentized sulphur and sulphur compounds, which contain molecular imprints of sulphur can rectify these molecular errors, thereby acting as a major therapeutic weapon in the homeopathic medical arsenal.
According to Samuel Hahnemann, the ‘miasm’ of ‘psora’ is the main cause of chronic diseases. As per his interpretation, ‘psora’ is ‘suppressed itch’, which means, the chronic constitutional susceptibility to diseases, resulting from the suppression of ‘itch’ appearing on the surface of the skin. Homeopathic theory of ‘chronic diseases’ is built up on this fundamental concept of ‘psora’. He describes ‘psora’ as a hiding ‘multi-headed hydra’, which expresses its presence in the organism in the form of multitudes of chronic ailments with periodical acute exacerbations, persisting until death. Potentized sulphur is supposed to be a an antidote of this chronic miasm of ‘psora’, and hence the saying “ sulphur is the king of anti-psorics”.
It is interesting to observe at this point that toxins released by bacteria found in lesions of ‘itch’, are complex chemical molecules of protein nature, containing ‘sulphide’ radicals in their functional groups. The presence of sulphur-containing amino acid ‘cysteine’ in the bacterial proteins is responsible for this factor. During infection, bacterial toxins bind to various biological molecules in the organism using this ‘sulphide’ group as the ligand. Antibodies are formed in the organism by a process of ‘molecular imprinting’ of certain class of protein molecules called globulins, with these bacterial toxins.
Obviously, the antibodies are native globulin proteins molecular imprinted by these bacterial toxins, and contain three-dimensional complementary configurations of this ‘sulphide’ group on them. These molecular imprints can immunize the organism against further infections, by acting as neutralizing agents towards the bacterial molecules, and hence the name ‘antibodies’. At the same time, these anti-bodies or molecular imprints can create unwanted molecular blocks in diverse biochemic channels in the organism, by binding themselves to various sulphide-containing bio-molecules, due to their configurational affinity towards sulphide groups. These molecular blocks and biochemical inhibitions arising there from are the real cause of chronic diseases that Hahnemann attributes to ‘miasm of ‘psora’.
We already know that the antibodies produced against bacterial skin infections or ‘itch’ may attack heart, kidney, brain, and other vital organs causing different types of diseases. Streptococcal and staphylococcal antibodies formed against acute throat and teeth infections may attack synovial membranes of joints, endocardial linings, and valvular structures of heart.
During drug proving, sulphur also binds to the same molecular targets as the bacterial toxins, and produces similar molecular deviations and similar symptoms. The similarity between certain symptom groups produced by these bacterial infections and the homeopathic provings of sulphur correlates with this observation.
Potentized sulphur, being molecular imprints of sulphur molecules in alcohol-water medium, can act in the same way as ‘itch’ antibodies and deactivate bacterial toxins having sulphur-containing functional groups. Here we get the scientific explanation for the observation of Hahnemann that potentised sulphur is the most important antipsoric medicine, ‘The King of Antipsorics’.
During drug proving, ionized sulphur may also compete with sulphide radicals of various biological protein molecules, thereby preventing their normal biochemical interactions. It is already known that the amino acid called ‘cysteine’, containing ‘sulphide’ groups, play an important role in almost all molecular interactions in the organism, especially involving protein molecules of enzymatic functions. This may be the reason for the appearance of so many symptom groups, involving almost every biochemical channels of the body, in the homoeopathic proving of sulphur.
Potentized sulphur, being molecular imprints with three-dimensional complementary configuration of sulphur, can neutralize the sulphide groups of bacterial toxins, by binding to them. More over, molecular imprints of sulphur can compete with the bacterial antibodies, in their interactions with biological molecules, and act as a most powerful ‘anti psoric’ drug. As crude drugs also, sulphur exhibits an anti bacterial and antifungal action, by the competitive relationship of sulphur ions with sulphide groups of such proteins.
A few words about the homeopathic nosodes such as ‘psorinum’, ‘tuberculinum’, ‘streptococcin’, etc. will be relevant here. These nosodes in the potentized form contain molecular imprints of antibodies themselves, formed in the organism against bacterial toxins. Hence, these potentized nosodes will be more useful in treating the chronic miasmatic effects of itch and other bacterial infections, whereas potentized suphur will be appropriate to deal with the direct bacterial infections and bacterial toxins themselves. Hahnnemann also has observed that potentized ‘psorinum’ is more appropriate antipsoric in the treatment of chronic diseases, where as potentized ‘sulphur’ will be ideal for acute complaints of ‘psora’.
As such, the title ‘the king of antipsorics’ is not at all an exaggerated statement as far as sulphur is concerned.