If you’ve built up your own homeopathic medicine cabinet, chances are Hepar sulphuris calcareum is one remedy you have on hand. But if you haven’t, there’s good reason to include it. Hepar sulph, as it’s commonly known, pulls double duty addressing dry coughs, as well as skin conditions like acne making it a popular choice among Boiron’s Top 84 single medicines.
Made from Oyster Shells? Tell Me More!
Hepar sulphuris calcareum is a mineral compound prepared from the inner layer of calcium-rich oyster shells that are mixed with flowers of sulfur and heated. Samuel Hahnemann created it to combine the effects of two other homeopathic medicines you may already know: Sulphur and Calcarea carbonica. Its name in Latin means “liver of sulfur” which is a phrase used by old chemists to describe a number of sulfur compounds whose color resembled that of the liver. As with many substances that contain sulfur, this powder has an odor similar to rotten eggs.
Before the advent of homeopathy, liver of sulfur was used to counteract metal poisoning.
In a homeopathic preparation, Hepar sulphuris calcareum is useful for several ailments. Hepar sulph 30C relieves painful and hoarse dry cough that’s worsened by cold air and cold drinks.* A 6C dilution can be used to speed up the maturation of boils or acne that tend to ooze.* Caution should be used when taking low dilutions for closed abscesses, as it will increase the discharge of pus. Skilled homeopaths will also prescribe Hepar sulph for other conditions that can cause inflammation or discharge like tonsillitis and bronchitis with hoarse coughing, dental infections, and even pink eye.*
- Demarque D, Jouanny J, Poitevin B, Saint-Jean Y. Pharmacology and Homeopathic Materia Medica. 3rd ed. Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon: CEDH; 2007.
*Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.