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A non-metallic element (symbol S), known since ancient times. It burns with a blue flame and a stifling odour.

In our bodies, sulphur is important for smooth, glossy hair and healthy skin and nails; and is needed for the formation of collagen, one of the most prevalent proteins, which is found in skin, bone and cartilage.

Sulphur also has a laxative effect, due to its ability to absorb water in the intestines - Epsom salts are in fact sulphates of magnesium.

Deficiency symptoms of sulphur can include arthritis, dry hair, brittle nails and rough skin. Some of the best natural sources of the mineral are alfalfa, broccoli, cabbage, eggs, meat, onions and watercress. See 'MSM'. For more information on nutrition, see 'Nutrients A to Z' Dr. Michael Sharon

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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