October 11, 2011 in Features

Sugar remedy heals wound

Joe And Teresa Graedon

Q. I have been an amputee for 48 years. I’ve been struggling with a pressure sore on my stump for two and a half years. My wound had staph bacteria almost to the bone.

I tried all of the modern-day medical treatments my doctors prescribed, to no avail. Finally, my physician recommended treating the wound with sugar, but he never mentioned the mixture of sugar and Betadine. I found the recipe for this combination online.

I started using the mixture seven days ago, twice daily, and the wound has practically sealed up with no proud flesh or drainage. I would say that this is a great remedy.

A. We first heard of the sugar cure for wounds back in 1985 from a woman who was trying to heal her grandmother’s bedsores. The earliest mention of sugar for wound healing that we could find in the medical literature was during World War I in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Sept. 4, 1915).

This treatment persisted as an old wives’ tale until the mid-1970s, when Richard Knutson, M.D., began using sugar on hard-to-treat wounds (Southern Medical Journal, November 1981). His formula involved mixing 4 pounds of table sugar with 1 pound of Betadine (iodine) antiseptic ointment and 6.5 ounces Betadine solution in a double boiler over low heat. He applied the mixture to a depth of 1/4 inch, changing the dressing and cleaning the wound daily. He treated more than 5,000 patients over 15 years.

Nurses have pointed out that Betadine might damage delicate cells and slow healing. Any wound that does not heal requires careful medical supervision.

Q. Years ago, I read in one of your books that canned pears help with nausea. They’re my go-to food when my stomach is bothering me.

A. An old country doctor told us that canned pear juice could ease nausea and bellyaches. We have never found any science to support this remedy, but we have seen it work.

Q. I absolutely get relief from my migraines with ice cream. Starbucks Frappuccinos are just as good or better. Any combination of cold and carbohydrates is great. Add caffeine and protein (the milk in ice cream), and you’ve got a real winner. It can actually cure my migraine sometimes if I catch it early enough.

A. Thank you for the testimonial. It is good to have a reliable remedy to try, since standard medicines for migraine, such as sumatriptan (Imitrex), are pricey.

We discuss these medications as well as nondrug treatments for migraines, menstrual headaches and sex headaches in our Guide to Headaches and Migraines. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (64 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. M-98, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.

Q. I had a splinter in my heel area and used white Elmer’s glue and a bandage for a few hours, and the splinter came out when I pulled it off. I didn’t think this would work, but I was pleasantly surprised.

A. Thanks for the tip. Another option is to put a salicylic acid wart plaster over the splinter. After a day or two, the splinter should work its way out or be easily removable (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, April 1989).

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Email them via their Web site: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.

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