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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:48 AM

Family sugar remedy tested for healing people's wounds

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21457155


Moses Murandu saw sugar treatment being used often as a child in Zimbabwe

A nurse is researching whether an old family remedy using sugar to heal wounds does actually work.

Moses Murandu, from Zimbabwe, grew up watching his father use granulated sugar to treat wounds.

Sugar is thought to draw water away from wounds and prevent bacteria from multiplying.

Early results from a trial on 35 hospital patients in Birmingham are encouraging, but more research is needed.

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Reply Family sugar remedy tested for healing people's wounds (Original post)
xchrom Feb 2013 OP
LiberalEsto Feb 2013 #1
Ian David Feb 2013 #2
kestrel91316 Feb 2013 #5
TexasProgresive Feb 2013 #3
rurallib Feb 2013 #6
newfie11 Feb 2013 #4
TexasProgresive Feb 2013 #7
TexasProgresive Feb 2013 #8
Warpy Feb 2013 #9
Celebration Feb 2013 #10

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:53 AM

1. Sweet!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:59 AM

2. If it works by drawing water away, then silica gel should work even better than sugar. n/t

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Response to Ian David (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:45 AM

5. Not necessarily. Silica is not water soluble.

There's a whole different thing going on chemically.

It's not just about being hygroscopic. Sugar in jams and jellies keeps bacteria from growing and causing botulism. There is plenty of moisture present there.

I wouldn't want to be putting silica gel, a mineral, into a wound. I'd be worried about a foreign body reaction or granuloma down the road.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:08 AM

3. The is an old time remedy and not just in Zimbabwe

Sugar---and its cousin, honey---have been used to treat wounds for thousands of years. Modern research has proven its medical abilities, including providing topical nutrition, stimulating tissue growth, reducing inflammation and exhibiting broad-spectrum antimicrobial action. Battlefield conditions require effective, inexpensive, easy-to-use and non-toxic methods for treating wounds. Sugar meets these conditions and should be included in all medic supply kits.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5693114_treat-battlefield-wounds-sugar.html

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:53 AM

6. I remember reading about sugar on wounds in Discover magazine

probably 35 years ago.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:13 AM

4. This is in an old medical book I have

Along with other interesting and scary things.

Interestingly my daughter did try this on a scratch that had become infected and it cleared up. She did complain about how wet the bandage got.



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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:44 AM

7. How do salt and sugar prevent microbial spoilage?

This from Scientific American Feb. 2006

There are several ways in which salt and sugar inhibit microbial growth. The most notable is simple osmosis, or dehydration. Salt or sugar, whether in solid or aqueous form, attempts to reach equilibrium with the salt or sugar content of the food product with which it is in contact. This has the effect of drawing available water from within the food to the outside and inserting salt or sugar molecules into the food interior. The result is a reduction of the so-called product water activity (aw), a measure of unbound, free water molecules in the food that is necessary for microbial survival and growth. The aw of most fresh foods is 0.99 whereas the aw necessary to inhibit growth of most bacteria is roughly 0.91. Yeasts and molds, on the other hand, usually require even lower aw to prevent growth.

Salt and sugar's other antimicrobial mechanisms include interference with a microbe's enzyme activity and weakening the molecular structure of its DNA. Sugar may also provide an indirect form of preservation by serving to accelerate accumulation of antimicrobial compounds from the growth of certain other organisms. Examples include the conversion of sugar to ethanol in wine by fermentative yeasts or the conversion of sugar to organic acids in sauerkraut by lactic acid bacteria.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-do-salt-and-sugar-pre
The article doesn't bring up that sugar has been used to inhibit bacterial growth in fruit preserves for years. Generally a jam or jelly will not foster bacterial growth but can spoil from fungi -mold or yeast.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:13 AM

8. Has sugar ever been used to treat battlefield wounds?

Sorry to keep harping on this subject- It just gets to me when these "new scientific discoveries" are just rediscovered old wisdom.

snip:
Sugar and honey were used to treat the wounds of combatants thousands of years ago. Battlefield wounds in ancient Egypt were treated with a mixture of honey and lard packed daily into the wound and covered with muslin. Modern sugar therapy uses a combination of granulated sugar (sucrose) and povidone-iodine (PI) solution to enhance wound healing.
snip:
As with any traumatic wound, the wound is first irrigated and debrided. Hemostasis is obtained prior to the application of the sugar (PI) dressing since sugar can promote bleeding in a fresh wound. A wait of 24 to 48 hours before the application of sugar is not unusual. During this delay, a simple PI dressing is applied to the wound. Once bleeding is under control, deep wounds are treated by pouring granulated sugar into the wound, making sure to fill all cavities. The wound is then covered with a gauze sponge soaked in povidone-iodine solution.
snip:
Sugardyne is a commercially available sugar/povidone-iodine com- pound. Its proven antimicrobial properties make it particularly useful for infected wounds encountered in the field.

Sugardyne® is a specially-formulated dressing composition suitable for use on a great variety and number of wounds, burns and ulcers.

"What is Sugardyne®?
It was developed in its earliest form by the battlefield surgeons of ancient Egypt some 4,000 years ago as honey and grease.

In more recent times, povidone-iodine was included in the formulation and the commercial product was called "Sugardyne®"---sugar for its most abundant component and dyne for power (as in dynamite, dynamo and dynamic).
That additional chemical, povidone-iodine proved superfluous and it was dropped from the formulation. More recently, the composition has evolved to include only two substances….powdered sugar, substituted for the Egyptian's honey, and cooking oil for their grease.

These two materials have proven to be powerful anti-bacterials and have been shown to be superior to all antibiotics in staving off infection; they have out-shined many of the much more expensive materials and products in not only fighting infection but in contributing to unparalleled healing as well."

http://www.sugardyne.com/index.html

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:17 PM

9. It would also draw water out of the bugs, themselves

After all, sugar has been used alone or in combination with salt to preserve meats.

I heard about sugaring wounds down south, but then topical antibiotics came in and worked better. It's nice they're finally starting to test some of this really weird stuff.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:16 PM

10. sugar plus betadine treatment was in Southern Medical Journal

After a burn the treatment kept me from needing a skin graft.

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2011/10/10/old-fashioned-sugar-remedy-heals-persistent-wound/

I actually read the article, which was all anecdotal. Some medical center in Mississippi had this as their first line treatment for awhile in the eighties, because it helped so many people, some of whom had running sores for decades.

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