The Sweet Way to Heal Your Wounds

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We enjoy outdoor activities.

My family will be coming over this year and I will fire up the grill for a delicious BBQ grass-fed beef. We’ll play games like badminton and horseshoes.

Now while these games can be fun, they can lead to cuts and bruises.

I want to aim you with an unconventional solution for those wounds. 

For years now, sugar’s been a dirty word. It’s been blamed for everything from obesity, heart disease and diabetes to tooth decay and acne. But there’s something they don’t know.  Sugar’s better for you than all those artificial sweeteners and substitutes out there today… especially the ones you’ll find in so-called “diet” products.

In one study of nearly 2,600 people, those who drank diet sodas had a 47% higher body mass index (BMI) than those who didn’t, and their risk of obesity was doubled.1

I’m always suspicious of things that aren’t natural.

But there’s another reason you should keep sugar on your shelf.

Did you know that sugar can heal your cuts, scrapes, burns and even large wounds without leaving a scar? It kills germs and repairs tissue better than any antiseptic or disinfectant on the market.2

Long before all these Johnny-Come-Lately naysayers started telling you how bad it was for you, sugar was valued as an antiseptic. For more than 4,000 years, since ancient Egyptian times, people have known about sugar’s miraculous properties. But it fell out of favor once antibiotics became available. Makes you wonder if the high price and incredibly high profit margins had anything to do with that.

It May Have Saved My Life a Long Way from Home

I learned about sugar’s remarkable capacity to heal wounds the hard way. It was during my first trip deep into the Amazon jungle. A guide and I were fighting our way through the dense rainforest with a couple of machetes when I got a bad cut on my arm. In the jungle, there isn’t a day you’re not cut up, scraped or covered with bug bites. Infection sets in quickly in the tropics, and that cut on my arm was becoming infected.

My guide carried small packets of sugar with him at all times. I thought it was to sweeten his tea. But when we stopped to rest, he applied a sugar paste to the cut on my arm and covered it with gauze.

Back then I was skeptical. But he assured me it was strong, native medicine and repeated the process each time we stopped. Within a day or two, the cut was healed — and no scar remained.

Since that time, I’ve seen sugar used to heal on my travels to Africa and Asia. Other countries such as Australia and New Zealand use honey instead of sugar.

Sugar and honey contain high levels of glucose, the kind of sugar your body uses for energy. Both are almost equal in their ability to heal, with honey taking a slight lead.3

I read an interesting review of seven studies of 264 patients treated with honey. Honey produced better outcomes, shorter healing time and virtually no infection.4

After seven days, 58% of patients were healed with honey versus 19% with conventional antibiotics and unconventional treatments such as silver, amniotic membrane and potato peelings. And 85% of patients treated with honey had the infection in their wound vanish compared to 30% with the other treatments.

After 21 days, 99% of patients were healed with honey versus 75% with other treatments. Only one study gave the infection rate at 21 days. It was 96% for honey versus 76% for a silver treatment.

Sugar and honey prevent scarring to the extent it heals ulcers and burns without the need for skin grafts. Scientists theorize sugar and honey encourage the production of hyaluronic acid (HA), while it prevents stiff, stringy collagen from forming.

HA fills out your skin by absorbing 3,000 times its weight of water. At the same time, sugar and honey prevent the buildup of the stringy kind of collagen that creates scar tissue. Instead, it forms a different type. A delicate, mesh-like collagen structure that brings the skin’s surface back to normal and allows it to heal.5,6

It’s Cheap, Easy and It Works

The next time you have a cut, scrape, burn or open infection, try using sugar or honey:

  1. Make a paste using filtered water and sugar, or use straight honey.
  1. Apply to your wound and cover with gauze or a Band-Aid.
  1. Change the dressing throughout the day to prevent the gauze from sticking to the wound.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS

1. Fowler, S., Williams, K., et al, “Fueling the Obesity Epidemic? Artificially Sweetened Beverage Use and Long-term Weight Gain,” Obesity 2008;168:1894-1900

2. Archer, H.G., et al, “A controlled model of moist wound healing: comparison between semi-permeable film, antiseptics and sugar paste,” J. Exp. Pathol. (Oxford) April 1990; 71(2): 155-70

3. Mphande, A.N., Killowe, C., et al, “Effects of honey and sugar dressings on wound healing,” J. Wound Care July 2007;16(7):317-9

4. Moore, O., et al, “Systematic review of the use of honey as a wound dressing,” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2001; 1:2

5. McPherson, J.M., Piez, K.A., “Collagen in dermal wound repair,” In Clark, R.A.F., Henson, P.M. The Molecular and Cellular Biology of Wound Repair, New York: Plenum Press, 1988

6. “Why do some cavity wounds treated with honey or sugar paste heal without scarring?” Woundcare Journal 2002; 11(2)

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