We’ve all been bombarded with different studies on how sugar is bad for your health and how it has been fueling the obesity epidemic that is hounding most developed countries in the world.
News like that could make you wonder why sugar ever existed in the first place but it actually has a surprising use: promote wound healing.
Using sugar for wounds actually started in ancient Egypt over 4,000 years ago and some surgeons today have decided to revive that method. While it may seem counter-intuitive, trials on people have proven that it works.
According to these studies, sugar is effective in treating wounds because it draws water out of the wound via osmosis, thus drying the wound bed. This promotes the growth of new tissue while disinfecting the wound at the same time. This is because bacteria cannot thrive without water.
As the bacteria become dehydrated, they cannot reproduce and will disappear completely. Sugar mixed with honey makes for an even more potent disinfectant and also speeds up the healing process. The viscosity of honey improves its penetration into the wound. Honey also has antibacterial properties of its own. Although you can also use cooking oil and petroleum jelly, honey is more beneficial.
Specific instances of how you can use sugar for treating wounds:
1 – A simple salve placed directly on the wound with a loose cover around it appears to produce the best effect. But make sure that the wound has stopped bleeding first before applying sugar.
2 – For emergencies, sprinkling sugar over the wound can prevent serious infections. First, wash the wound with clean water before reapplying sugar. You can do this two to four times a day.
3 – You can also create a paste composed of sugar and 10% solution of povidone iodine. Apply the paste directly on the wound.
4 – Another way to make a paste is by mixing two tablespoons of sugar with glycerin. Take gauze and apply enough petroleum jelly on it. Place the sugar and glycerin paste over the wound and cover it loosely with the gauze. Change the dressing every two to four days.
While most wounds need to be covered after applying sugar on them, for puncture wounds it’s better to leave them open to facilitate the healing process.
Sugar is great for treating wounds when applied externally, but it will never work when taken orally. That’s where all the studies about its negative effects on the body come in.
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