Q. My cat was attacked by two pit bulls. Her abdomen was extremely swollen and she had two severe puncture wounds.

We live on an island and the vet was out of town for a week. His advice to us was to wash the area with sugar water and then pack the wounds with sugar. I was shocked: within 12 hours the area was light pink instead of bright red and the puncture wounds had scabbed over. It truly was amazing how quickly the healing occurred.

A. The healing power of honey or sugar has been known for millennia, but it is often overlooked. Dr. Richard Knutson, a retired orthopedic surgeon who has treated 7,000 patients, recommends a 3:1 ratio of confectioner’s sugar to cooking oil to pack wounds once they stop bleeding.

Other readers have found a similar approach helpful: “I have used honey for wound healing with excellent results. My brother had two courses of antibiotic for a wound on his leg (non-diabetic) which still would not heal. The doctor wanted him to go to a surgeon for debridement. I began to cleanse it with tea tree oil and applied honey and a dressing. Within a week it was almost completely healed and he didn’t go to any surgeon!”

One nurse wrote: “I have used sugar on wounds in nursing homes and Dakins solution in hospital and home settings, but never used sugar personally until I began using a homemade hand cleanser for dirty gardening hands. It contains 1 cup of GRANULATED sugar, 1/4 c. olive oil. and lemon. Not only does it clean dirty hands, but it imparts the oddest tingly sensation and leaves one’s hands feeling rejuvenated. Little cuts and bug bite wounds heal up without infection very quickly. I love the stuff.”

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  1. Ankit

    Does this also work for the wounds of people that are diabetic? As per my gut feeling it should work as the sugar is used externally, but I would really like to hear some experts opinion on this.

  2. Cindy B.

    This may be a dumb question, but when one says to “pack” the wound (with sugar, honey or whatever), does that mean pack the substance INSIDE the wound, i.e., under the skin? Or does it mean to make a poultice and pack the stuff on top of the wound but under the dressing? Thanks.

  3. MJW

    Sugar was used in the ancient world to heal wounds. I must believe that, like tobacco, it was never intended to be consumed in the quantities usual in today’s world.

  4. RC1956

    I was suffering from severe diabetes induce osteomyelitis (bone infection with open ulcers) on my foot. While trying to treat the ulcer, I was prescribed MediHoney for it. It is a sheet of maxy honey that you cut to the size of the wound and bandage. It was soothing and worked to reduce the infection and help heal my foot.
    With this treatment and subsequently hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments, the ulcer healed and I didn’t require an amputation.

  5. M.M.Martinez

    I would like more info on the sugar/olive oil scrub with lemon for the hands. How much lemon is used? I volunteer in a senior center and always washing my hands. This remedy sounds interesting and I wold like to try it!

  6. alxzba

    Altho I know of artificial sweetener, this is the first I have read of the ‘phony’ honey. Any more words on this?

  7. Linda

    I have heard this about honey. That was why I was troubled that the “honey” sold at major chains was not,in fact, honey.

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