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Sugar for Wound Care

Combining sugar and cooking oil to make Sugardyne may help in caring for skin wounds that refuse to heal properly.

by Richard A. Knutson, MD


Sugardyne is a specially-formulated dressing composition suitable for use on a great variety and number of wounds, burns and ulcers. 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 unnecessary 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 instead of their grease. These two materials have proven to be powerful antibacterials and have been shown to be superior to all antibiotics in staving off infection. They have outshined many of the much more expensive materials and products in not only fighting infection but in contributing to unparalleled healing as well. They not only help eliminate infections, but substantially contribute to cost savings, reduce the necessity for skin grafting and cut the overall cost of wound and burn care. Welcome to the exciting world of Sugardyne!

Sugardyne is a wound and burn dressing and healing compound. At present, it consists of three parts powdered sugar and one part cooking oil. Over a period of 35 years, 7,000 patients have been treated, among whom were 1,700 burn victims. Sugardyne originally containing povidone-iodine was used to treat the entire spectrum of wounds burns and ulcers confronting man. And, to our surprise as surgeons, infections did not occur, ever.


Sugardyne has been used successfully to treat a wide variety of wounds, burns and ulcers over a 35 year period. Its formula is based upon the ancient Egyptian battlefield surgeon’s use of honey and grease. Over time, we replaced the Egyptian’s honey with confectioner’s (powdered) sugar; cooking oil now replaces the Egyptian grease. We use the ratio 3 parts sugar and combine it with 1 part oil, mixing the two components until uniformly smooth. Storage is easy–any capped jar will do. The finished material is stable and remains easy to use.


All bleeding must be completely controlled before Sugardyne can be used on a fresh wound. The reason? All sugars (including honey and syrup) chelate (bind with) calcium. If calcium is not available, no clot can form. Use of Sugardyne after the wound is free of any bleeding is straightforward; Sugardyne can be safely applied to the wound without fear of any bleeding once clots have been given adequate time to form–usually 1 ½ to 2 days. A copious amount (¼ to ½ inch thick layer) of Sugardyne is applied to cover or fill the wound and then covered with dry gauze. Deeper wounds are packed full of Sugardyne to the brim. Dressings are changed oce daily. Dressing changes continue until the wound if fully healed. As a rule, no skin graft will be required. Skin will automatically cover the granulation tissue (“proud flesh”) that fills the defect, completely.

Burn treatment is surprisingly easy. When Sugardyne is applied, all pain stops immediately. Therefore, no narcotic analgesics are required. No meticulous debridement of the burn surface is required. Sugardyne will insure that the burn literally self-debrides. The burn is covered with Sugardyne, once again using ¼ to ½ inch of Sugardyne and covering it all with a gauze dressing. Daily dressing changes are performed. Usually, no skin grafts are required. Skin islands will appear and then skin will follow to complete the healing process, generally leaving the patient with minimal scarring.

In the course of 35 years a large variety of wounds has been treated successfully. These include human bites, shotgun blasts, frostbite injuries and brown recluse spider bites. Afflictions such as allergies, poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac will not improve with use of Sugardyne (unless there is an infection secondary to scratching). Viral afflictions such as shingles (except when there are similar secondary infections) do not respond favorably to the use of Sugardyne.


Over a 35 year period, more than 7,000 patients have been treated successfully with Sugardyne. Among the 7,000, burn victims accounted for 1,700. A variety of wounds completed the remaining 5,000+ patients. Results were uniformly good. Wounds and burns did not become infected and healed without pain. No patient had an allergic reaction to the Sugardyne. No wound or burn developed resistance to the Sugardyne by developing an infection after the problem had first shown a positive response. Patients found the treatment regimen easy, comfortable and free of pain. Most of the patients were able to be treated as outpatients.


Unlike antibiotics, Sugardyne consists of two simple but very effective ingredients: sugar and cooking oil. While antibiotics chemically interfere with bacterial chemistry and function, sugar and oil depend upon physics for their antibacterial power. Sugar is hygroscopic and functions to dehydrate all bacteria. Bacteria require water to survive and multiply. The lack of water results in bacterial death. When bacteria die, they cannot reproduce. No infection can occur if all bacteria die.

Oil also functions in a physical way. Oil coats the outer bacterial membrane or cell wall, interfering with the normal capacity of the cell to transport foodstuffs and water into and eliminate the cell’s capacity to transport waste materials out of the cell. The oil therefore prevents water and foodstuffs from entering the cell; it also prevents egress of cellular waste products. As a result, the bacterial cell withers and dies. No infection occurs secondary to a dead crop of bacteria.

It is worth noting that all bacteria, both Gram positive and Gram negative types, are affected in an adverse way by the sugar and oil in Sugardyne. And unlike antibiotics whose power is chemical in nature, bacterial resistance cannot occur with Sugardyne because its power is based on its physical properties.


In 1908, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, a German bacteriologist, won the Nobel Prize in medicine. In his acceptance speech for the Prize, he suggested the introduction of “magic bullets” to overcome individual types of bacteria responsible for the cause of specific diseases. Based on his ideas, anti-sera were developed to help combat a large number of diseases. His efforts were cut short with the introduction of sulfa drugs and penicillin in World War II. It is worth noting that the first scientific paper on penicillin (1945) discussed two serious problems–bacterial resistance and penicillinase.

Despite the great joy with the new medicine’s performance against so man harmful bacteria, society now lives with the negative heritage associated with all antibiotics: resistance, allergic reactions and diminished effectiveness. Unlike antibiotics, Sugardyne does not produce allergic reactions; it retains its full strength even after 4,000 years, and bacterial resistance has never been demonstrated. Perhaps Sugardyne deserves the title of “broad-spectrum magic bullet.”


Sugardyne is not a panacea. All the precautions routinely taken when engaging in wound or burn care MUST BE OBSERVED. Remember that each case treated by us was observed and monitored daily by a licensed physician practiced in treating wounds and burns. An experienced physician should be contacted immediately if any of the following signs are observed: increasing redness, pain, swelling, malodor or drainage. Red streaks are particularly ominous and require immediate attention.


When bleeding is encountered in a wound, it must be fully controlled before any sugar (or material containing sugar such as honey or syrup) is used on that wound. The wound should be carefully inspected for bleeding of any kind. Gentle ooze can become far more troublesome if sugar contacts the wound. The reason is simple: sugar chelates (binds with) calcium. If calcium is unavailable in the surrounding fluid, no clot can form. Absence of clot means continued bleeding. If bleeding is encountered, packing the wound with dry gauze or Iodoform gauze will suffice. After packing the wound for 1 ½ to 2 days with gauze, the wound can be safely packed with Sugardyne.


The oldest caution in medicine must be observed: these wounds must be treated open. In addition, tetanus prophylaxis is essential, as is ruthless debridement and copious irrigation for puncture wounds and open fractures.


Those responsible for treating difficult wounds must always be conscious of the potential for gas gangrene, particularly where there are puncture wounds or open (compound) fractures. In these cases, irrigation and meticulous debridement are essential to avoid infection. Sugardyne cannot be expected to be effective if bacteria are buried deeply where they cannot be in physical contact with Sugardyne.

Understanding how sugar and oil work via physics in Sugardyne has helped to solve the mystery of ancient Egyptian wound healing with their use of honey and grease.


The development of Sugardyne was not accomplished in a vacuum, or by one individual. The discovery could not have been achieved without the assistance of so many physicians from the past.

We wish to honor and thank those who contributed so much to the simple concept that resulted in Sugardyne. They are the ancient Egyptian battlefield surgeons, the Napoleonic army soldiers who uncovered the Rosetta Stone, the Frenchman Jean-François Champollion, who deciphered the riddle of the Rosetta Stone, Dr. Louis Pasteur, the founder of bacteriology, Dr. Paul Ehrlich who suggested the concept of the magic bullet, and more recently, Drs. Herzog, Chirife and Montenegro, Argentineans all, who performed such elegant research on the bacterial-inhibiting effects of honey.

The cases in this report were cared for by the orthopedic and surgical team from Delta Regional Medical Center, Greenville, Mississippi: Drs. Richard Knutson, Lloyd Merbitz, Maurice Creekmore, Gene Snipes, Philip Doolittle, Jack McNeil, John Brooks, John Sandifur, all from Greenville, Mississippi; Dr. Martin Pomphrey of Starkville, Mississippi, and Dr. Ron Tachibana, a general practitioner and Professor of Medicine at the University of Southern California, practicing in Sacramento, California. All of them worked with Sugardyne over a period of 30 years. All of them courageously first explored the wound and burn healing effects of Sugardyne. Collectively they all contributed knowledge that made Sugardyne possible.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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