Q: I am a registered nurse who works with frail elderly patients. When a caregiver told me about sugar to heal the constant skin tears we see, I thought she was nuts. But it worked far better than anything I have seen in 20 years of nursing. These people can have skin tears that never heal, cause them great pain and may become infected.
I have used sugar on my animals and myself with the same astounding results. Plain sugar washed off and reapplied daily works almost like magic.
A: We first learned about sugar for wound care from Dr. Richard Knutson, an orthopedic surgeon who published his findings in the Southern Medical Journal (November 1981).
Dr. Knutson has treated more than 7,000 patients with this approach. He now recommends powdered rather than granulated sugar and mixes it with cooking oil (a ratio of 3 parts sugar to 1 part oil). This forms a paste that goes under a dressing.
Q: I suffered for many years with recurring headaches. Medications produced awful side effects.
An amazing natural cure got rid of my headaches. I stirred 2 tablespoons organic apple cider, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons honey into 8 ounces hot water and drank it daily. Within three days, my headaches lessened, and within a week they were gone.
Now if I feel a slight headache coming on, I drink the mixture, and within 15 minutes my headache disappears.
A: Thanks for this recipe. Other people have found that triggering "brain freeze" also may stop a headache. Here is a testimonial:
"I had a painful headache today. I drank two glasses of really cold water to get a brain-freeze effect. The pain was quickly reduced. I felt so good that instead of lying down because it hurt to even move, I vacuumed my apartment — something that would have been too painful to do just minutes earlier."
Q: I have been a Type 2 diabetic for 13 years and thought that using cinnamon on a daily basis would result in a lower blood-sugar reading. To date, cinnamon has had absolutely no effect on my condition.
A: The use of cinnamon for blood-sugar control remains controversial. It is not a substitute for medical supervision and appropriate medications.
Adding an indeterminate amount of cinnamon from the spice rack poses some challenges. For one thing, you don't know the daily dose, and for another, you don't know what cinnamon you are consuming.
There are two types of cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon from China is the type that was used in the original research showing that it could help lower blood sugar after a meal (Diabetes Care, December 2003). Other studies have shown that "true" cinnamon, also known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum or verum, has little or no impact.
Cinnamon supplements might be a way to get a safe and reliable dose. An analysis of six placebo-controlled studies found that cinnamon (in doses ranging from 1 to 6 grams/day) reduced HbA1c and blood sugar (Clinical Nutrition, October 2012).
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Send questions to them via peoplespharmacy.com.