Features of Joe and Teresa Graedon King
Q. When I worked in a nursing home 30 years ago, the nurses often used a mixture of A&D ointment and a packet of table sugar to heal any bedsores. It worked like magic!
I have carried that idea with me ever since. However, I’ve heard that manuka honey is actually better for wound healing. I bought a bottle to keep in my medicine cabinet in case I need it.
A. The history of honey to help heal wounds dates back at least to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans (Bioengineering, June 14, 2018). However, when antibiotics were introduced, doctors lost interest in using honey for wounds.
A recent review acknowledges that “…honey is primarily used in topical cutaneous wound care for its potent broad-spectrum antibacterial and wound healing properties” (Drug Resistance Updates, May 2022). These scientists conclude: “Honey is a valuable alternative to conventional antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory therapies that can greatly reduce nosocomial therapies. [hospital-acquired] infections.”
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A combination of povidone iodine and sugar (known as Knutson’s formula) was tested in difficult-to-treat wounds (International Wound Journal, August 2019). It was surprisingly effective.
Q. Your description of turmeric as a blood thinner was news to me. I am a retired medical oncologist who has been taking 650 milligrams of aspirin for over 40 years. I have a strong family history of colon cancer (an aunt and her two brothers), so I’ve considered it prevention.
In recent years I have noticed that I bruise easily. I had no idea why until I saw your description of turmeric.
Most mornings, my breakfast consists of three fried egg whites sprinkled with turmeric. As soon as I cut out the turmeric, voila, my bruising stopped. Thanks for this handy tip. I can add turmeric back, but in a smaller amount.
A. Turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin have been studied as anticancer agents and antioxidants (Molecular Biology Reports, Feb 2022). Scientists report that curcumin has anticoagulant effects both in tissue culture experiments and in laboratory animals (Nutrients, March 26, 2022).
We have heard from several readers that taking turmeric regularly led to unexpected bleeding. To learn more about the pros and cons of this important medicinal and culinary spice, we recommend our book “Spice Up Your Health: How Everyday Kitchen Herbs & Spices Can Lungs & Strengthen Your Life”. Look it up at your local library or find it in the Books section of the store at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. When combined with aspirin, turmeric may have increased the risk of bruising.
Q. This is not a question. It is a factual statement. Milk of magnesium oxide works in topical applications. I tried it and didn’t believe there was any chance it would help my raging rash.
A few messy applications and the rash was well on its way to healing. It also cleaned up my husband’s poison ivy. Thank you for this important information.
A. Readers of this column agree with you. They tell us that this over-the-counter laxative can be used topically for the relief of acne, poison ivy, diaper rash, armpit odor, under-breast rash, seborrheic dermatitis, and canker sores. None of these uses have been studied by dermatologists. Still, many people find this surprisingly helpful.
Questions for Joe and Teresa Graedon can be emailed through their website: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.