Q. My wife was told by a plastic surgeon to try sugar in a wound that would not heal. Within a week, the sore had begun to heal. Her primary doctor thinks that she is crazy, but it really worked. She did not need surgery to close the sore.
Richard Knutson, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon, has treated approximately 7,000 wounds over 35 years with sugar. They ranged from pressure ulcers and burns to shotgun wounds.
Dr. Knutson recommends combining 3 parts powdered sugar and 1 part cooking oil until the mixture is uniformly smooth. A thick layer (1/4 to 1/2 inch) is then applied to a wound that is clean and not bleeding. The dressing is changed daily. More details and an interview with Dr. Knutson can be found at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.
Avocados and cholesterol
Q. I lowered my bad cholesterol from 147 to 119 over several months by eating an avocado a week and taking two lecithin capsules a day. I found the avocado recommendation on your website. Thank you!
Avocados used to be considered forbidden fruit because of their high fat content. Research now suggests that the monounsaturated fats in avocados help lower serum lipids, including LDL cholesterol (Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dec. 14, 2010).
Lecithin is a complex of fatty substances that occurs naturally in foods like soybeans and egg yolks. It isn’t clear how well it lowers cholesterol. Although some animal studies seem promising (Life Sciences, Oct. 13, 2000), there isn’t much human research. One study does suggest, however, that soy-derived lecithin can prevent the reabsorption of cholesterol from the intestines, resulting in lower blood fats (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, September 2000).
Black cohosh for flashes
Q. I was on hormones and finally got off, despite the hot flashes coming back.
Remifemin-brand black cohosh has helped me a lot. I was reluctant to try it, but it worked: My persistent hot flashes dropped by about 75 percent. I had a hysterectomy when I was younger, so I have no hormones at all.
Many women who use hormones for hot flashes find that they experience these uncomfortable heat rushes again when they discontinue their HRT.
Research on the efficacy of black cohosh for hot flashes and night sweats has produced mixed results, but the extract combined with St. John’s wort seems to work quite well (Gynecological Endocrinology online, March 2, 2012).
King Features Syndicate
Write to Joe and Terry Graedon via their website: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.