Sugardine, an Easy to Use, Homemade Antiseptic



For thousands of years people have survived without the use of antibiotics.  Many early treatments for infected wounds involved honey.  Both the Smith Papyrus of 1700 B.C. and the Ebers Papyrus of 1500 B.C. describe the treatment of severe wounds and burns with coagulated milk and honey held in place by a muslin bandage.  Later granulated sugar was used to treat sores in both horse and humans.  Today a mixture known as sugardine is widely used to treat sores and wounds on horses.  It has proved to be effective and is inexpensive.

Sugar is bacteriostatic, fungistatic, and anti-infective.  This means that it does not promote bacteria or fungus growth. Sugar by itself has been used for wound treatment and shown to be effective in the following links

But sugardine a mixture of iodine and sugar has proved to be more effective.  The American Farriers Journal Special Management Report #1…Using Sugar To Treat Those Nasty Wounds stated the following.  “One study was done over a 5-year period in which 605 human patients were treated exclusively with sugardine. In nearly all cases, these patients (whose injuries included ulcers, cat scratches and gunshot wounds) healed more rapidly with sugardine than any alternative method of treatment”.  This is a link to information on the study.

You can purchase various sugardine mixtures at many places that sell medications for horses and other animals or you can make it yourself.

Ingredients for sugardine.

  • Table Sugar
  • 10% povidone iodine (or the more expensive but easier to find betadine)


  1. mix one part 10% povidone iodine to two parts white sugar.

Adding more or less sugar makes it the consistency of  thick honey or peanut butter.

Put the sugardine in a container with a tight fitting lid.  The mixture will need stirring now and then but it will never go bad.

It is my understanding that with a large open wound you pack it with sugardine and then bandage it.  Please understand that I am not a Doctor and have had no specialized medical training.  Any suggestion I have made in this post are only for a situation in which modern medicine is no longer available.

I remember when I was child, whenever you got a cut or scrape your parents treated it with an antiseptic.  Today I no longer see it emphasized as much.  But as soon as the antibiotics go in short supply, people will need to go back to this practice.  So be sure to stock up on antiseptics.



16 thoughts on “Sugardine, an Easy to Use, Homemade Antiseptic”

  1. I think lack of antiseptic treatment is now one of the problems we have. Everyone just expects that if you have an infection, antibiotics will fix it. Now we have antibiotic resistant “super bugs”, and our waste water is full of this stuff. If everyone spent an extra five minutes to properly clean and bandage an injury the first time- antibiotics wouldn’t be so necessary for relatively small injuries.

  2. Honey is also one of the oldest treatments to use as a dressing for burns. I like to split a fresh aloe leaf down the middle, spread honey on the cut surface, and lay it juicy side down on the burn. Then wrap it overnight with clean gauze just to hold the poultice on. No more burn! I’ve seen it work to pull out dirt and splinters from injuries too.

    1. Im a wound nurse and we use honey in deep wounds and burns/we do not use in childern though as there is a chance of a severe reaction

  3. Walmart sells 10% povidone iodine (same active ingredient as the more expensive Betadine). They call it “First Aid Antiseptic,” under their “equate” brand. It’s not always available, but when they have it, it’s in the health/pharmacy area, usually on a bottom shelf with things like rubbing alcohol, witch hazel and the like.

  4. My mother had a diabetic ulcer on her foot that was healed completely with a product that was essentially this. The doctors told her she would beg to have it cut off, but she proved them wrong.

  5. This is definitely going into my medicine chest, thank you!

    I was so frustrated the other day, it was so hard to find “band aids”, brand or generic, without antibacterial pads. Unhealthy overkill!

  6. I was diagnosed with cellutitus developed edemas on my leg last march(2014)
    after antibiotics and silver (something) topical cream,2 jars
    as of January 15th, 2015 still weeping
    found sugardine information.
    started using the provodine and sugar mix.
    pack the wounds then wrap the leg, leave it on for 2 days then repeat.
    the first time I used it on a scale of 1-10 the pain was an 18.
    second time was a 4
    third time was a 1
    by the time I was applying the third treatment most of the leaking stopped.
    hurray for old world remedies

    1. I am using a mixture of powdered sugar and coconut oil, (they recommended using a cooking oil on the People’s Pharmacy website.)

      I mixed it to the consistency of peanut butter and applied it to my wife’s leg wounds. You state that you leave it on for two days? Do you wash off all of the sugar and start over, or do you just wash around it and change the bandage?

      Her legs were weeping when I applied the mixture two days ago. Today they were not weeping, but I didn’t wash off all of the mixture because it had hardened like a scab.

      I will clean it off this evening again and replace it with new mixture. Is that what you do?

      The People’s Pharmacy article on Sugardyne, said that provolone Iodine was not necessary. That is why I am using cooking oil, (coconut oil is antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral.)

      Any suggestions on how you did your legs will be greatly appreciated. My wife does not want to go to the hospital again. So I am doing what I can to heal her sores.

      Let me know how things went with you.
      Desperate husband, taking care of his wife.

  7. In 1986 I was living on the Mississippi coast in Long Beach and an article came out in the local paper written by a doctor who had moved to Mississippi. I cannot remember the name of the doctor, unfortunately. He was told by one of his nurses about wound treatment with sugar used in the Civil War, after having a patient come in and discuss it with him. He was shocked and thought it was crazy at first. However, curious, he researched it and found that a combination of super saturated sugar and water, mixed with iodine had amazing curative powers for burns. He reported that, when treated with this homemade syrup, burns healed with 1/3 the scarring of the then best burn treatment creams (very expensive, too) used by hospitals. He said that he had attempted to interest pharmaceutical companies in manufacturing a standard formula, since it worked better than anything on the market. He was told that it could not be patented and would be too cheap to make it worth their while! He was infuriated by their lack of concern for patients, so self-published the information in the local paper.

    He recommended making the sugar syrup on the stove with a small saucepan by adding sugar to some water until no more would dissolve, then pouring in the iodine while it was still hot. He said the syrup worked better than granulated sugar since it kept the wound moist and penetrated everywhere easily, if I recall the article correctly.

    He said that iodine solutions were always mixed with alcohol which kills cells on contact. He said this was not helpful and did even more damage to the already damaged tissues. Pouring in the iodine while the syrup was hot causes the alcohol to evaporate out of the mixture. Obviously, you want to wait until it cools down before using!

    I have used this mixture over the intervening years with amazing results. I once cut my little finger clean to the bone. I went to the hospital where they stitched me up and the doctor said to come back in 2 weeks. I used the sugar solution by adding it with a dropper to regular band aids until the padding was saturated and changing them when it dried out.

    I returned two weeks later and the doctor looked at it and said, “Wow! That healed up really well! Honestly, I thought we would end up having to amputate the finger. Usually a wound like that becomes gangrenous. You had severed the artery completely and that almost never heals, but this is really good!” He was really amazed and I was extremely glad I had used it given his comment! It took a year for the nerves to grow back, but it works fine and I have had no trouble with it. I play guitar, so I am VERY glad I didn’t lose the finger. This stuff is amazing!

    In another instance, I stepped on something and cut my foot deeply – all the way through to the muscle tissue. The cut was about an inch long. I used the solution on that. My girlfriend changed the bandages for me during my recovery. It was hard for me to do it given where it was. She was also amazed and said she had never seen a would heal so fast and well in her life. It was totally well in less than two weeks. Feet usually heal slowly.

    Recently, I have used it on a Brown Recluse spider bite and the tissue damage is far less than most of the pictures I have seen online. A doctor friend of mine said my bite was really looking minimal as far as they go. It still took about 6 weeks to heal, but the area is repairing normally without any major scarring. Very unpleasant experience.

    The Mississippi doctor said that one of the biggest problems with burns is that the surface tissues do not get any nutrients due to the burn damage. He said that cellular theory said that cells could not used nutrients directly, but there was something going on with this situation that was not explainable any other way that he could imagine. He believed that the tissue cells were somehow able to use the sugar to assist the repair process, though how it did this he did not know. He said it deserved more research and attention, but he had tried diligently to get anybody to take it seriously with no success. He pointed out that scarring from severe burns causes terrible damage and disfiguration, so anything that lowered the scarring was really an important discovery and should not be ignored.

    You do want to change the bandages regularly, though. Wounds will ooze and dilute the sugar concentration. The antibacterial effects are somewhat dependent upon the concentration of the sugar solution. They should be changed after taking a shower, etc.

    I studied pre-med, but never became a doctor. My father is a doctor and he has also been impressed with the success of this solution to heal wounds. Remember, though, that iodine is poisonous (potentially fatally) at relatively low levels, so too much use of it in open wounds or over a large area for an extended period could possibly be dangerous. The doctor who wrote the article said that not much iodine was used in his tests. It was basically used as a safety measure in case the sugar was not enough to stop infection on its own. It is possible it can be eliminated and simply super-saturated sugar used. But, I have used the iodine mix many times with no ill effects that I am aware of. I have been very grateful to that doctor for many years. If you ever read this – thanks! FWIW

  8. iodine use is not “potentially fatal” (that comes from big pharma)…. find and check the facts for yourself
    Lugols solution (5%) … our family has used it for years… even internally (food poisoning)
    DMSO (diluted) is fantastic on burns, and other injury…. also not in the interest of big pharma

  9. To Warren: I believe the doctor you are looking to thank is Dr. Knutson who spent some time in the burn unit in Greenville, MS. I was double checking the mixture needed to remedy an ulcer while traveling abroad and happened to notice your comment.

  10. Back in 1996 I cut around my ankle while shaving my legs. I put Neosporin on band-aids and applied to the cuts. I did this for several days then my ankle turned black. I was working for a doctor and showed him my ankle. He sent an employee to the Rehab Center and got some Sugardine. I applied this every night and covered with guaze. After doing this for several nights it drew the poison out and my ankle was no longer black. The Rehab Center was using this to heal wounds.

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