Q: Can you tell me about the pain reliever salsalate? My doctor says it will help ease my arthritis pain and might help control my blood sugar.
A: Salsalate has been used for more than a century to relieve arthritis pain. The name indicates its connection with salicylic acid, which is similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). Like aspirin, salsalate is effective against inflammation and pain, but it does not irritate the digestive tract as aspirin does.
Q: I am in veterinary medicine. Several years ago, we had a case of a dog that had been attacked by another dog. After surgery, the tissue over the largest area died, leaving nothing to sew back together.
We used sugar for healing. It took nearly six months of wound care. Our patient healed beautifully. The sugar did not allow the wound to become infected, and it drew out extra moisture, which helped the wound to heal.
A: Sugar has been used to heal wounds for many years. A surgeon started experimenting with it in 1976 and reported his results almost 30 years ago.
A 2007 study that compared sugar and honey for wound healing found that honey was somewhat more effective. Another study comparing honey with standard wound care suggested that medicinal honey might be better (Journal of Advanced Nursing, March 2009).
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. www.peoplespharmacy.com