How to Make Sugardine Antiseptic

How to Make Sugardine Antiseptic
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Sugardine antiseptic is well known to many who deal with horses.  However, Sugardine is rarely discussed for use in people. Before you read this post, read my disclaimer  and realize I am not a doctor.  Please do your own research before trying medical advice from the internet.

Basically Sugardine is an antiseptic that uses the antibacterial properties of both pure sugar and iodine to prevent and kill infections. It is primarily used to treat abscesses and thrush on the hooves of horses.  However, it can be used for other types of wounds.

As a side benefit to the prepper, it is cheap and easy to make as well as being effective if used properly.

This post will show you how to make Sugardine antiseptic – its not hard, and its pretty cheap.

What you need to know about Sugardine:

It is true that a dilute sugar solution will feed bacteria and mold.  Sugar feeding bacteria is how we get all sorts of good alcoholic drinks. Highly concentrated sugar, on the other hand, draws the moisture out of bacteria so that it cannot live. Have you ever had white table sugar grow any bacteria or fungus while it’s just sitting out on your counter?

When you add the iodine to make a paste, the iodine provides not only a second line of defense, but holds the sugar together so you can pack it around the wound.

Otherwise, just sprinkling sugar on the wound would not hold enough sugar to keep the blood and other fluids from diluting enough so that it would feed the infection instead of killing it.

Basically, if you have a soft tissue would like a cut, abscess, or burn, you would put the Sugardine on the wound and cover with a bandage. If the wound is leaking, you want to replace the sugar on a regular basis.  Do not let Sugardine get waterlogged; as it will then do more harm than good.

Sugardine is a Modern Medical Treatment:

Dr. Richard A. Knutson, an orthopedic surgeon in Greenville, Miss., who published one of the few medical papers on sugardine in November of 1981.

Dr Knutson was frustrated by stubborn, pus-filled wounds filled with bacteria resistant to all drugs.  He began experimenting with sugar dressings at the suggestion of a retired nurse.

The Doctor has remarked that when he started he thought the idea was crazy.  He is quoted in a interview with the NY Times as saying ”When we started I thought it was absolutely nuts… Sugar! The first thing you think about is the old jar of marmalade in the fridge growing all that junk. You think you’ll create a perfect medium for bacterial growth. That turned out not to be the case.”

He has since used sugardine on about 6,000 patients with anything from burns to shotgun wounds.  Dr. Knitson says ”It’s easy to use, painless, inexpensive, and it works… You can’t ask for more. If it has a fancy name and cost $300 a bottle everyone would be buying it.”

Most European surgeons use sugar alone.

How to Make Sugardine Antiseptic:

When making the Sugardine, its best to start with the an amount of sugar close to the amount of finished product you want and slowly add the betadine or Povidone until you get the thick peanut butter texture. Otherwise, you will most likely use too much liquid and have to add sugar repeatedly until you end up with way more Sugardine that you intended.


  • 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.
    Add more or less sugar to reach desired consistency.
    It should be like thick honey or peanut butter when all mixed together.
  2. Put the sugardine in a container with a lid.

The mixture will need stirring now and then but it will never go bad.

For more information and as a means to find more resources, please look at the attached article from the American Farriers Journal.  The American Farriers Journal stated:

“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”.

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The Ingredients are Universally Available:

As a benefit to preppers and other self reliant folk, the ingredients are everywhere.  Can you name a grocery or general store that does not sell common table sugar?  Betadine is also common in farming, pet, medical supply, and well stocked box stores.  You can also purchase betadine online.

In a Amazon review for a 8 ounce bottle of betadine got this honest review:

As a veterinarian, I believe there are no problems that cannot be solved with either Betadine, whiskey, duct tape, WD-40, a sharp knife, Microsoft Excel, or just sufficient time. This product, Betadine, is one of those essential problem-solving items. Buy this, and all the other required items too, and you’re set for the apocalypse. Use it to prep surgical sites, or mix it with water to an “ice tea” consistency and use it to flush wounds. Great stuff.

Honey Works Also

This is a kind of MacGyver item, it works, but knowing the principles make other things work also.  For the same reasons Sugardine works (the osmotic action of sucking water out of bacteria cell walls) honey also works.  Ancient Egyptians used honey on the battlefield to help heal wounds.

This osmotic action dries the wound to promote new tissue growth and dehydrates the bacteria that cause infection.  This works so well that several American pharmaceutical companies make expensive wound pastes composed of synthetic microscopic water-absorbing beads that perform this same function but are able to be patented.  You can’t make a lot money selling something so easily made at home.

It is making a comeback as modern medicine as antibiotic resistant bacteria is becoming a problem.  The National Center for Biotechnology Information has an article on the medicinal properties and antibacterial activity of honey.  Science Daily also published and article showing how honey could be effective at treating and preventing wound infections.