MRSA: Ancient Book Reveals Cure

MRSA: Ancient Book Reveals Cure

A thousand-year-old medieval remedy for eye infections which was discovered in Bald’s Leechbook in the British Library, has been found to kill the superbug MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

MRSA is a modern day bacterium that is resistant to antibiotics. S. aureus resists most antibiotics including penicillin. The evolution of such resistance does not cause the organism to be more virulent than strains of S. aureus that have no antibiotic resistance, but resistance does make MRSA infection more difficult to treat with standard types of antibiotics and thus more dangerous.

None of the experts really expected the concoction to work as well as it did. But when it was tested, the microbiologists were amazed to find that not only did the salve cure eye infections, but it also beat the deadly superbug MRSA, which is resistant to many antibiotics.

The potent 10th century brew was originally used by Anglo Saxons to treat eye infections. Surprisingly, when tested in the lab by researchers at Nottingham University, they found that it destroyed 90 per cent of the bacteria on scraps of skin taken from mice with MRSA.

The thousand year-old potion is made out of onions, garlic, wine and bile from a cow’s stomach

Interestingly, the ingredients had little effect unless they were all brought together into a single potion.

The ancient recipe called ‘ Bald’s eye salve,’ originates from a manuscript in ‘ Bald’s Leechbook,’ an Old English leather bound volume in the British Library.

The Leechbook is widely thought of as one of the earliest known medical textbooks and contains Anglo-Saxon (viking) medical advice and recipes for medicines, salves and treatments.

Microbiologist Dr Freya Harrison led lab work to test the remedy at the University of Nottingham with Dr Steve Diggle and research associate Dr Aled Roberts.

Dr Harrison said,

“We thought that Bald’s eye salve might show a small amount of antibiotic activity, because each of the ingredients has been shown by other researchers to have some effect on [MRSA] bacteria in the lab.

“But we were absolutely blown away by just how effective the combination of ingredients was.

“We tested it in difficult conditions too – we let our artificial ‘infections’ grow into dense, mature populations called biofilms, where the individual cells bunch together and make a sticky coating that makes it hard for antibiotics to reach them.

“But unlike many modern antibiotics, Bald’s eye salve has the power to breach these defences.”

Dr Christina Lee, a member of the university’s institute for medieval research, came up with the idea of testing the ancient cure. She said,

“We were genuinely astonished at the results of our experiments in the lab,”

“We believe modern research into disease can benefit from past responses and knowledge, which is largely contained in non-scientific writings.

“But the potential of these texts to contribute to addressing the challenges cannot be understood without the combined expertise of both the arts and science.”

Dr Kendra Rumbaugh, of Texas Tech University, was asked to replicate the findings, she said that the salve performed ‘good if not better’ than traditional antibiotics at tackling the superbug.

Dr Freya Harrison and her team at Nottingham is seeking more funding to extend the research so that it could be tested on humans. The collaboration between Old English remedies and microbiology has given rise to a program called Ancient Biotics Project at Nottingham, where, researchers will seek to extend research combining the ancient arts and modern sciences.

The research findings were presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for General Microbiology in Birmingham which runs from March 30th 2015.

Source of article:

Medieval Cow Bile and Garlic Potion Kills Antibiotic-Resistant MRSA


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1 Comment

  1. Obat Herbal Alami Murah
    May 12, 23:38 #1 Obat Herbal Alami Murah

    There’s certainly a great deal to know about this subject. I like all the points you have made.

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