Researchers have discovered a medieval concoction, which is meant to treat eye infections, capable of killing the MRSA superbug.
Researchers from the US and UK have found a 1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy that kills MRSA, the infection which has plagued hospitals for years. The Anglo-Saxon recipe, which includes wine, garlic, and bile from a cow’s stomach, could hold the key to defeating MRSA came about after a chance discussion between experts at the University of Nottingham last year. The recipe calls for the mixture to be brewed in a brass vessel and then purified through a strainer. It should then be left to sit for nine days before use.
Dr. Christina Lee, researcher at the University of Nottingham, and who translated the recipe for an ‘eye salve’ from Bald’s Leechbook – an old English manuscript containing instructions on various medical treatments, said, “We did it in order to see if it could work as a modern-day remedy and we were surprised to find that it not only cleared up styes, but also proved effective in killing the potentially deadly superbug.”
The researchers found that even though the individual ingredients alone did not have any measurable effect, but when combined according to the ancient text, they killed up to 90% of MRSA bacteria in infected mice. And in infections grown in the laboratory, only about one bacterial cell in a thousand survived.
“I still can’t quite believe how well this one thousand year old antibiotic actually seems to be working, when we got the first results we were just utterly dumbfounded. We did not see this coming at all,” added Dr. Dr Freya Harrison, a microbiologist from the University of Nottingham, and one of the members of the study.
The researchers have stated that they still don’t know why the recipe is effective. They added that they now want to conduct human testing of the remedy.
The findings were published in the Nature journal.