Study finds medieval Eye Salve containing garlic and cow’s bile kills MRSA super bugMd Noman Siddique (Author) Published Date : Apr 01, 2015 12:40 IST
Researchers in Britain and the U.S. have found that a medieval salve for eye infections made from garlic, cow s bile, onion and wine has the ability to kill the MRSA superbug.
The 10th century Anglo-Saxon eye salve was found in a leather-bound volume called Bald s Leechbook and is one of the earliest known medical textbooks, currently held in the British Library.
Dr. Christina Lee, a professor at the School of English at Nottingham University, translated the ancient manuscript. The book was selected because it contained recipes using ingredients such as garlic that are currently part of research into potential antibiotic effectiveness.
Lee involved microbiologists to see if the remedy could actually work. It makes use of two types of Allium, garlic and either onion or leek along with wine and oxgall, the bile of a cow s stomach. These are brewed together in a brass vessel, purified through a strainer, and left to sit for nine days before use.
Part of the efforts for an accurate recreation involved finding wine that was from a vineyard known to have existed in the 9th century, when the book was written, added Steven Diggle, associated professor of sociomicrobiology, who also worked on the project.
Once the recipe was complete, they tested it against cultures of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of staph bacteria that normally does not react to any currently used antibiotic treatment. While they held out little hope of a result, they were surprised by what happened.
The potion took a mature, established population of a few billion cells of the virus that were all clustered together in a protected biofilm coat and reduced them to just a few thousands living cells. Researchers described this as a massive killing ability .
The researchers, who presented their findings this week to a meeting of microbiologists in Britain, sent some of the stuff off to Dr. Kendra Rumbaugh, an associate professor at Texas Tech, who tests antibiotics. They found that the mixture can kill up to 90% of MRSA bacteria when tested on wound biopsies from mice.
Rumbaugh told the Telegraph that the 1,000-year-old remedy worked as good, if not better than traditional antibiotics.
Study finds medieval Eye Salve containing garlic and cow’s bile kills MRSA super bug