Archaeology & History
Anglo Saxon potion is found to kill MRSA
By T.K. Randall
March 31, 2015 · 34 comments
Could ancient text books hold the key to treating today's ailments ? Image Credit: CC 2.0 Robert-Couse-Baker
A 1,000-year-old cure for an infected eyelash follicle has turned out to be effective against superbugs.
Before the advent of modern medicine people looked for solutions to their health problems using the limited resources available to them. Instead of the complex chemicals we see used in medicines today these early remedies would be made with plants, metals, animal parts and other materials that were abundant at the time.
Sometimes however, despite their crudity, ancient remedies have turned out to have unexpected benefits in situations where even our most sophisticated modern medicines have failed.
This was the case recently when microbiologist Freya Harrison and Anglo Saxon scholar Christina Lee got together to recreate some of the 1,000-year-old recipes described in an old medical compendium called Bald's Leechbook which is currently housed in the British Library.
Originally designed to treat an eyelash follicle infection, one peculiar concoction, which is made from garlic, leeks and a variety of other ingredients, turned out to be extremely effective at killing the antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA that is normally very difficult to treat.
"The big challenge is trying to find out why that combination works," said researcher Steve Diggle.
If all goes well then the 9th century remedy could lead to the development of a new type of drug and there could be even more of them just waiting to be discovered within the book's pages.
Source: New Scientist
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MRSA, Potion, Remedy
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