Recently, experts have come up with an astonishing discovery! They found that a 1,000-year-old remedy for eye infections could be the ultimate killer of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The team of researchers re-created a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon remedy using ingredients like onion, garlic, wine, and part of a cow`s stomach. They were taken aback, at the very least, when they saw how it completely wiped out Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is more difficult to treat compared to other strains of staphylococcus aureus — or staph as it is resistant to the most commonly used antibiotics, meaning that it doesn’t respond to them.
The remedy itself was found in an old English manuscript called Bald’s Leechbook which contains instructions on multiple treatments kept in the British Library. Despite the many ambiguities in the text, Christina Lee, an Anglo-Saxon society at the University of Nottingham managed to translate it.
“We chose this recipe in Bald’s Leechbook because it contains ingredients such as garlic that are currently investigated by other researchers on their potential antibiotic effectiveness,” Lee said. “And so we looked at a recipe that is fairly straightforward. It’s also a recipe where we are told it’s the ‘best of leechdoms’ — how could you not test that? So we were curious.”
As mentioned in the very beginning, the recipe dates from the 9th century and it calls for a few ingredients; garlic, onion, wine, and bile from the stomach of a cow. The most important thing regarding this remedy is that the mixture should be brewed in a brass vessel, purified using a strainer, and left to sit for 9 days prior use.
The researchers found that the remedy killed up to 90 percent of the MRSA bacteria! Dr. Freya Harrison said that she and her colleagues believed that the eye salve may show “small amount of antibiotic activity:, so they weren’t holding out much hope. “But we were absolutely blown away by just how effective the combination of ingredients was,” she added.
What we found was very interesting — we found that Bald’s eyesalve is incredibly potent as an anti-Staphylococcal antibiotic in this context,” Harrison said. “We were going from a mature, established population of a few billion cells, all stuck together in this highly protected biofilm coat, to really just a few thousand cells left alive. This is a massive, massive killing ability.”
“Bald’s Eye Salve” Recipe
- Equal amounts of garlic and onion
- 25 ml English wine ( taken from vineyard in Glastonbury)
- Bovine salts
- Crush the garlic and onion in a mortar for a minute or until it gets a smooth consistency
- Add the wine
- Dissolve the bovine salts in distilled water
- Mix the ingredients and keep the mixture chilled for 9 days
- Strain and transfer the mixture to clean bottles
Note: The salve retains its power for an extended period of time after being stored in bottles in the fridge.