Thousand-year-old garlic ‘potion’ is better than antibiotics
Medicines from a thousand years ago aren’t usually much cop – and have an alarming habit of killing you. So researchers were astounded when a garlic ‘potion’ from an ancient Anglo-Saxon manuscript kills of the hospital superbug MRSA.
University of Nottingham researchers say that the vile-sounding treatment – containing cow bile – has ‘astonishing’ results. The find comes at a time when researchers are increasingly concerned about bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics.
The apparently homespun recipe, originally concocted as a treatment for eye infections, was spotted in a copy of Bald’s Leechbook, a medieval medical text held at the British Library.
In what experts from the university’s School of English and Centre for Biomolecular Sciences acknowledge is an unusual research collaboration, tests have been conducted using a mixture of oxgall, wine and two species of Allium – garlic and onion or leek. Initial results of trials conducted in Nottingham and at Texas Tech University show that the eye salve, while not 100% effective, is ‘as good if not better’ than conventional antibiotics at tackling MRSA.