A thousand-year-old potion found in an Old English manuscript in the British Library to treat an eye infection has amazed the scientific world. Researcher at the University of Nottingham found it to be very effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA.
Scientists recreated a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon remedy using onion, garlic and part of a cow’s stomach.
They were “astonished” to find it almost completely wiped out methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA. Their findings will be presented at a national microbiology conference. The remedy was found in Bald’s Leechbook – an old English manuscript containing instructions on various treatments held in the British Library.
The leechbook is one of the earliest examples of what might loosely be called a medical textbook. It seems Anglo-Saxon physicians may actually have practised something pretty close to the modern scientific method, with its emphasis on observation and experimentation.
They found the remedy killed up to 90% of MRSA bacteria and believe it is the effect of the recipe rather than one single ingredient.
The team’s findings will be presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for General Microbiology, in Birmingham.
Equal amounts of garlic and another allium (onion or leek), finely chopped and crushed in a mortar for two minutes. Add 25ml (0.87 fl oz) of English wine – taken from a historic vineyard near Glastonbury. Dissolve bovine salts in distilled water, add and then keep chilled for nine days at 4C.