An ancient Anglo-Saxon potion, used to treat eye infections in the 10th-century, has shown the potential to eradicate the modern MRSA superbug, according to research.
The ancient remedy was uncovered in the British Library in a leather-bound edition of what is considered one of the earliest known medical textbooks, Bald’s Leechbook.
The thousand-year-old volume, containing the “eyesalve” treatment, was translated by Christina Lee, an expert on Anglo-Saxon society at the University of Nottingham. In a video posted to the universities website, Lee explains why this particular recipe was chosen from the book after being translated.
After closely following the instructions to recreate the exact recipe, researchers then began to test the formula on MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, cultures.
Scientists are not completely sure how the medicine works, but according to Harrison they have a few potential theories. There might be several active components in the mixture that work to attack the bacterial cells on different fronts, making it very hard for them to resist. Or, that by combining the ingredients and leaving them to steep in alcohol, a new, more potent bacteria-fighting molecule is potentially born in the process.