Remedy from ancient textbook could cure MRSA, scientists find

A mixture of onion, garlic, wine and cow bile could prove to be the cure for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, according to researchers from the University of Nottingham in the U.K.

Researchers translated the remedy from Bald's Leechbook, which is widely acknowledged as one of the first medical textbooks and contains many recipes for medicines and treatments. This particular remedy was billed as an eye salve.

Researchers made four separate batches of the remedy as well as a control treatment to test its effectiveness. The remedy killed nearly all MRSA bacteria in the lab, leaving just one in a thousand bacterial cells alive.

One of the academics involved in the study said she was "genuinely astonished" at the salve's efficacy in the lab.

Through a partnership with Texas Tech University, the salve is now being tested on mice. "We have not tested a single antibiotic or experimental therapeutic that is completely effective [at treating MRSA]; however, this 'ancient remedy' performed as good if not better than the conventional antibiotics we used," said Kendra Rumbaugh, PhD, from Texas Tech.

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