One wonders how much knowledge is still waiting to be rediscovered?
A 1,000-year-old treatment for eye infections could hold the key to killing antibiotic-resistant superbugs, experts have said.
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 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.
Anglo-Saxon expert Dr Christina Lee, from the University of Nottingham, translated the recipe for an “eye salve”, which includes garlic, onion or leeks, wine and cow bile.
Experts from the university’s microbiology team recreated the remedy and then tested it on large cultures of MRSA.
Tom Feilden, science editor Today Programme
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 practiced something pretty close to the modern scientific method, with its emphasis on observation and experimentation.
Bald’s Leechbook could hold some important lessons for our modern day battle with anti-microbial resistance.