In a unique and innovation collaboration between the Microbiology Department and the English Literature Department at the University of Nottingham an absolutely amazing discovery was unearthed.
A one thousand year old Anglo-Saxon remedy, that uses kitchen ingredients, for eye infections found a manuscript called “Bald’s Leech Book” in the British Library has been found to kill the modern-day superbug MRSA.
The manuscript described this remedy as Bald’s ‘best’ medicine and it was true to it’s humble claims and gave the Super Bugs the Dalek treatment. Here is a YouTube clip describing their research project looking at Early Medieval Anti-Infection Remedies.
“Work and eye salve for a wen, take cropleek and garlic, of both equal quantities, pound them well together, take wine and bullocks gall, of both equal quantities, mix with a leek, put this then into a brazen vessel, let it stand 9 days in the brass vessel, wring out through a cloth and clear it well, put it into a horn, and about night time apply with a feather to the eye; the best leechdom…”
The team used leeks and garlic, hoping that they were similar enough to the leeks and garlic that were around 1’000 years ago, some organic vintage wine from a historic English vineyard, and bovine bile salts usually used to treat humans who have had their gall bladders removed. Instead of a brass vessel, which would have been difficult to sterilise, they used glass bottles, including squares of brass in with the mixture — copper is known to kill bacteria.
Medieval potion-making with modern pharmacology
The Herbal Prescription/Formula and Method for Bald’s Eye Salve