According to new research, a thousand-year-old Anglo-Saxon potion for eye infections may hold the key to wiping out the modern-day superbug MRSA.
The 10th-century “eyesalve” remedy was discovered at the British Library in a leather-bound volume of Bald’s Leechbook, widely considered to be one of the earliest known medical textbooks.
Christina Lee, an expert on Anglo-Saxon society from the School of English at the University of Nottingham, translated the ancient manuscript despite some ambiguities in the text. The researchers then tested their recipe on cultures of MRSA, a type of staph bacterium that does not respond to commonly used antibiotic treatments.
Microbiologist Freya Harrison said, “What we found was very interesting - we found that Bald’s eyesalve is incredibly potent as an anti-Staphylococcal antibiotic in this context.”