A team of researchers from Britain and US have found that a medieval concoction meant to treat eye infections is capable of killing the MRSA superbug.
The recipe dates from the 10th century and calls for two species of Allium - a scientific type that includes garlic, onion, and leek - as well as wine and oxgall, or bile from the stomach of a cow.
According to researchers, the recipe calls for the mixture to be brewed in a brass vessel and then purified through a strainer. It should be left to sit for nine days before use.
The treatment was recreated by Dr. Christina Lee, a professor at the School of English at Nottingham University. She did it in order to see if it could work as a modern-day remedy and Lee was surprised to find that it not only cleared up styes, but also proved effective in killing the potentially deadly superbug.
The mixture killed about 999 of 1,000 MRSA bacterial cells present in mice wounds. Dr. Kendra Rumbaugh of Texas Tech University, told the Telegraph that the 1,000-year-old remedy worked "as good, if not better than" traditional antibiotics.
The researchers, however did not explain why the remedy is so effective. Some more experiments showed that no single ingredient was responsible for the effect against superbug.
The researchers are seeking additional funding to test the method on humans.