One of my favorite podcasts, Radiolab, had a very interesting piece this week about some scientists in the UK who have unearthed a medieval recipe for a brew which has shown potent antibiotic effects against bacteria as difficult to manage as MRSA. Antimicrobial resistance is a serious and growing problem across the globe. Research into antimicrobials has long been on the decline despite this increasing need for effective treatments against infections such as tuberculosis which had previously been managed well with standard antibiotics. In recent decades TB and many others have acquired multiple resistances to current drugs, resulting in a resurgence of lethality and often nowhere to turn for affected patients. Two professors in the UK, one a historian and one a scientist have worked together to unearth a very old recipe brewed from onions, garlic, wine and copper or brass which has shown remarkable effects in the lab. Perhaps digging deep into our past and exploring medicines which do not come out of a pill bottle could help us to rediscover treatments which could again be used to help patients today.
I highly recommend listening to the entire podcast which can be found here - Radiolab - Best Medicine podcast