JoNova

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Lost knowledge — 10th Century cure for MRSA “Superbug”

If the “leech” doctors circa 1000AD were able to treat superbugs that modern doctors struggle with, I wonder what other knowledge has come and gone and had to be rediscovered?

How many lives have been lost because information was not there when they needed it?

ancient, medieval antibiotics.

Image: © The British Library Board (Royal 12 D xvii)

Judith Curry posted a link this week to a story about a medieval recipe for an “eyesalve” that rather surprised researchers when it worked against the ghastly MRSA superbug, which is resistant to almost all modern antibiotics.

The book is one of the earliest known medical texts, called Bald’s Leechbook. The recipe called for garlic, onion, wine, and bile from a cow. It was very specific — the mix had to be brewed in brass and then left for nine days. The researchers at the University of Nottingham followed it closely, then it was tested in the lab. Will it work on people, and what are the side-effects?

I wonder if the nine day wait is an incubation period for microbial growth? Some of our best antibiotics come from fungus like penicillin and the cephalosporins– which has had five hundred million years or so to figure out uber-tricky ways to kill competitors and pests. Perhaps the stew gets the conditions right for one particular type of mould to grow? Though the story doesn’t mention that (and I would expect the researchers would have looked for it). They suggest it may be a slow chemical reaction.

Investment Watchblog

After closely following the instructions to recreate the exact recipe, researchers then began to test the formula on MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, cultures. MRSA is commonly referred to as a superbug, as antibiotic treatments are largely ineffective in treatment.

Not holding out much hope for the ancient potion, researchers were amazed by the results of their lab tests.

“What we found was very interesting — we found that Bald’s eyesalve is incredibly potent as an anti-Staphylococcal antibiotic in this context,” Harrison said.

“We were going from a mature, established population of a few billion cells, all stuck together in this highly protected biofilm coat, to really just a few thousand cells left alive. This is a massive, massive killing ability.”

The research team then asked its U.S. collaborators to test the formula using “in vivo,” a wound in live organism, and according to Steve Diggle, an associate professor of socio microbiology, who also worked on the project, “the big surprise was that it seems to be more effective than conventional antibiotic treatment.”

Ancient people were not entirely helpless, and many knew other ways to stop infections.
Where would we be without books?
thanks to Joffa
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89 comments to Lost knowledge — 10th Century cure for MRSA “Superbug”

  • #
    Jayson

    I guess someone will make a LOT of money out of this. But dont worry – the peer reviewed journals/TGA/FDA will ensure it takes a decade (or 2) to get to us.
    But considering we are entering a world were a prick from a rose may kill you, it is good to know there may be something still to ward of infections.

    150

  • #
    Annie

    Quite astonishing. We don’t know everything these days, do we? Thanks for that interesting post Jo.

    110

    • #

      Now that we have come close to figuring out how to build pyramids, the day we know why ancient people could build them all around the world without modern knowledge is getting closer. Soon we may even grasp what they are for.

      181

      • #
        Dennis

        Like why the Sphinx was built around 15,000 years before the Pyramid nearby was constructed, according to research based on water erosion on the top of the Sphinx.

        120

        • #
          Uncle Gus

          Don’t get that. The Sphinx wasn’t “built”, it’s a naturally-occurring lion-shaped rock formation that’s been “improved”, probably several times by several different cultures.
          Is there a surviving part of the improvements that dates from that far back?

          32

  • #
    Robert O.

    Golden staph is a real medical problem and an effective cure, however obscure, is a good find. I am sure there are others to rediscover.

    71

  • #
    hannuko

    My wife is into fermentation. She has studied the matter quite a bit in the last few years and she is not surprised about this.

    The whole thing works like this: you create a liquid with the ideal circumstances for a specific family of fungi/bacteria, and the spores of those will land on it and take hold. You don’t need a seed for it. Those are all around, floting in the air..

    The mixture mentioned here would be incredibly alkaline, which invites very specific fungi to land and grow on it that – apparently – has antibiotic properties.

    I wonder how many of those seemingly ridiculous recipies worked exactly like this. I bet quite many.

    200

  • #
    Steve from Rockwood

    Years ago my young son developed a boil on his thigh. We took him to a country doctor who offered a choice of either cutting the boil out or treating it with a traditional method of bread soaked in milk and pressed against the skin around the boil. Within several hours the boil had leached out of the leg and into the bread. In disbelief I opened the bread to make sure the boil was inside. Should not have looked.

    261

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Good news. Hope it spawns future research.
    From the days of the Bible we have known that honey does not spoil. It will turn granular, but just heat it and it is a good as new.
    In a “why did I not think of that moment”, I recently talked to a nurse friend about resent research showing that honey had good antibiotic properties. The nurse worked in a burn unit, and said something like this, “Oh yes, we use it on burns and it is very effective in preventing many of the infections that injure or kill burn victims”.
    Apparently, this honey research has been going on for some time and research has been done to identify bee colonies which produce better honey for antibiotic issues and progress has been made. I also understand that it may be effective in MERSA treatment.

    91

    • #
      tom0mason

      Leonard Lane,

      Modern medicine is trying to catch-up with the old ways.
      The Honey Research Unit, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand has done much research on the matter. Here is a paper.
      And the conclusion is

      5. Conclusion
      Honey is the most ancient wound dressing known, but as a
      bioactive dressing material it is also the most modern type of wound dressing. Apart from the difficulty of keeping honey in place on a wound and absorbing exudate, it meets all of the criteria for being the perfect dressing material. With appropriate dressing techniques, those shortcomings can be overcome. Honey selected to have a good antibacterial activity provides a treatment option worthy of serious consideration, especially on infected and recalcitrant wounds. On burns its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties allow a moist healing environment to be maintained that protects the wounds from deterioration and fibrosis.
      Its promotion of rapid healing and minimization of scarring also warrant it having a place in plastic surgery.

      So healing with honey tends to have less inflammation, less infection, better scabbing, and so less scarring when the wound heals.

      60

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        I have heard that honey is the only food that never goes off. So it’s anti-bacterial must be very impressive.

        00

  • #
    Paul Vaughan

    …and right now the devilish tactics of lukewarm agents are suffocating sun-climate awareness & wisdom:

    Sea ice extent & export vs. SCL
    (solar cycle length):
    http://s11.postimg.org/631ipy283/Sea_Ice_Solar_Cycle_Length_Sun.png

    “Lost knowledge” indeed …perhaps to be rediscovered in a millennium …but instead I choose to believe the lukewarm agents will be overcome and due appreciation & respect will be afforded to natural beauty & nature.

    61

  • #
    ATheoK

    Natural honey, i.e. honey whose source is strictly from flowers, takes years to turn granular.

    Nowadays, the big box store chains purchase the cheapest largest quantities they can; often from bee keepers who do not mind feeding/boosting the bees with cheaper sugar.

    While this helps explain why the common cheap store bought honey lacks flavor, it also causes quicker granulation. The quicker the honey develops granules, the lower the nectar used for the honey.

    Still, it is bee excretions and has quite a beneficial kick.

    Some of my best Doctor memories are of an elder ‘horse Doctor’ whose simple medications and remedies worked best. He was also the cheapest Doctor I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit.

    A ‘horse’ medical Doctor is a Doctor from a very rural area where he is just as likely to be asked for help in healing animals as well as humans. They are still medical degreed professionals with extensive real world experience.

    Will this stuff cure the common cold?

    70

  • #
    A. Ellul

    In 1991 a mummified body of human was found in the Austrian/Italian Alps border. It was that of a male dated to prehistory. Among his possessions found on his body were lumps containing what scientists think was an antibiotic made of fungi.

    “His implements included two hide strips, on to each of which a round lump of material had been threaded. The strips were attached to Ötzi’s clothing. Analysis showed that these lumps consisted of the fruiting body of the birch polypore fungus.
    Right up until the 20th century such bracket fungi were used for many medicinal purposes.”

    http://www.iceman.it/en/node/288

    40

    • #
      Bushkid

      I’ve read that he also had tattoos on various parts of his body, just dash marks I think, that corresponded to acupuncture points, and that those points are recognised as being useful in treating some of the bodily afflictions he suffered, e.g. arthritis.

      We modern humans are so arrogant in assuming we are the only possessors of knowledge.

      30

  • #
    Ruairi

    To assume an old medical potion,
    A poultice, a balm, or a lotion,
    Is all primitive stuff,
    Full of useless old guff,
    Is a modern arrogant notion.

    362

  • #
    Carbon500

    In the mid-1970s, I worked as a staff nurse in the accident and emergency department of a busy hospital.
    Many wounds of course were dirty – farm accidents, gravel rash and so forth. Acriflavine emulsion (commonly referred to as flavine emulsion) was used as a wound antiseptic. It was prepared by the hospital pharmacy, and was routinely applied to sterile gauze before use as a dressing. It had a look and consistency rather like egg yolk.
    On patient follow-ups over the year I worked there I can’t recall seeing any wounds treated with this material become infected. Acriflavine is a coal tar product, and its efficacy is described in articles from the early 1900s easily found on the internet – for example, those from the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
    On a brief visit years later, I found in conversation that this emulsion was no longer in use. I was unable to ascertain why.

    100

    • #
      TedM

      Acriflavine was in almost every homes kitchen cupboard when I was a kid (1940′s-50′s). It was the first choice treatment for kids cuts and abrasions. They always seemed to heal OK without infection.

      90

      • #
        Glen Michel

        Mercurochrome and Friars Balsam. Cauterisation!!

        60

        • #
          James Bradley

          Can’t beat Waterbury’s Compound for coughs and colds – it’s the creasote that makes all the difference.

          40

        • #
          Hasbeen

          Mercurochrome was the magic potion we used on great barrier reef tourist boats.

          If applied soon enough to a coral or oyster cut it prevented any infection, but it had to be soon. a few hours later was useless.

          After a walk on the reef trip, we could have 50 or more people with red stripes in their legs. There would also be a few with purple patches. A quick spray from the pressure pack of gentian violet, was the best for grazes & abrasions.

          Removed from the market now, just like washing up detergent that does the job because of its phosphorus content. Just how stupid do we have to get, before we wake up & kick the greenies out of control?

          90

          • #
            Bob Campbell

            Since I can only click √ once I’ll do a few more here – √ √ v √ √ √. That’ll do, wouldn’t want it to go to your head. ;-)

            20

    • #
      tom0mason

      Other rarely seen old medicines are -

      Mercury based topical lotions & creams — Mercurochrome, etc. Because mercury is toxic they are band! But fluorescent bulbs, including compact fluorescent types, can have Mercury in them,. As disposal of these bulbs is in the main not controlled, so Mercury contaminates our biosphere that way.

      Other old fashioned that are hard to find are —
      Gentian violet, Iodine, Tincture of Iodine, Castor Oil, Argyrol, Merthiolate, Salol, alcohol, boric acid, calomel, camphor, carbolic acid, chloramine, cresol, gramicidin, hexachloraphene, and increasingly hydrogen preoxide.

      The elites of the world have removed these as –
      1. No profit for big pharma companies.
      2. Defined as toxic and/or dangerous, and the public are assumed too stupid to use them correctly.

      Truly now the world’s government elites see the lowest common denominator as the only safe place to put everyone.

      60

      • #
        tom0mason

        oops…
        typos, typos …

        Other old fashioned remedies that are hard to find are —
        Gentian violet, Iodine, Tincture of Iodine, Castor Oil, Argyrol, Merthiolate, Salol, alcohol, boric acid, calomel, camphor, carbolic acid, chloramine, cresol, gramicidin, hexachloraphene, and increasingly hydrogen peroxide.

        20

      • #
        MRW

        And arnica for bruises. Wipe them away.

        20

  • #
    handjive

    The recipe called for garlic, onion, wine, and bile from a cow. It was very specific -

    > 49,000 year-old ochre based paint mixed with milk found in Sibudu Cave

    “Obtaining milk from a lactating wild bovid also suggests that the people may have attributed a special significance and value to that product.”

    While ochre powder production and its use are documented in a number of Middle Stone Age South African sites, there has been no evidence of the use of milk as a chemical binding agent until this discovery, she said.

    http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/07/2015/49000-year-old-ochre-based-paint-mixed-with-milk-found-in-sibudu-cave
    . . .

    40

    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      I remember seeing oxgall in my father’s formulary. They were oblate tablets yellow in color, as I recall. I have no idea what he prescribed them for.

      10

  • #
    David Maddison

    I saw a tv ad recently against over-use of antibiotics. That is a good start.

    Also, India is a huge resevoir of multiple resistant bacteria, they are everywhere, even in the soil, because over there, antibiotics are sold over the counter and are used as a supposed cure for *everything*.

    50

  • #
    handjive

    Coldest year ever.

    Volcanic eruptions that changed human history

    “This new reconstruction of volcanic forcing will lead to improved climate model simulations through better quantification of the sensitivity of the climate system to volcanic influences during the past 2,500 years,” noted Joe McConnell, Ph.D., a DRI research professor who developed the continuous-flow analysis system used to analyse the ice cores.

    This reconciliation of ice-core records and other records of past environmental change will help define the role that large climatic perturbations may have had in the rise and fall of civilizations throughout human history.

    The study shows that 15 of the 16 coldest summers recorded between 500 BC and 1,000 AD followed large volcanic eruptions – with four of the coldest occurring shortly after the largest volcanic events found in record.

    http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/07/2015/volcanic-eruptions-that-changed-human-history

    (Interesting, but how is it on topic?)

    20

    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      (Interesting, but how is it on topic?)

      Infections ➔ boils ➔ eruptions ➔ volcanoes.

      Simple.

      20

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    I can swear by garlic and ginger. I had whooping cough as an adult, not a lot of fun.
    Went to doctor, put me on first batch of antibiotics, amoxicillin from memory. Went OK but started to lose potency, so he put me on another type, cant recall what.

    Second batch didn’t seem to be doing much, sort of stopped working.

    In the end I recalled reading about garlic & ginger so decided I’d approach it as a human guinea pig.

    I dosed up on a half thumb size of raw garlic & raw ginger ( crushed ) in a tablespoon of organic honey ( wasn’t manuka honey from memory ) morning and night. I stunk something chronic, but within 3 days had broken the bug and was on the improve….and it was a welcome relief. I continued for a additional 4 days to be on the safe side.

    Did the garlic & ginger do it all by itself? Hard to know, but an encouraging result.

    Hopefully this might help someone else.

    I think we don’t understand enough of the medicinal abilities of plants in a headlong rush for sythesised drugs and profit.

    80

    • #
      schitzree

      I wonder how many of those old time cures work BECAUSE they don’t get overused to the point of bacteria and virus getting immune to them.

      20

  • #
    Brill

    When growing up (50s/60s) if any of our cuts or injuries became infected we used a dressing of soap and sugar. Plain old unscented laundry soap grated, mixed with sugar (probably white because it was cheaper), and some warm water to soften it into a paste. Spread it on and cover. Healed up pretty quickly.

    60

  • #
    Ross

    My favourite is using shredded Dock leaves to rub on bee stings. Stops the swelling and subsequent itching.

    30

    • #
      RoHa

      Even very young children in England know (or used to know, in the days when children went outdoors) that dock leaves will ease the sting of nettles.

      10

  • #

    I use three back yard remedies and only because they work better than over the counter pharmaceutical: fresh picked olive leaf (made into a very strong tea for fungal problems), petty spurge sap on warts and other growths (savagely strong, so be careful) and fresh aloe vera for scalds and burns. I like to ferment all sorts of things and I suspect there are anti-inflammatory benefits…but I’m not sure. Same with wild gathered sarsparilla from our nearby forest: I think it helps some conditions but it may be just panacea effect. Of the first three remedies, I’m sure.

    I don’t use these things to be alternative or because I have anything against Big Pharma. They are in the back yard and they work, end of story.

    70

  • #
    pattoh

    Yet another reason to keep mining coal – COAL TAR!

    40

  • #
    Ted O'Brien.

    Re: Joffa’s “other ways to stop infections.”

    Maybe 15 years ago a lady, sounding old, rang in to ABC rural radio at Orange, NSW. She told the story that in the 1880s her grandfather in England contracted blood poisoning from a scratch on his leg. This caused great consternation in the household, as the breadwinner was almost certainly about to die.

    Answering a knock on the door, her grandmother found there a travelling hawker. He saw her distress and enquired the cause. He went to his cart and returned with some mouldy bread and some cobwebs, giving instructions as to how to use these to make a poultice to apply to the wound. It cured him.

    There was then great excitement in the family when penicillin was discovered 60 years later, because this explained how it worked.

    What we must wonder is, 1. if the hawker knew, why didn’t the scientists know? and 2. for how many years, perhaps hundreds or even thousands, had the hawker known?

    90

    • #

      A few years ago, I suffered a similar infection with weeks of hospitalization. Still infected after a skin graft, the final cure was an expensive silver impregnated gauze, used over a few days, 4 months after the original infection. The bug was a common Pseudomonas, but resistant to various antibiotics which caused other problems.

      30

      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        I saw a part of a report on these “superbugs” on TV a few years back. One case was of a teenaged girl who had a sore on her chest which would not heal, and which was declared a superbug. Her mother then tried topical peroxide, which fixed it.

        20

        • #
          JPAK

          Both hydrogen peroxide and silver colloids are well proven but not patentable so are not peddled by drug companies. H2O2 has to be carefully diluted but is a strong oxidising agent for leg ulcers. My wife treated a family friend with an infected bed-sore to the foot as a final attempt to stave off amputation. A large syringe with thin PVC flexible pipe was worked 25mm up inside the fetid sore. Daily irrigation with successively more dilute solution eventually permitted his weak body to heal completely. We commenced with FoodGrade H2O2 diluted back to 9%.
          We did similar for an old lady with an ulcerated bruise wound that had failed the GP standard anti-biotics and Dettol approach. Amputation seemed the only suggestion so her rather conservative children, in their 50s, let us give it a go. With daily H2O2 washing and sunlight drying it disappeared over several months. Meredyth gave us an autographed copy of “Bilpin-The Apple Country” (a local history)and I shall remember that tough old stick whenever I open her book.

          40

      • #
        Richard of NZ

        Pseaudomonas sp. have always been difficult to kill. No effective antibiotics existed until the aminoglycosides were discovered, and even then only the later versions are effective against Pseaudomonas. Initial types like streptomicin were ineffective. Aminoglycosides are also very toxic and therefore usually antibiotics of last resort.

        p.s. Antibiotics are always of fungal origin. Some such as chloramphenicol have been synthesised but are still called antibiotics. Non fungal bacterium killers are chemotheraputic agents. Perhaps the best known are the sulphonamides which are of coal tar origin.

        00

        • #
          Rob JM

          Incorrect, Actinomyces bacteria are responsible for a huge number of antibiotics, especially for those used to treat TB.

          00

    • #

      . if the hawker knew, why didn’t the scientists know?

      In the words of Douglas Adams: “Because their minds are too highly trained”.

      Common sense evades those whose minds are narrowed; trammeled to follow along established lines; oblivious to all that is to the sides.

      Henry Lawson wrote about such a century ago in his poem “Australian Engineers“.

      40

    • #
      RoHa

      We think of Fleming as the Big Brain behind antibiotics, but (and it is no disparagement of Fleming to say so) the use of moulds as cures for infection was widespread before him. Poles, Arab syces, ancient Sri Lankan solders, and plenty of others resorted to mould as a cure.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_penicillin

      10

      • #
        tom0mason

        There are stories about of how so called witches (earliday medics I say) in Britain used thin looped branches to gather spider webs. These webs were boiled in plant extracts then dried in the open air. These prepared webs were used as a dressings for deep cuts and burns.
        As an artificial skin dressing coated in antibacterials and molds, they may well have worked; there were no double-blind tests done and no medical records kept, except the second or third hand stories of those treated telling of minimal infection and scarring that resulted. But then only the survivors can tell tales.

        10

      • #
        jorgekafkazar

        Fleming did no heavy lifting, merely observed the antibiotic effect of a particular mold. The real heroes are the ones who developed methods of making penicillin in mass quantities.

        20

    • #
      Uncle Gus

      I’ve always suspected this one – it’s so obvious and easy to discover. Bread as a poultice, and it just turns out to work better if it’s mouldy.

      First time I’ve heard it confirmed!

      00

  • #
    Gary in Erko

    The recipe called for garlic, onion, wine, and bile from a cow. It was very specific — the mix had to be brewed in brass and then left for nine days.

    This and other remedies – how were they discovered? How did someone discover this particular combination of ingredients, container and procedure? How fussy are the ratios? For instance if the amount of wine per medium sized onion is varied by +/- one or two quick spills does that reduce the effectiveness?

    30

    • #
      handjive

      “How fussy are the ratios?”

      A very relevant question when fighting Doomsday Global Warming.
      For example, how many wives does it take to beat drought?

      31

    • #
      ExArdingJas

      I imagine this is the same process by which humans discovered fermented drinks. Experimenting with different amounts and recipes until the most repeatable product was achieved. On the other hand many of those recipes become infused with superstition so that the incantations and some of the ingredients really aren’t necessary to get the result. However this then opens up the opportunity for the witch doctor to gain power in the tribe…. do you see where I’m going??

      I often marvel at the Jewish belief system and their writings. Reading parts of the old testament it is obvious that they were very aware of the notion of uncleanliness. This of course led to all sorts of very strange (to most of us these days) practices. Not to mention the belief that it is sinful to eat meat of the pig. We know why now. It also amuses me (or distresses me depending on my mood) that the Jews and the Muslims both hold this belief in common… why can’t they hold more beliefs in common I ask rhetorically?

      20

      • #
        Gary in Erko

        Sorry to advise you that you’re completely incorrect in assuming there’s any similarity between Jews and Muslims not eating pig. In Islam it’s an explicit instruction about that single animal. In Judaism pig is just one of the many animals which doesn’t meet the criteria of having a cloven hoof and chew the cud. The urles for neither religion is for health reasons. Maybe the errors people make about this is just one of those contemporary superstitions about religions in general that some class as rationality.

        00

        • #
          Perth Trader

          [Maybe the errors people make about this is just one of those contemporary superstitions about religions in general that some class as rationality]

          Gary..There is no error. Islam is specific in not eating any animal with fangs just as Judaism.

          [Guys we are getting off topic. Can we limit this sub-thread. Thanks. Jo]

          00

  • #

    Related: The modern left believes those who preceded them were evil, mean spirited people who knew very little. The left decided to change everything since nothing from before was morally good or held much value.
    That is the answer to our questions about why ancient knowledge was lost. If it came from white men it was BAD. Only ancient knowledge from primitive cultures can be accepted. Tell the left our European wisdom actually came from natives of New Guinea or tropical Africa so “they” don’t refuse to investigate it.

    70

  • #
    UNO

    I suspect the active is copper leached from the brass.

    60

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Or the zinc, either (in solution) are noted fungicides and are probably bactericidal as well. Toxic in quantity in humans, cows etc.

      The other possibility is what sort of brass? Various compositions are known, containing small amounts of tin, lead or other metals. These might have been introduced deliberately or just from impure metal ores.

      30

  • #
    Dennis

    Has anybody here heard the outcome of research in Britain into Australian Saltwater Crocodile blood searching for what enables them to survive a bite from another Croc with teeth infested with germs?

    During the 1990s I think it was a group of film makers travelling to the Northern Territory with aluminium welded mesh cages to be used for underwater videos of the Crocs. I read a story about their experiences which included having to string their aluminium boats up off the ground to get away from Crocs attacking them, and to locate camp well away from the riverside. They went for exercise walks the opposite direction from the river but one night their torch beams met glowing eyes, Crocs were laying in wait. They were in camp for some weeks looking for the best images.

    Apparently one in the group had a relative in Britain who is a medical researcher and he asked his relative here to obtain a blood sample from a Croc which was obtained from a Crocodile Farm. But I have not sighted any information since?

    30

  • #
  • #
    • #
      Dennis

      The owner of a rental property told me years ago that when some tenants moved out without due notice he inspected the property which had a large cellar accessed via a trapdoor in a living room he discovered a greenhouse with artificial lighting and automatic watering system. The conditions had attracted Ants which had damaged the house foundations and caused a hot water heater to develop a dangerous lean, like a tower in Italy. Another different property had been converted so that the whole interior was a greenhouse with power stolen from an illegal electricity connection. A German Shepherd guard Dog on site. The interior was a mess.

      30

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        I take it that the tenants were actually scientists, researching the influence of climate change on plant growth, and vegetative matter?

        20

  • #
    RoHa

    There is a lot of useful knowledge in the ancient books. The trouble is, before you try, you can’t always be sure whether it will cure your embarrassing disease or empower Yog-Sothoth to open the Gates that will release Cthulhu and the other Old Ones. And if it’s the latter, it’s too late.

    40

  • #
    Another Ian

    Interesting, as I spent an awful lot of time doing in vitro digestions around rangeland diet samples.

    But this formula wasn’t part if that.

    10

  • #
    Mark Hladik

    When I saw that word, “leech”, I thought the article was about the IPCC … … …

    00

    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      Except that leeches don’t typically destroy the host, so I’d call your metaphor unfair to leeches.

      10

  • #
    Glenn999

    Does anyone have the link to Judith Curry’s article. I went to her site and couldn’t locate the article.

    Thanks.

    00

    • #
      michael hart

      Glenn999, this is the link that Judith Curry posted (on her Week in review, science edtion article of July 11
      http://investmentwatchblog.com/scientists-baffled-after-finding-10th-century-medicine-that-kills-antibiotic-resistant-superbug/

      Unfortunately, after trying to follow up on some of the links and people, I can actually find no substantive scientific details. Other than “our unnamed friends in America also did a test and also say it’s amazing” there is no detail given. Zero. This story is science by press release.

      10

      • #
        Glenn999

        Thanks for the reply. I was hoping to find the link at Judith Curry’s site and read the discussion there. I’m not sure of the format at her site and if anyone actually discussed this article there. I did go to investmentwatchblog.com and read about it.

        What piqued my interest was the idea of lost knowledge being rediscovered or perhaps lost all together.

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    jorgekafkazar

    Here’s an old alleged remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, circa 1911, developed by a large animal vet/agronomist, M. Henri Joulie. (cf. Joulie solution).

    See Rheumatoid Arthritis, by J. Charlton Briscoe, MD:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2333553/

    See also: Watkins, F.A., MRCS, 1907, “Acidity Of The Urine,” Journal of the British Homoeopathic Society, Volume 16(1): 90–121. NOTA BENE; follow the Page 90 link:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=UylIVGmpgLEC&pg=PA393&lpg=PA393&dq=%22acidity+of+the+urine%22+watkins&source=bl&ots=q0Nnx8-ZD0&sig=2zAugRSE1mglSolpb9Idl2dG4-E&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCkQ6AEwBGoVChMIle7QleLqxgIVw5SICh1yUQWH#v=onepage&q=%22acidity%20of%20the%20urine%22%20watkins&f=false

    An edited version of Watkins appears in Lancet with all mention of homeopathy stricken: Acidity of the Urine by Frank Augustus Watkins, MRCS; Lancet, June 20, 1908 (Page 1766-1769)

    I have more historical information, but make no medical recommendation regarding this substance. (85% FCC Grade H₃PO₄) Though GRAS according to the FDA, in raw, undiluted form it’s a strong acid, so handle with goggles & gloves and exceptional care, and make sure you dilute it 1000:1 if you experiment on your petunias.

    Check with your doctor if interested. He’ll probably tell you to take NSAIDs and call him when they ruin your stomach.

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    Dean from Ohio

    Modernity, as epitomized by the excesses of scientific medicine, disparages the past. The back-to-nature movement does respect parts of the past, but their association with the Left, which despises both the past and the future except as tools for the will to power, tends to neutralize the benefit.

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    Roy Hogue

    I was surprised after one of my first wife’s many surgeries that an old early 20th century invention made of bleach and sterile water was a very effective preventative for infection after surgery. No antibiotics required. And cheap too. All I needed to do was find a pharmacist willing to mix up the stuff according to the doctor’s instructions.

    Failing that I could have made it myself. I would have had to boil the water and the bottle to put it in to sterilize them. But aside from some time and care in handling, how hard could that be?

    It was lucky he knew about it too because there was no effective modern substitute.

    Not everything old is worthless.

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