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Oregano could fight MRSA

25th November 2008

Researchers in the UK have found out that oregano, a herb usually added in food, could be useful in the fight against MRSA.

MRSA1

Scientists working at the University of the West of England in Bristol discovered that small amounts of carvacrol, which is found within oregano, performed more efficiently as an "antimicrobial agent than 18 pharmaceutical drugs it was compared against".

The compound contains strong antibacterial ingredients which could be used in water sterilisation, as an anti-fungal agent and to kill microbes, including bacteria such as MRSA.

Oregano's properties still functioned in boiling water, which means it could potentially be employed in the disinfection of hospital bed sheets. It could also be used in antibacterial sprays.

Biolaya Organics, an organisation which promotes sustainable farming methods in the Himalayas, has been at the forefront of oregano research. It was set up by Ben Heron last year.

The company is keen to publish its findings in a scientific journal and work with other companies to produce oregano-based products.

Mr Heron said: "Himalayan oregano oil kills MRSA at dilution's of less than 1 to 1000 and the antimicrobial properties, unlike most conventional antibacterial agents, are not affected by heat treatment."

Project leader and professor of microbiology at the University of the West of England, Vyv Salisbury said: "If you wanted to put something through the wash an oregano oil-based product would continue to be effective against MRSA. This is exciting as it also means that we could consider using the oil to develop disinfectant washing powders."

 

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