Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs No Match for Ancient Irish Soil

Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs No Match for Ancient Irish Soil

Researchers studying the properties of a particular soil in Ireland found it effectively treated four of the top six antibiotic-resistant superbugs scientists estimate could lead to millions of deaths in coming years — a problem the World Health Organization described as “‘one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.” And as it just so happens, the location of this soil was once home to the legendary, ancient Druids.

This “new” strain of bacteria found in the townland of Toneel North in Boho, County Fermanagh was given the name Streptomyces sp. myrophorea, though its potent medicinal properties have been known to locals for some time, and likely to those inhabiting the area as far back as 4,000 years ago.

Before discovering its profound antibiotic properties, scientists considered the soil to be an ethnopharmacological medicine, a.k.a. a folk cure – something locals swore by, but of which nothing was known by mainstream medicine. And now that its curative functions have been officially documented, the science community may start to shift its outlook toward similar folk cures.

“Our results show that folklore and traditional medicines are worth investigating in the search for new antibiotics. Scientists, historians and archaeologists can all have something to contribute to this task. It seems that part of the answer to this very modern problem might lie in the wisdom of the past,” one of the paper’s co-authors, Prof. Paul Dyson of Swansea University, said.

The antibiotic properties of the soil were found to treat bacteria including:

  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae

Locals have long used the dirt to treat toothaches and other infections by placing soil wrapped in cloth by their heads or near an infection at bedtime. The soil would be left for nine nights before returning it to where it was originally found — a seemingly superstitious remedy the average scientist might have scoffed at in the past.

Researchers involved in the study said they found documentation of the soil’s therapeutic properties dating back to 1815, though they recognized it was an area once home to the storied Druids. It was even a significant place for Neolithic people living in the area centuries prior — the same people who created the fascinating engravings on the megalithic Reyfad Stones.

The precise mechanisms behind the soil’s treatment of these superbugs is still unclear, though scientists are working quickly to find them, while also seeing what other bugs and ailments it could be effective against.

“We will now concentrate on the purification and identification of these antibiotics. We have also discovered additional antibacterial organisms from the same soil cure which may cover a broader spectrum of multi-resistant pathogens,” Dyson said.

And now that this discovery, once thought tantamount to an old wives’ remedy, has heralded a major lifesaving scientific breakthrough, maybe scientists will pay more attention to the millennia-old wisdom of eastern and alternative medicines.

 

Learn more about antibiotic-resistant superbugs and potential remedies in the documentary Resistance:

Resistance


Dr. Bruce Lipton Reacts to New Map of Human Genome

Dr. Bruce Lipton Reacts to New Map of Human Genome

As scientists announce the completion of the human genome map, the emerging science of epigenetics provides an alternate view on how we can gain mastery over our genes and achieve true wellbeing.

Dr. Bruce Lipton is a cellular biologist and leader in the field of epigenetics, which holds that external factors can affect our gene expression.

Lipton’s research over many decades has suggested that it is our environment, and even more importantly how we perceive it, that determines our gene behavior.

“Less than one percent of disease is connected to genes,” Lipton said. “Over 90 percent of illness is stress, which means you’re not living in harmony with the environment, and the function of the cells is to adjust their biology to the environment. But I say, ‘But wait, the brain is the interface between the environment and the genes.’ So, my cells don’t know what the real environment is, my cells only respond to my perception of the environment. Well, positive thoughts can heal you of any disease, that’s placebo (effect).” 

“Negative thinking can cause any disease, regardless of what genes you have, because negative thinking through epigenetics can rewrite healthy genes and turn them into cancer. You’re creating the good, but you also have to recognize you are participating in creating the negative things as well,” he said.

The biggest roadblock to exerting a positive influence over our genes, Lipton says, comes from faulty programming.

“All of us got programmed the first seven years of our life. We play the program 95 percent of the day,” Lipton said. “The conscious mind, which is the creator mind, is separate from the subconscious mind, which is the programmed mind. The significance is that subconscious is on autopilot, and if 95 percent of your life is coming from the subconscious, then you are playing programs and you’re not playing creator. The issue is the programs we got in the first seven years, up to 60 percent of those programs are beliefs, they’re things that are disempowering, they’re self-sabotaging, or limiting behaviors, and therefore, we’re losing power in the program that says, ‘Who do you think you are? You don’t deserve that. You’re not that smart.’ These are things we acquired when we were young.”

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