Chestnut leaves are used in many old remedies to treat skin infections.One new research by Cassandra Quave, an ethnobotanist at Emory University showed that chestnut leaves strip Staphlococcus aureus` ability to create toxins and furthermore cause damage to the tissues.
“We’ve identified a family of compounds from this plant that have an interesting medicinal mechanism,”
“Rather than killing staph, this botanical extract works by taking away staph’s weapons, essentially shutting off the ability of the bacteria to create toxins that cause tissue damage. In other words, it takes the teeth out of the bacteria’s bite.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published that antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the U.S every year.
Chestnut leaf extract blocks Staphlococcus aureus virulence and pathogenesis without antibiotic resistance and treat infections of methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA.
Quave and her colleague Alexander Horswill, a microbiologist at the University of Iowa steeped the chestnut leaves in solvents and extract the chemical ingredients:
“You separate the complex mixture of chemicals found in the extract into smaller batches with fewer chemical ingredients, test the results, and keep honing in on the ingredients that are the most active… It’s a methodical process and takes a lot of hours at the bench. Emory undergraduates did much of the work to gain experience in chemical separation techniques.”
This extract contain 94 chemicals, like ursene and oleanene and is able to blocks staph`s ability to communicate with one another.
“We now have a mixture that works …Our goal is to further refine it into a simpler compound that would be eligible for FDA consideration as a therapeutic agent.”
Potential uses include:
- treatment for MRSA infections,
- a preventative spray for football pads.
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