London, Nov 25 : A natural oil from Himalayan oregano can help wipe out deadly hospital superbug MRSA, according to a new research.
Boffins have discovered that the herb, commonly used in cooking, could eradicate the deadly infection from hospital wards.
Tiny quantities of carvacrol, a naturally occurring compound in Himalyan oregano, were found to be a more effective antimicrobial agent than 18 pharmaceutical drugs, investigators found.
University of the West of England researchers, working with partners in India, said carvacrol, which contains potent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, has a range of medicinal uses.
The discovery could lead to a new defence in the fight against hospital infection.
Carvacrol can sterilise septic water, kill giardia, treat fungal infections such as candida and rivals pharmaceutical antibiotics such as streptomycin and penicillin in its ability to eliminate microbes, reports the Telegraph.
Research into the medicinal properties of oregano has been led by Biolaya Organics, a company that specialises in the conservation and sustainable production of Himalayan medicinal herbs.
Preliminary research into the oil found that tiny doses are capable of wiping out fungi and bacteria, including MRSA.
Scientists found that the oil still works at boiling temperature, meaning it could be used for disinfecting hospital sheets. Its vapour is equally effective and could be turned into an antibacterial spray.
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. Once we have completed our research and published a paper, we aim to find additional partners to work together with to manufacture hand soaps, multi-purpose antibacterial wipes and other products for use in hospitals as a preventative against MRSA."