Macassar kernels (Brucea javanica) Halts MRSA Growth
Research has confirmed that the roots of a plant called Macassar kernels shrub (Brucea javanica) can inhibit the growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
Laboratory studies tested extract
The research comes from the Republic of Korea’s Wonkwang University. The scientists determined that this herb used in traditional Asian medicine for a number of conditions stops the growth of the strain of Staph (MRSA) that is now resistant to a number of different antibiotics.
The researchers tested multiple concentrations of an extract of the B. javanica herb against MRSA that had been cultured in the laboratory. The researchers found that doses of the extract over 0.1 milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL) had the ability to halt the growth of the superbug bacteria.
As the concentrations increased, the amount of inhibition of the MRSA cultures increased. This indicates the gold standard of antibacterial activity: Dose-dependency.
The researchers also found that the plant’s biochemistry was able to somehow open up the formidable cell wall of the MRSA bacteria. This is difficult to accomplish by many antibiotics – and one of the reasons MRSA is so resistant.
The biofilms – colonizations of the MRSA bacteria – were also inhibited by the herbal extract. This means that the plant has the ability to not only resist a MRSA infection in the early stages, but halt its growth in later stages.
What is Macassar kernels?
The B. javanica herb is also called Rhus chinensis and Rhus javanica, as well as nutgall and the Chinese gall tree.
Macassar kernels is used medicinally in China, Korea, Japan and other parts of Asia for cases of dysentery, diarrhea, and other infections. Documented uses by herbalists have included laryngitis, malaria, coughing, rheumatism, fevers and others.
The Korean researchers produced the extract by drying some fresh leaves of the plant
The plant contains phenolics, flavonoids, glycosides, steroids, terpenoids and organic acids. Some of its notable biochemicals include tannic acid, pyrogallol, gallic methy lester, syringic acid, lantabetulal, lantanolal, lantanolol and protocatechuic acid. Other research has found that phenolics are often the antibacterial element among other antibacterial plants.
We are currently running out of options for treating MRSA infections in conventional medicine. This is because we are not using nature’s resources. While bacteria can quickly develop resistance to static antibiotics – which are easy to learn – natural antibacterial plants provide a biochemical complication that bacteria have a hard time outsmarting.
This is because nature is smart.
Yong-Ouk You, Na-Young Choi, Sun-Young Kang, Kang-Ju Kim. Antibacterial Activity of Rhus javanica against MRSA. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 549207. doi.org/10.1155/2013/549207
Chiu CL, Lee TH, Shao YY, Kuo YH. Three new triterpenes from the roots of Rhus javanica L. var. roxburghiana. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2008 Jul-Aug;10(7-8):693-7. doi: 10.1080/10286020802016446.
Duke JA, Ayensu ES. Medicinal Plants of China, Ref Publ, 1985.
Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn our health around. As I drove home that night, I realized this knowledge should be available to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.”