Peppertree Berry May Counter MRSA SuperBug
Doctors with Emory University have found that the peppertree can counter the MRSA superbug.
For thousands of years, people have known certain trees and plants have healing proprieties. One such piece of shrubbery is the Brazilian peppertree. According to the RainTree tropical plant database, the peppertree has unique chemicals that can improve wound healing rates as well as modulate the inflammatory response.
And the evidence isn’t just anecdotal, as there’s plenty of research to back up the peppertree’s power. According to a 2015 study published in the journal Acta Cirurgica Brasileira, oils made with the plant increased the speed of tissue regeneration in a group of laboratory rats.
Now, a research team out of Emory University has found another important use for the peppertree.
A powerful plant
As outlined in a recent study in the journal Scientific Reports, the peppertree berry can combat antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Specifically, the especially hazardous strain known as MRSA, which has plagued millions of people worldwide, especially those with chronic wounds or who have a higher risk of viral infection.
As part of their work, the Emory team analyzed every compound found within the berry, testing their effectiveness against several bacterial strains. Eventually, they came to the compound called 430D-F5, which is actually a mixture of 27 other chemicals, including several that directly address inflammation.
When 430D-F5 was used in a group of lab rats, it didn’t actually kill the individual strands of MRSA. Instead, the compound interferes on a genetic level and prevents each “bug” from communicating with one another, and without that ability, the MRSA is all but ineffective.
The process, called quorum quenching, will now be tested in other animal models before eventually making its way into human clinical trials. Speaking with NBC News, ethnobotanist Cassandra Quave said that people shouldn’t immediately go out and apply peppertree berries to their skin. There is more testing needed to be done to address safety concerns, but if research continues, then the peppertree could be an important weapon in the battle against superbugs.
Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in specialized wound-care supplies, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.