Antibacterial effects of home-made resin salve from Norway spruce (Picea abies).
APMIS. 2007 Apr;115(4):335-40. PMID: 17504300
Resin salve made from Norway spruce (Picea abies) is traditionally used in folk medicine to heal skin ulcers and infected wounds. Its antimicrobial properties were studied against certain human bacteria important in infected skin wounds. The sensitivity of the resin against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria was studied in vitro by methods that are routinely used in microbiology laboratories. The resin salve exhibited a bacteriostatic effect against all tested Gram-positive bacteria but only against Proteus vulgaris of the Gram-negative bacteria. Interestingly, the resin inhibited the growth of bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE), both on agar plates and in culture media. The study demonstrated antimicrobial activity of the resin salve and provided objective evidence of its antimicrobial properties. It gives some explanations why the traditional use of home-made resin salve from Norway spruce is experienced as being effective in the treatment of infected skin ulcers.