MRSA is a deadly SuperBug and the University of Missouri has found a smart way to fight that sort of deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: Cedar Needles.  MRSA is on the rise. Thirty years ago, staph MRSA infections were at 3%. In 2003, that number rose to 64%. Since 2005, almost 19,000 people in the USA died from MRSA complications.

While the Eastern Red Cedar has few commercial uses, it is present in the U.S. in large numbers and its range extends from Kansas to the eastern United States. An estimated 500 million trees grow in Missouri. Lin began his investigation by building on existing research showing the anti-bacterial potential of chemical compounds derived from the tree.

Lin, George Stewart, professor and department chair of Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and Brian Thompson, postdoctoral fellow in the Bond Life Sciences Center, identified, isolated and tested 17 bioactive compounds and has plans to analyze more compounds. Scientists found that a relatively small concentration of a chemical compound found in the Eastern Red Cedar– 5 micrograms per milliliter – was effective against MRSA. The team tested the compound’s effectiveness against many versions of MRSA in a test tube with promising initial results.

That is genius, brilliant, news.  Cedar trees are generally considered a nuisance on farms and the Missouri researchers wanted to find a way to get a medicinal use out of a “trash tree” and they found an elegant success in that effort.

Cedar needles are also a promising treatment for some skin cancers and they might even find use as a topical cream for healing blemishes.

This keen research about the medicinal efficacy of cedar trees makes one wonder what else we’re missing in our disposable society.  Are there other perishables in our post-consumer waste that might have higher, scientific, uses than just being dumped into a landfill?

Do we have the gumption and the mindset as a nation to roll up our sleeves and examine what we currently find “worthless” and turn that trash into medical treasure?

Posted by David Boles

David Boles was born in Nebraska and his MFA is from Columbia University in the City of New York. He is an Author, Lyricist, Playwright, Publisher, Editor, Actor, Designer, Director, Poet, Producer, and Boodle Boy for print, radio, television, film, the web and the live stage. With more than 50 books in print, David continues to write 2MM words a year. He has authored over 25K articles and published more. Read the Prairie Voice Archive at | Buy his books at David Boles Books Writing & Publishing | Earn the world with David Boles University | Get a script doctored at Script Professor | Touch American Sign Language mastery at Hardcore ASL.


  1. That’s fantastic news, David! I suspect that the cure for AIDS will be something that has been under our noses all along.



    1. You’re right, Gordon. These natural cures are important, but not routinely investigated enough by the scientific medical community. We too often put too much faith in the already discovered chemical compound instead of looking at something old in a new light.



  2. […] source of my research intrigue.  What constitutes a nosocomial infection?  Patient-to-patient MRSA?  The patient’s own flora?  A rouge and evil nurse?  The answer to all those questions is […]



  3. […] explain I have MRSA so they will need to be strong […]



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