Understanding Avian Influenza
Kimchi Culture Could Cure Bird Flu
Among the many miraculous properties attributed to the Korean staple side dish kimchi may be the ability to cure bird flu, Seoul National University scientists say. A research team lead by Prof. Kang Sa-ouk said Tuesday they created a food mixture containing a lactic ferment from kimchi that is effective against the avian flu and sent it to Indonesia, where the virus is rampant.
In March, Kang and his team fed an extract of the lactic ferment found in the pickled cabbage dish -- dubbed Leuconostoc kimchii -- to a group of chickens infected with Newcastle Disease, avian flu and other respiratory illnesses. After one week almost all of the chickens had recovered completely. Reports on the study have appeared as far afield as BBC broadcasts and the Wall Street Journal.
"Our research team has been distributing feed additives made from the lactic ferment culture fluid to poultry farms across the nation since last August," Kang said. "There were requests from zoos in Indonesia that had to close down due to the bird flu, so we sent a 400 kg shipment of feed additives made from the culture to each of them last week."
The team also commissioned another group of scientists led by Prof. Mo In-pil of Chungbuk National University to help develop a remedy for bird flu by conducting full-scale experiments of the extract on animals.