Thyme, the pleasantly scented herb growing in your garden right now -- the one you use in stuffings, soups and poultry dishes, might be the miracle cure for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the deadly bacteria more commonly known as MRSA.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Scientists at the University of Brighton in Great Britain have discovered that oils extracted from common food-grade thyme can kill the germ, which typically does not respond to antibiotic treatment, in just two hours, the Daily Mail reported last week.

"These are very promising results. We have shown at least in the laboratory that this blend of thyme has a very strong effect on MRSA," the report quotes Dr, Jonathan Caplin, a researcher working on the study, as saying. "Now further work needs to be carried out to ascertain its effect in real cases."