This information I feel is very relevant to potentially everyone but specifically those who may be living in poverty or have limited resources around the world. Oranges and simple bread are two of the most universally common household kitchen items. But did you know that oranges and bread are capable of producing penicillin simply by letting them sit around and age? Believe it or not, that green disgusting mold that develops on the surface of bread is actually called Penicillium.
It is time for a thought experiment. You are living in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. In a dash, your partner has deeply slashed their leg. As you take shelter the next few days your partner begins to develop a noticeable infection. Keeping in mind that in real-world cases infections can result in serious medical concerns, loss of a limb, or death if left untreated, without access to modern medical supplies would you know what to do to help your partner? Here is one cheap and easy way to potentially save your partner from these fates.
-Take bread and place it in a bag or container
-Let sit until spores begin to form
-Take all the bread and break it up into smaller pieces
-Add some moisture (light misting) and place the broken up pieces back in the same sealed bag or container
-Monitor the mold growth and do not remove until the majority of the mold culture begins to turn decidedly green.
As the mold begins to grow and develop it will take on white, blue, and green stages. The green mold you see in the picture above illustrates this point. The green color is going to contain doses of penicillin. As you can see the green areas are where the mold has grown the largest, essentially where it has matured. Now that you have this green mold, you can actually begin to use it as treatment. There are a few ways to go about this.
Option A: Take the bread clumps, fill up a large cup full of them and add warm water (not boiling water). Mix together and consume. Repeat as necessary, essentially as daily doses of penicillin. It is important to note that while you are growing the mold, you are most likely growing other things. Not all of them are helpful. And when you consume the bread will be getting both penicillin and that bad stuff. Yes, it will also taste terrible. Does the bad outweigh the good? In the scenario above, diarrhea or an upset stomach is a much less serious problem compared to a major infection. So it can be worth it. This remedy has been used for thousands of years in ancient cultures and has also been seen in many folk remedies around the United States for centuries.
Option B: Take your time and carefully separate nothing but the green mold from the bread. Clean the wound, take your ‘scrapings’ from the bread and topically apply them over the whole wound. Dress lightly and repeat this process regularly.
An interesting fact I once learned studying Egyptology. Dating back to Imhotep, ancient doctors used to dress wounds with honey. Why is this? It is actually extremely hard for bacteria to grow on honey. If a wound is fresh and clean and infection-free, you can apply honey to the area to preserve it from harmful bacteria. Believe it or not, medical-grade honey bandages are still used in modern emergency rooms to this day. For home use simply cover the entire area in honey, and wrap the wound to both keep the honey in place and everything else away.
There are of course more advanced ways to make penicillin from bread and oranges that go beyond what I mentioned above. Perhaps if you have more time, more resources available at hand, you can indeed make potentially pharmaceutical-grade penicillin using the same basic process I mentioned above. With the relatively low cost and the wide availability of penicillin in the healthcare marketplace today, this may not be practical. But find yourself in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, this information might just save your life. If you wish to know more advanced means of processing penicillium I recommend reading up on it further.