Could next pandemic be stemmed by spicy cabbage?

March 16, 2005, as reported by just-food.com: As global concern over the next possible flu pandemic grows, researchers at Seoul National University think they may have found a cure in a common Korean dish. Kimchi, or spicy pickled cabbage, has long been known for it medicinal values and has been credited with curing everything from the common cold to a lonely heart, now scientists want to add bird flu to the list.

Researchers at Seoul National University conducted trials in which chickens with avian flu were fed the active lactic acid bacterium abundantly present in kimchi and showed a marked recovery.

Of the 13 infected chickens given the kimchi extract, 11 of them recovered a week later, according to the Korea Times. Reports of the findings have sent kimchi sales soaring all over Asia. Korea produces about 460 thousand tons of kimchi and exports about $78m worth of the pungent delicacy each year.