Turnips, are not a big player in Siouxland agriculture, but faculty and students at Briar Cliff University hope to change that.

Prairie Turnips found in the Loess Hills could some day be providing the next natural antibiotic.
Professors Paul Weber and Daniel Jung started their research in 2015.

Though still in the early stages, research is showing that the turnip has the ability to terminate harmful bacteria like those leading to strep throat or staph infections.

In addition, the project offers hands on research opportunities for biology and chemistry undergrads

“Most of the works been done by students here and it’s a really good opportunity for them to do some original work. They get excited about it, because it’s something that nobody’s looked into before,” said BCU Professor Paul Weber.

“How could it be very beneficial for the human health, but once we figure out what exactly they are doing for human health and it could be developed as one of those natural antibiotics,” said BCU Professor Daniel Jung.  Jung says it’s actually the skin of the turnip that provides the anti-bacterial properties. 

Jung adds the prairie near Briar Cliff University provides an abundant supply of turnips.