March 17, 2006, Newsletter Issue #147: Rebirth of a natural medicine

Tip of the Week

In 1976 Eric White, an Englishman who immigrated to Australia, realizing the health benefits of natural medicines became determined to save the natural healing powers of melaleuca alternifolia. The use of tea tree oil ended after World War II as cheap, commercially produced antibiotics became available. Tea tree oil, the completely natural antiseptic became ignored and tea tree reserves were decimated. White systematically searched the remote wetlands of northern New South Wales, Australia, for the last remaining wild tea trees, looking for those trees capable of producing high quality therapeutic grade tea tree oil. His testing and extensive research allowed him to isolate the root stock genetically predisposed to producing high quality oil. His search successful, he planted his trees in Bungawalbyn Basin, in far northern New South Wales and established the first commercial tea tree plantation, to be known as Thursday Plantation. The modern tea tree industry was born and a wonderful natural medicine was saved for the benefit of all.

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