"During WWII and the 1940’s, it became more apparent that tea tree oil was a valuable resource to not only the Australian economy, but to the overall health of soldiers and factory workers as well."
Just before the outbreak of the war, a study published by the Medical Journal of Australia found that tea tree oil was effective in treating infections of the skin and nails, and in dissolving the pus of those infected areas. It also reported that sore throats went away more quickly when gargling with a few drops of tea tree oil added to a glass of water.
Tea tree oil as a first aid remedy may also have helped to repel some insects as it helped prevent infection and promoted healing.
It was an age of discovery, and before the advent of penicillin in the late 1940’s, it was found to be useful against dental problems, throat and mouth infections, fungal infections, Candida, and other skin infections.
As a disinfectant, it was added to the first aid kit of nearly every Aussie soldier and sailor assigned to subtropical regions during WWII .
It found it’s place in machine shops and ammunition factories, because it was observed that diluting the cutting oil used in metal shops with just 1% tea tree oil reduced the rate of infection dramatically from the metal shaving and splinters that are common in such work.
In modern times, tea tree oil is finding uses in electronics and the manufacture of flex screens for future computer and mobile phone uses, as well as perhaps more creative ideas too!
Field hospitals used bandages that were treated with tea tree oil in order to reduce infection in wounds, and even today, tea tree oil is used in some burn ointments and emergency gel packs to reduce the pain and minimize infections from serious burns.
Tea tree harvesters, or “cutters” were exempt from military service, as were the producers of tea tree oil, because it was seen as an essential Australian commodity and was standard issue for the military first aid kits. Production had to be maintained to supply the troops. I have an incredible amount of information about tea tree oil, and I'd love to answer any questions that you might still have unanswered. Feel free to email me on the contact Jim Beane page Be sure to get our newsletter/ezine. you can subscribe on this page over on the left side.