Interest in tea tree oil emerged in the 1920s when Australian researchers found it had up to thirteen times greater antiseptic activity than carbolic acid, then a well-known germicide. A couple of drops in a glass of water were recommended as a gargle for sore throat at early stages of inflammation. Its confirmed antiseptic activity, gentleness to oral mucosa, and apparent lack of toxicity endeared it to Australian dentists. Physicians used the oil to treat throat infections, dirty wounds, candida, and fungal infections including ringworm and athlete’s foot. Tea tree oil is now one of Australia’s more popular herbal exports.