Captain Cook Ti Tree History

 
 

Captain James Cook first visited New Zealand in 1769 and sailed into Mercury Bay with a crew who were sick with scurvy and infection.  He landed Purangi (Cooks Beach) looking for fresh water and supplies and noticed that the local Maori were drinking and bathing in amber water infused with Ti Tree. The local Maori told him about the cleansing and healing properties of the Manuka Ti-Tree plant so  Captain Cook took it back to his ship. He didn’t want to risk it on all of his crew, so gave it to the sickest guy on his ship. Cook wrote: “…the leaves were used by many of us as a tea which has a very agreeable bitter taste and flavour when they are recent but lose some of both when they are dried” The crew members recovered quickly so Captain Cook  decided to give it to all of his crew to prevent any further attacks.

 

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