25 November 2008

In late spring the plant forms small white flowers. In summer red cherry shaped berries grow and last until the following spring. The crushed leaves have a lovely medicinal smell. Traditionally Wintergreen was chewed by the natives of the Americas in order to increase lung capacity and assist in healing respiratory conditions. Early settlers chewed on Wintergreen to help prevent tooth decay.

Botanical Name
Gaultheria procumbens

North America

Pale yellow

Intense sweet-woody aroma

Extraction Method
Wintergreen essential oil is extracted from the leaves of a small evergreen herb that grows up to 15 cm using steam distillation

Constituents and Chemical Composition
Menthyl salicylate and gaultherilene

Therapeutic Properties
Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antitussive, astringent, carminative, diruetic, emmenagogue, galactagogue and stimulant

Uses for Health Benefits (Indications)
  • It is mainly employed for joint and muscular problems such as lumbago, sciatica, neuralgia, gout, myalgia, etc
  • Has been traditionally used for supporting cases of arthritis and other joint/muscular aches and pains
  • The essential oil of Wintergreen, being made up almost exclusively of methyl salicylate, precursor to common aspirin
  • Along with its analgesic effects, Wintergreen also has anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antitussive, astringent, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactagogue and stimulant properties
  • Wintergreen oil should always used in diluted form
  • Wintergreen should NOT be used by people who are allergic to aspirin
  • Avoid using during pregnancy
  • Internal use of wintergreen should be avoided because it can be toxic
  • Always test a small amount of essential oil first for sensitivity or allergic reaction, dilute properly
Blend With
Oregano Oil, Peppermint Oil, Thyme Oil and Ylang Ylang Oil

The dried leaf and stem are current in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia as a specific for rheumatoid arthritis. It is often blended to a 10% concentration in the carrier oil of your choice, and used as an effective pain-relieving massage oil


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