Botanical Name: Gaultheria procumbens
Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distillation
Parts Used: The leaves of the wintergreen plant are used to extract oil. Sometimes the barks are also used.
Note Classification: Top/ Middle
Aroma: The aroma of wintergreen oil is strong, pleasant and sweet. It also has a woody odour.
Largest Producing Countries: Though wintergreen is a native of America, especially North East America, the largest producing country today is Nepal.
Traditional Use: Native Americans and Europeans have known to use the wintergreen leaves. Native Americans used it to increase respiratory capacity and to avert tooth decay. Native Americans used it when they had to run long distances. It was also used for muscular pains like lumbago.
Wintergreen oil is antiseptic, anticoagulant, anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and vasodilator. It is a good stimulant for the bones. Due to these properties it was used to cure various health issues like headache, sore throat, fever and many other aches and pains. It cures irritable bowels, relaxes joint stiffness. It is good to counter spider bites. Traditionally it was used for tooth aches and to control tooth decay; it is continued even today. It is used in toothpastes, mouth wash and other products related to dental hygiene. Varicose veins, urinary tract infection can be effectively treated with wintergreen oil. Circulatory disorders, hypertension, osteoporosis, nausea can be treated with winter green oil.
Wintergreen oil is used in the printing industry. For photocopying, laser printing, hot-press water colour, a certain amount of oil is essential. For this wintergreen oil is considered the best. It has high refractive index and is used in microscopy. In America it is used to flavour various products. Most common being toothpaste and gums. It is also used in snuffs, smokeless cigarettes, candies and mint. It is used in aromatherapy as it relaxes the muscles and there is a relief in the joint pains. However there is a contradictory opinion about its use in aromatherapy. In industries it is used for degreasing the machinery and also helps in rust removal. Corrosion caused by sea water can be rectified using wintergreen oil.
Blends Well With: Wintergreen oil blends well with marjoram, cypress, peppermint, frankincense, eucalyptus, coconut and helichrysum oils.
Of Interest: Wintergreen is made synthetically and is used to flavour in toothpaste, gum and sometimes in root beer. During the revolutionary war in America wintergreen tea was used instead of black tea. Wintergreen is also known as Mother Nature’s aspirin as it contains 85-99% of methyl salicylate which is a component of aspirin.
Safety Data: Wintergreen oil is mostly used to flavour gums and toothpaste. Internal consumption is not recommended. Pregnant women and children are strongly advised not to consume winter oil. It is not used in aromatherapy because of it strong smell and it can cause irritation to the skin. It has anti-coagulant properties so be very careful with the use of wintergreen oil. It can cause allergic reactions as well. If you have asthma it is better not to take wintergreen oil.