When you think of wintergreen, you are probably thinking of the refreshing, minty taste from chewing gums and toothpastes or the pleasant sensation from topical creams for sore muscles when you apply them after a strenuous workout, right? But, believe it or not, there is more to this plant than meets the eye!
The Main Characteristics of Wintergreen Essential Oil
Wintergreen essential oil originates from the leaves of the evergreen plant known as Gaultheria procumbens which is found in coniferous areas. Through the process of distillation, its leaves provide oil which is 99 percent methyl salicylate, a chemical compound also present in aspirin pills. Wintergreen and birch are the only two plants in the whole world that have methyl salicylate naturally.
Moreover, for a long period of time, Indians have used wintergreen leaves as a natural cure against toothache and for the reduction of rheumatism symptoms. According to some available data, therapeutic grade wintergreen essential oil has a cortisol-like influence and it can decrease ache fast and effectively. Did you know that a 15 ml bottle of this oil is equal to 85 aspirin tablets?
How to Use Wintergreen Essential Oil
- To relieve pain, massage the affected area gently with several drops of the oil
- When diluted with carrier oil like coconut oil, wintergreen oil can be a beneficial treatment for acne-prone skin. Massage the affected area before going to bed and after rinsing your face with 2 drops of wintergreen and a tbsp of the carrier oil you have chosen
- To reduce the severity of dandruff, massage your scalp with a blend of 5 drops of wintergreen essential oil and a tbsp of raw ACV
- To enhance your mental alertness, diffuse some wintergreen essential oil. It will also help lower anxiety and stress
- To minimize the pain and discomfort from bone spurs, massage the affected areas gently with 3 drops of wintergreen essential oil, two to three times per day
Important to note:
- Children should not be given wintergreen essential oil
- Overdose due to overuse from the salicylate may lead to a condition known as salicylism manifested by tinnitus, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and even death; hence, consult your physician prior to using it
- If you have an aspirin allergy, you should avoid using this oil because you may experience allergic reactions due to the similarity in ingredients
To learn more about the benefits of wintergreen, make sure you take a look at the following video: