Wintergreen, commonly referred to as checkerberry or teaberry, is a herb native to North America, Asia, and India. And wintergreen oil is derived from the evergreen wintergreen plant. The oil can be extracted from two herb species, i.e., Gaultheria Procumbens and Gautheria Fragrantissima .
The wintergreen oil is composed of Menthyl salicylate and is used for making medicines. The essential oil has a sweet, minty, and woody aroma. The color of the oil is pink or in a reddish shade.
The process of making the oil is simple. First, the wintergreen leaves are soaked in warm water and steamed to extract oil.
It also acts as an energy booster and helps with mood swings. It also helps control mood and has a refreshing effect on the body.
Always follow the prescribed directions use mentioned on product labels. The dosage of wintergreen varies depending upon age, health, and other medical conditions.
The Wintergreen plant is used for making medicines and the used food industry.
The leaves treat painful conditions like nerve pain, arthritis, headache, ovarian pain, and menstrual cramps. It is also helpful with digestion problems like flatulence (gas) or stomach aches, lung conditions like asthma and pleurisy, swelling and inflammation, fever, kidney problems, etc.
It can improve digestion and increase stomach juices for some people.
The essential oil is beneficial for the skin, and the leaves are applied to the skin for achy joints, lower back pain, or sore muscles. It works as a counterirritant to relieve muscle pain and swelling. It can kill the germs on the skin.
The food industry used wintergreen herb as a flavoring agent for candies and tea.
Wintergreen Oil Benefits
Wintergreen oil is associated with many health benefits, which can be found in most households and stores. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits:
Used as Muscle Pain Relief
Wintergreen oil has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can help in reducing muscle pain and swelling.
Studies suggest that wintergreen oil helps to reduce irritation and swelling around muscles, tissues, and joints. Massage a few drops to the skin to relieve achy joints.
Cold and Flu Treatment
The leaves of the wintergreen plant contain analgesic property that helps treat pain, cold, and congestion. You can also rub the oil on your chest and lower back to give relief from congestion.
Add a few drops of oil in a carrier like coconut oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, or bergamot oil for best results.
Helps With Antibacterial and Antiviral Infection
Wintergreen oil contains methyl salicylate that helps induce plant immunity against microbial pathogens. These properties are effective against different kinds of infections. It effectively fights any viral, bacterial, or fungal growth.
You can also add 2-3 drops to your clothes to give your clothes a pleasant and refreshing fragrance.
Helps with Digestion
Wintergreen is a diuretic in nature, which helps increase urine production and cleanse the digestive tract and reduce bloating.
It also has anti-nausea properties and soothing effects on the gastric lining and colon.
Rub this oil on your abdomen and lower back to improve blood flow and to get relief from cramps, stomach aches, and bloating.
Skin and Hair Treatment
The oil has antiseptic and astringent properties, which help fight inflammation from skin disorders. It kills the germs and helps fight against issues like acne, pimples, scars, dark spots, even skin tone, etc.
Wintergreen oil is used in many beauty products like creams, body lotions, moisturizers, and face wash.
You can also add 2-3 drops of oil in coconut oil or jojoba oil to your face wash to help with itchy, swollen skin.
It can be helpful to remove dandruff and itchy scalp. Apply a couple of drops of oil to your scalp while taking a shower. This will help remove any dirt, grease, bacteria, or dandruff from the scalp.
Boosts Energy and Fights Fatigue Levels
Research studies suggest wintergreen oil helps in increasing alertness and stamina. Applying a few drops (mixed with a carrier oil) can help you overcome fatigue.
Dab essential oil with cotton to your neck, chest, and wrist to get freshness. It can increase your endurance levels and thus boosts your energy levels.
Release Stress Levels
You can use it as a relaxant. The essential oil will release the pain and tension and make you stress-free.
It will also help you to get sound sleep at night.
Mix wintergreen oil drops with lavender oil. Add the mixture to your bathtub. It will relieve muscle tension and relax your muscle to feel stress-free.
Use as Toothpaste and Mouth Wash
The essential oil can kill bacteria that cause odor and mouth irritants. Adding a couple of drops to your toothpaste and mouthwash can freshen up your breath. It also protects your teeth and gums from infection.
Natural Flavour Enhancer
Many food companies use wintergreen oil as a flavoring agent. You can add a couple of drops to your favorite food items to get the natural flavor.
Used as Air Freshener
You can use it can t deodorize your home. It can mask the foul smell and will sanitize the air.
Treating Bites from Animals and Insects
Wintergreen oil can help in treating snake bites, dog bites, frostbite, or stings from poisonous insects like bees and wasps. It is also beneficial for sores, ulcers, and rotten and infected wounds.
Wintergreen Oil Toxicity
Wintergreen oil is usually safe for consumption both in foods and medicine if taken as per the prescribed amount by the manufacturer.
But it can be extremely dangerous if swallowed and fatal if consumed by mouth.
This oil should never be consumed alone without using any carrier oil. Consuming wintergreen oil in large quantities or without mixing any carrier oil can be unsafe. It can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, ringing in the ears, and confusion. It can also cause skin irritation.
The oil can be poisonous for children, especially those below 2-year-old. Using this oil orally or skin can be deadly for your kids. Take medical advice before using this oil .
Also, it is best for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to avoid wintergreen oil altogether. However, there is no clear evidence of harmful effects on mothers.
Wintergreen may interact with aspirin or other salicylate compounds and cause an allergic reaction. If you have asthma or nasal polyps, use it with utmost caution.
Due to a lack of research, wintergreen oil is not recommended in aromatherapy, such as room diffusers.
How to Make Wintergreen Oil?
Wintergreen oil is extracted from the wintergreen plant. It is made by steam processing the soaked wintergreen leaves in water.
The leaves and oil are then used to make medicines and cosmetic products.
Always add carrier oil like coconut, lavender, etc., for home use.
How to Use Wintergreen Oil?
Wintergreen oil is a strong essential oil, and you should always use it after diluting it with a carrier oil. You can mix with carrier oils like jojoba or grapeseed. It also blends amazingly with lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils.
Always apply wintergreen oil externally as per the prescription. According to the New York Institute of Atomic Studies, only 2-3% of wintergreen oil should be used for making a solution . For example, add 6 tsp of carrier oil with 15 drops of wintergreen oil.
Wintergreen Oil Pregnancy
It is usually safe to consume in small amounts found in food items. But, there is no further information on its benefits or toxicity levels.
Therefore, it is best to avoid consuming it by pregnant and nursing mothers in any form – medicine or applying it to the skin.
Wintergreen oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the wintergreen herb. Traditionally this essential oil is being used to help with many health-related issues.
For many decades now, the oil has been used for aches, pains, inflammation, etc.
There are many health benefits associated with wintergreen oil, including soothing effects, treating antiviral and antibacterial infections, cold and flu, etc.
Always consume this oil as described and consult a health care professional for any queries, dosages, or allergic reactions.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Ojha, P. K., Poudel, D. K., Dangol, S., Rokaya, A., Timsina, S., Satyal, P., & Setzer, W. N. (2022). Volatile Constituent Analysis of Wintergreen Essential Oil and Comparison with Synthetic Methyl Salicylate for Authentication. Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(8), 1090. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11081090
- Davis J. E. (2007). Are one or two dangerous? Methyl salicylate exposure in toddlers. The Journal of emergency medicine, 32(1), 63–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jemermed.2006.08.009