Gaultheria fragrantissima (wintergreen) is a much-branched evergreen aromatic shrub about 3 m tall. Bark orange-brown, twigs pink. Wintergreen leaves are simple, alternate, and oblong-lanceolate to elliptic, serrate, stiffly coriaceous, and dotted with glands, up to 23 cm long. Flowers are small, greenish-white fragrant flowers in short axillary bunches. Its fruits are capsule, sub-globose, enclosed in bluish sepals.
Wintergreen essential oil is rich in medicinal and aromatic values. It is extracted through the steam distillation from the fresh twigs and leaves of Gaultheria fragrantissima Wall. The new twigs and leaves are aromatic, stimulant, carminative, and antiseptic. It is taken an important essential oil for its medicinal and cosmetic applications.
Major and active chemical constituents of wintergreen are dominated by methyl salicylate with minor and traces number of monoterpenes d-aspinene, myrcene, b-3-carene, limonene and sesquiterpenes as d-cadinene, 3, 7-guaiadiene. Analgestic, anti-inflamatory, antirheumatic, antitussive, astringent, carminative, diuretic, stimulant.
Wintergreen essential oil is a well-known ingredient of traditional medicine. It has been particularly useful in colic, tooth decay, colds, and bacterial infections.
The wintergreen oil helps to eliminate all the foul odors haunting your room and home. It can freshen up the clothes in a moment.
The oil can also help to reduce the imperfections of the skin.
It reduces body pain, especially of the lower back.
Wintergreen oil is good for messages. It warms, soothes, and makes you feel rejuvenating mind and body.
It helps to stimulate the mind through its sweet minty smell.
Wintergreen oil has some antibacterial properties. The oil has been proven effective against Lyme disease.
Due to an active component Methyl Salicylate, the wintergreen has several uses in health, agriculture, and bakery.
Traditionally, it has been used in muscle, joint and connective tissue injuries and pain, inflamed nerves, coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, usually in Massage Oil and inhalation blends. It clears the head, is uplifting and relaxing. It is also used by many tribes to treat back pain, fever, headaches, sore throats, and many other conditions. Crushed leaves mixed with water are taken in cough.
The oil is sometimes used to treat cellulitis, a bacterial infection causing the skin to become inflamed.
The Methyl Salicylate mimics as aspirin; therefore, it is used as an analgesic drug for relieving pain. Likewise, it is used in fever, asthma, gout, menstrual cramps, and soreness of muscles.
The essence of wintergreen oil has an insecticidal property. When mixed with other essential oil, it can be a good insect repellent.
It has a sweet, refreshing aroma; therefore, it can also be used to add flavor in bakeries and confectioneries.