- Scientific name: Gaultheria procumbens
- Part used: Leaves.
- Properties: Analgesic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, stimulant
- Preparation and Dosage: Infusion: Steep 1 tsp of leaves in 1 cup water. Take 1 cup daily, a mouthful at a time.
- Other common names: Wintergreen , Teaberry, Mountain Tea, Spice Berry, Checker-berry, Partridge-berry
- Family: Heath
- Other uses: Wintergreen oil is a popular ingredient in cosmetic products, pain killer, toothpaste, gum, candy, and root beer.
Wintergreen is a woody plant that grows up to six inches in height; it is usually found growing on sandy and barren plains. The medicinal qualities of wintergreen are found in the leaves essential oil which can be obtained by steam distillation.
The active constituent found in the leaves is methyl salicylate (90%), a close relative of aspirin. Unlike aspirin, a moderate internal dosage of wintergreen relieves indigestion rather than inducing it. Wintergreen is an important ingredient of the popular lotion to relieve muscle pain.
Wintergreen has an oval shaped green leaves that are delicately jagged or toothed. The surface of the leaves is dark green in color, while below they are lighter.
It bears bell-shaped white flowers during the months of July-August and these are followed by fleshy, bright red berries with a sweetish taste and peculiar flavor. The red berries should be picked as soon as they achieve their vivid color. They may be safely eaten raw or used in baking pies or tarts.
Health Benefits of Wintergreen:
- Wintergreen is use in cosmetic preparation to speed up the healing of skin disorders, and when added to lotions it acts as a natural softener readily absorbed by the skin.
- Wintergreen oil stimulates the circulation and is good for chronic inflammatory rheumatism. It is also useful for headache, toothache, muscle pain, and other aches and inflammations. Place a cloth soaked with the oil over painful joints.
- Wintergreen tea when taken in small, frequent doses, it will stimulate stomach, heart and respiration.
- Wintergreen helps in to stimulate digestion and alleviate flatulence and colic.
- Wintergreen oil is beneficial in reducing cellulites.
- Wintergreen tea is used as a gargle for sore throat.
- Wintergreen tea is use as a douche for leucorrhea.
- The active phytochemical, methyl Salicylate is toxic in large doses, so it must be diluted and used properly.
- Harmful or fatal if taken internally. As little as one teaspoon can be fatal if ingested by a child.
- Avoid if pregnant.
“This post was originally published on August 9, 2012 @ 11:22”