Wintergreen Essential Oil: Natural Painkiller

Wintergreen essential oil smells a bit like a bruise ointment, that’s because methyl salicylate (the main ingredient of wintergreen essential oil) has long been used in medical drugs, but of course, using pure natural essential oils is a safer choice.

Inexpensive wintergreen, in life there are many scenes of use: such as muscle pain after exercise, joint pain, cramps, etc., especially in recent years the proliferation of low-headed people brought about by frozen shoulder, cervical spondylosis, mouse hand, wintergreen essential oil can play a good auxiliary treatment and pain relief role.

In addition to being associated with ointments, the scent of wintergreen is actually liked by many people and can be used for incense to repel odors.

If the wintergreen essential oil you have on hand is from Nepal, it will take on an attractive pink color.

What is Wintergreen Essential Oil?

Wintergreen essential oil is a beneficial essential oil that is obtained by extracting the leaves of the wintergreen white pearl tree (Latin name: Gaultheria procumbens).

When the leaves are soaked in warm water, a beneficial enzyme called methyl salicylate is released. The leaves of Gaultheria procumbens are extracted by steam distillation to obtain the essential oil of Gaultheria procumbens, which contains methyl salicylate and is easy to use.

Wintergreen leaves themselves are actually odorless and tasteless, but when a compound in the leaves, gaultherin, is hydrolyzed by enzymes to methyl salicylate, it produces a signature “minty” smell.

Because of its sweet, fresh aroma, gaultherin has a wide range of uses in food, tea, aromatherapy, home and beauty products, due to its similarity to peppermint.

Wintergreen, sometimes called eastern teaberry, checkerberry, or gaultheria oil, has been used by North American indigenous tribes for centuries to help treat fatigue, lung problems, sinus and respiratory ailments.

Wintergreen essential oil is a natural antioxidant that boosts the immune system as it reduces inflammation and pain.

7 Benefits of Wintergreen Essential Oil

Studies have shown that wintergreen essential oil has natural pain-relieving (analgesic), anti-arthritic, antiseptic, and astringent properties.

Wintergreen essential oil contains mainly the active ingredient methyl salicylate, which makes up 85% to 99% of wintergreen essential oil.

It is one of the world’s best sources of anti-inflammatory compounds and is considered one of the few plants that rely solely on a natural supply of extracts.

Birch essential oil also contains methyl salicylate and therefore has similar benefits and uses.

Wintergreen essential oil is quickly absorbed into the skin and acts like a natural anesthetic, similar to cortisone (a hormonal drug used to treat infections or allergies). It also improves blood circulation and cools irritation and soothes swollen skin.

In addition, wintergreen contains beneficial components such as antioxidants, including guaiadienes, alpha-pinene, lauricene, delta-3-carene, limonene, and delta-juniperene.

The benefits of wintergreen essential oil include,

  • Fights inflammation that causes disease
  • Relieves pain
  • Reduces swelling and irritation
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves skin irritation
  • Improves discernment and alertness
  • Treats colds, fevers, infections, and flu

Wintergreen essential oil has been used for decades as the active ingredient in many topical pain relievers, helping to relieve muscle, joint and bone pain. Today, it is often used to relieve other pains as well.

For example, wintergreen is used as a natural pain reliever for chronic nerve pain, PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms and arthritis. This is because wintergreen contains natural active ingredients with similar potency to aspirin.

Wintergreen leaves also help prevent and treat digestive problems, including stomach pain, cramps, flatulence, and bloating.

Wintergreen essential oil can help fight inflammation and is effective in treating a variety of ailments – including respiratory conditions such as asthma, colds and flu, kidney problems, and even heart disease.

12 Uses of Wintergreen Essential Oil

Relieving muscle pain

Ever tried a soothing muscle massage product that smells like menthol or peppermint, this product probably contains peppermint or wintergreen essential oils, as both are considered “anti-irritants”.

Wintergreen essential oil can reduce swelling and irritation in sore muscles, tissues and joints. Applying a few drops of wintergreen oil to the skin is very effective in relieving joint pain caused by arthritis or rheumatism.

It also helps to treat sore muscles and chronic shoulder and neck pain, as well as to relieve back and back pain. (It can be irritating to the skin and is best diluted with a few drops of coconut oil before application)

Conditioning colds and flu

Wintergreen contains an aspirin-like chemical that can help reduce pain, congestion, swelling, and fever caused by common illnesses.

To clear the nasal passages and help with deep breathing, mix wintergreen essential oil with coconut oil and apply it to the chest and upper back.

To prevent or treat the common cold or flu, blend other essential oils, including eucalyptus, peppermint, and bergamot essential oils.

Antibacterial and Antiviral

Because wintergreen essential oil helps fight the growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi, you can use wintergreen essential oil at home or on your body to remove dangerous contaminants.

You can add wintergreen essential oil to your dishwasher or washing machine to kill bacteria and mold. You can also add drops of wintergreen essential oil to water and scrub your bathroom or toilet with any bacteria and mold that may be present in your home.

Improve digestion

Wintergreen essential oil can be used in small doses to increase stomach acid and help improve digestion. It is considered a natural mild diuretic that increases urine production, which helps cleanse the digestive tract and reduce bloating.

It also has anti-nausea properties, has a soothing effect on the stomach mucosa and colon, reduces muscle spasms, and is a natural remedy for nausea.

You can use a homemade oil blend with wintergreen essential oil on the abdomen, stomach, and lower back to improve blood flow and prevent cramping or pain. (Essential oils that can be blended include: lemon, peppermint, ginger, Roman chamomile, etc.)

For haircare and skincare

Wintergreen is a natural astringent and antiseptic (antiseptic) that can be diluted with a carrier oil and applied directly to the skin to combat inflammation caused by skin damage and skin conditions. It also helps clear acne because it kills bacteria on the skin.

Use 1 to 2 drops in your daily cleanser or dilute and mix with coconut oil or jojoba oil to relieve itchy, red skin. Using wintergreen oil on the scalp or hair in the shower can help remove bacteria, oil and dandruff while adding a fresh scent. This is similar to the benefits of coconut oil for hair.

Boosts energy

Records show that Native Americans used wintergreen leaves to increase stamina, alertness, and endurance during exercise because it can help stretch breathing capacity, treat pain, mucus buildup, and inflammation.

Try inhaling wintergreen and peppermint essential oils before your workout to increase focus and alertness.

You can also apply some essential oils to your neck, chest, and wrists to combat symptoms of drowsiness or to help overcome chronic fatigue syndrome.

To recover from a workout, you can use a diffuser or aromatherapy diffuser to diffuse wintergreen essential oil to help unblock nasal and respiratory passages, improve circulation and reduce pain associated with muscle, joint, or bone tension.

Bath relaxation

To relax and relieve muscle tension, pure essential oils of wintergreen and lavender (2 to 3 drops each) in a warm bath or ice bath can act as a good muscle relaxant.

Air freshener

Wintergreen essential oil is a natural household deodorizer that can help get rid of odors, including the air in your home, bathroom, and kitchen. You can add a few drops of wintergreen essential oil to water and wipe down furniture surfaces, appliances, garbage cans, or toilets.

You can also add a few drops of wintergreen essential oil to a diffuser to add a fresh peppermint scent to your bathroom or add a few drops to laundry detergent for a deodorizing effect.

Reduce appetite

The taste or smell of peppermint can help suppress appetite and feel satiated, which is why many people find it more comfortable to chew peppermint candies between meals.

If you feel like snacking or overeating in the afternoon, try sniffing wintergreen essential oil or gargling drops in water. You can also try a few drops on your temples, chest or clothing.

Make your own toothpaste

Wintergreen essential oil has the ability to kill odor-causing bacteria and oral irritants, making it a great addition to homemade (or store-bought) toothpaste.

Homemade Mouthwash

Wintergreen not only helps to naturally freshen your breath but also protects your gums and teeth from infection and pain. Add 1 to 2 drops to water, gargle for 30 to 60 seconds and then spit it out (repeat several times).

Natural Flavor Enhancer

Wintergreen essential oil is used as a natural flavoring agent in commercial food and beverage production in certain minty flavored foods, candies, and teas. An easy way to use it at home is to add a drop or two to your favorite green milkshake to reduce the bitterness of the flavor.

Although wintergreen essential oil can improve digestion, I do not recommend taking wintergreen essential oil directly, it is not FDA approved for food safety and should be taken orally with caution.

Research on the wintergreen essential oil

Wintergreen is the primary source of methyl salicylate, a lipophilic liquid commonly used as a natural analgesic, counter-irritant, and erythrogenic ingredient in commercially available over-the-counter dermatological products.

Wintergreen essential oil has been most studied for pain relief, anesthesia of skin, and muscle soreness. The effectiveness of some topical products of wintergreen depends on the form of drug release and dosage ratios.

A study by the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Long Island University (LISU) found that methyl salicylate in typical ointment bases and several commercial products differed in their effects on pain, with concentrated forms (such as pure wintergreen essential oil) worked best.

In addition to fighting pain, other evidence suggests that wintergreen can be a powerful fighter against free radicals and oxidative damage.

The Department of Pharmacology at the Medical University of Lodz in Poland tested dried leaf extracts of wintergreen to assess their effectiveness as bioactive antioxidants of plant origin.

Through systematic activity testing and phytochemical analysis, the researchers found high levels of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, including phenolics, proanthocyanidins, and phenolic acids.

Researchers at the University of Toulouse in France, in a report published in 2014, found that methyl salicylate, the main component of creeping white bead extract, can be metabolized in plant tissues to form salicylic acid, which is a phytohormone that helps induce plant immunity to microbial pathogens.

The inflammatory response of damaged and infected tissues was evaluated using wintergreen essential oil as a biorepellent.

The results showed that wintergreen essential oil significantly induced defense markers in the organism to reduce inflammation and infection. Fluorometric measurements on infected tissues showed that treatment resulted in a substantial reduction (60%) in pathogen development.

How to use Wintergreen essential oil?

Essential oils are 100% pure, organic, and therapeutic grade for you to get the most benefit from them. 

Pure wintergreen essential oil is pale yellow or pink in color and has a strong, but not pungent, odor.

For fragrance

At home, use a diffuser or aromatherapy diffuser to spread the fresh scent of wintergreen essential oil in the air. You can also sniff wintergreen directly from the bottle.

To be taken internally 

Although the leaves of the wintergreen plant are edible, it is not recommended to take wintergreen essential oil internally, as it may be toxic.

Because of the high methyl salicylate content, some authorities are concerned about possible interactions from consuming wintergreen, especially for pregnant women or anyone with heart or digestive problems.

Some healthcare practitioners do use wintergreen as an internal supplement, but it is best to use it carefully under supervision to avoid overdosing or using impure products. Many people who take it internally do not report any adverse side effects, but this varies from person to person.

When speaking with a professional, you may be advised to take physical therapy grade wintergreen essential oil internally as a dietary supplement or add 1 to 2 drops to warm water, smoothies, or green juice.

For topical application 

It is not recommended to apply pure wintergreen essential oil directly to the skin unless it is first diluted with a carrier oil.

Start with a small dose, just 1 or 2 drops, mixed with coconut, olive, almond or jojoba oil, then apply and massage into the skin and muscle joints.

Remember, a little bit of wintergreen essential oil and peppermint essential oil is very effective, too much can cause allergies or irritation instead.

Considerations for wintergreen essential oil

High doses can be toxic and even painful, so avoid overusing Wintergreen essential oil or applying it (undiluted) directly to the skin.

Especially for novices, use very small doses at first. Also be careful to keep away from eyes, nasal mucous membranes, pets, and infants. Because

Methyl Salicylate can cause damage when used on open wounds, internally, on infants or children, and on people with any allergies, please use caution and start with small amounts.

If you have sensitive skin, you may have adverse reactions to peppermint-based oils, such as redness, burning sensations, or swelling.

Before using it on a large area of your body, do a small skin test to make sure there are no side effects, such as 1 or 2 drops on an area of insensitive skin (such as your feet or lower legs).

Avoid taking wintergreen essential oil internally unless under professional guidance. Internal use may cause a number of side effects, including heartburn, flushing, mouth ulcers, headaches, rashes, and acid reflux.

Some prescription and over-the-counter medications may also interact with wintergreen essential oil when taken with it and cause adverse reactions. If you are taking any digestive or asthma medications, blood thinners, pain relievers, or anticoagulants, talk to your doctor first.

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