Traditionally extracted from its leaves, this essential oil is made by fermenting the natural material from the plant. The distillation process is followed in order to obtain a pure product, which is almost entirely made of methyl salicylate, the active element of wintergreen essential oil.
Wintergreen possesses a strong, crisp, mint-like aroma, and is sometimes confused with being a member of the mint family. There are two species of wintergreen plants that can be used to produce the oil.
Gaultheria Fragrantissima- native to Asia, and commonly cultivated and distilled in Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Gaultheria Procumbens- native to North America.
The extraction of wintergreen oil is quite interesting. The wintergreen leaves are first soaked in warm water. This process allows the leaves to produce methyl salicylate which is not initially present in the fresh plant. Wintergreen essential oil can then be used for several purposes, from pain management to flavoring and scents.
Wintergreen oil and its medicinal benefits Wintergreen oil has been known since ages for its medicinal benefits. It is a powerful analgesic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory. It is used medicinally and is reputed to:
Promote the body’s detoxification
Enhance digestion and metabolic function
Increase blood circulation
Soothe symptoms of psoriasis
Soothe the symptoms of colds, infections, and the flu
Topical pain reliever to ease body pain
One particular study has shown that wintergreen oil is a potential alternative to relieve lower back pain. Another study showed that methyl salicylate and menthol provided far better pain relief than a placebo patch. And as per one particular case study, the topical application of wintergreen oil provided headache relief to a person with severe headaches following electroconvulsive therapy.
The dental use of Wintergreen Wintergreen oil should never be swallowed. However in 2013, the use of methyl salicylate in dental products such as mouth rinses, mouthwashes, and sprays to control plaque and gingivitis was reviewed. The subcommittee of the Food and Drug Administration reviewed the use of methyl salicylate and indicated that methyl salicylate, or wintergreen combined with menthol, eucalyptol, and thymol, is safe and effective.
Benefits on skin and hair Wintergreen oil has a reputation for its benefits on skin and hair. The oil is known to improve the skin’s complexion and clarity. It is a great way to soothe irritation and skin dryness, and rejuvenate the skin. When used on hair, it reduces hair loss and eliminates odor-causing bacteria.
Use in aromatherapy The sweet and minty flavor of wintergreen that is often confused with mint is a great flavor to reduce stress and mental pressure. The wintergreen oil emits a warm woody aroma as well that helps improve negative mood, and restores balance after a phase of extreme stress. It is also a beneficial aromatherapy to improve the concentration and a sense of emotional balance.
For revitalization of the mind and the body through massage Wintergreen essential oil is used in massages to rejuvenate the mind and the body and free it from stress and tension. It revitalizes the tender and exhausted muscles, promotes easier breathing, helps decrease spasms, soothes headaches and pain and discomfort caused by stress.
Wintergreen oil should be treated with a fair amount of caution due to the presence of methyl salicylate, comprising 96% of the oil. Methyl salicylate can be toxic when not used with caution. It is not recommended for children, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, people taking blood-thinning drugs, and people who have bleeding disorders.
The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Neither Sixth Scents nor its products are intended for the purpose of diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.
HEALTH BEYOND THE SENSES COPYRIGHT 2020 SIXTH SCENTS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Neither Sixth Scents nor its products are intended for the purpose of diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products. Sixth Scents essential oils are intended for topical use only. For internal use always work with a certified aromatherapist or physician.