Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) medicinal herb is native to Northern United States as well as Canada. It is of the Ericaceae family and the main parts used as herbal medicine are the leaves and the essential oil. It is not strange to us here in Jamaica because from I was a child, every home I visited there was a bottle of the liniment lying somewhere around. I am proud to say that it was also a part of my home.
Some of its common names are Ivory plum, Hillberry, Deerberry, Ground berry, Red pollom, Mountain tea, Spring wintergreen, Canada tea, Red berry tea, Checkerberry, Boxberry, Wax cluster, Aromatic winter green, Partridge berry, Spicy winter green as well as Spring winter green. The medicinal properties are stimulant, antiseptic, diuretic, astringent, emmenagogue as well as aromatic.
This medicinal herb has been used throughout the centuries. Its uses are very archaic but its remedy remains the same and it is still very effective. It is very useful to stimulate the stomach, respiration and also the heart. It continues to be an alternative medicine for arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatic fever, skin ailments, scrofula, bladder diseases, sciatica as well as diabetes.
This medicinal plant is also used to treat bowels ailments, gonorrhea, stomach conditions and also dropsy. The winter green essential oil may be used internally as well as externally. I can remember my grandmother as usual, having the oil to use as a liniment for every possible pain we may feel.
It really does alleviate pains, especially joint pains, back pains, arthritis, rheumatic pains as well as muscle pains. Wintergreen essential oil can also be combined with pure olive oil and used for muscle spasms. There are various products that contain the oil which are used for these purposes.
Gaultheria may also be utilized as a poultice. Crush the leaves and place it on boils, swellings, sprain ankles, sores as well as inflamed joints.
Combined one part of dried the herb, willow bark as well as meadowsweet for headaches resulting from stress. So a soothing cup of tea with these herbs can be very effective. Pour boiling water on this blend of dried herbs and allow to steep for fifteen minutes. Then consume at a drinkable temperature to relieve headaches and nerve pain.
Its constituents include ninety-nine percent of Methyl Salicylate. The essential oil also contains Gaultheria, hydrocarbon, as well as ketone.
The capsules may be purchased as oil of Gaultheria and one wintergreen capsule is to be taken three times daily.