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The first natural application of wintergreen essential oil is a benefit for the respiratory tract but it has also proved to be an excellent ally against rheumatism and muscle and joint pain.

The plant and the production of essential oil

Wintergreen is the common name used in North America for a group of aromatic plants, in particular the shrubs of the genus Gaultheria, the the most common species of this genus is Gaultheria procumbens known as American wintergreen and this essential oil is obtained from this. It looks like a small shrub that does not exceed 15 cm in height. The leaves are small, elliptical or oval, evergreen and have a strong scent that we find in the oil. The fruits are red berries, but the essential oil is obtained from the leaves with the usual method used for almost all essential oils of steam distillation.

Properties of wintergreen essential oil

We have often said that essential oils are very complex compounds that contain many different molecules, well wintergreen essential oil is an exception, in almost all (more than 90%) it is composed of a single molecule, methyl salicylate (methyl salicylate is the ester of salicylic acid and methanol). It should therefore come as no surprise that Native Americans chewed its leaves to breathe better in case of respiratory ailments and to combat fatigue. Later it was realized that wraps made with wintergreen leaves soothed the ailments related to muscle trauma and rheumatism. Obviously it is not a cure for these ailments but a remedy for the symptoms useful in the acute phases due to its anti-inflammatory capabilities, exactly like aspirin.

Topical use of wintergreen essential oil

Wintergreen essential oil has long been particularly popular among sportsmen precisely to soothe discomfort due to fatigue and trauma. Like all essential oils, it is certainly not used in its absolute form, but a few drops diluted in other oils for massages are perfect for a massage after sports. On the net there are recipes for post-sport massage oils but we do not go into this and invite you to consult an expert. If it's good to be careful when using an essential oil, let alone when you decide to mix it! As an indication, we can say that given the anti-inflammatory action of wintergreen essential oil, coupling it with one that has a relaxing effect and improves circulation, you will have a complete action. One very important thing to say about wintergreen essential oil is that it is one of the most powerful essential oils known, it should never be ingested and should never be used on open wounds but only on intact skin. Using fewer drops of wintergreen essential oil, an evening massage can be done simply to combat fatigue, in this case we will focus on the chest, shoulders and neck, taking advantage of the soothing effect as well as the ability of the effluvium to free the nose favoring breathing, which will favor rest. Other properties attributed to wintergreen essential oil are diuretic and purifying, but obviously given what has been said above this does not mean that its internal use is recommended: having a good penetrative power of the skin can be used (diluted in other oil, as always!) for this purpose by massaging the abdomen.

Use of wintergreen essential oil in aromatherapy

In aromatherapy, wintergreen essential oil can be used to obtain an invigorating effect and to free a stuffy nose, but also having a strong disinfectant power it can be useful for disinfecting the nose. ambient air.


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