Oil Summary: Wintergreen Oil known best for its fresh, minty flavor as much as its ability to ease muscle and joint pain, wintergreen has been used as a flavoring for candy, chewing gum, toothpaste and lozenges as well as lending its medicinal properties to various remedies through the ages. Wintergreen is a hardy coniferous shrub (gaultheria procumbens) that thrives in challenging conditions; its oil is produced by steam distillation of the leaves, which follows a brief fermentation. The main chemical component of wintergreen essential oil is methyl salicylate. In fact, it is one of only two trees that grow in the wild that contains this ingredient, the other being the birch tree. Other components include limonene, myrcene, gaultheraline, and formaldehyde. It is a clear, thin, pinkish or yellow liquid, but tends to darken to a reddish-brown color with age, at which stage it should not be used. Wintergreen has a strong, sweet, fruity and medicinal aroma with a hint of camphor and sometimes even vanillin. It is considered a hot oil (meaning it causes a heat reaction on your skin), and should be used with caution if you have sensitive skin.
Country of origin : China
Botanical name : Gaultheria fragrantissima
Odor and Color: It is a clear, thin, pinkish or yellow liquid, but tends to darken to a reddish-brown color with age, at which stage it should not be used.
Contraindication: Methyl salicylate can be toxic, and should never be taken internally, under any circumstances. As little as 5ml (one teaspoon) can be fatal to children if swallowed. Wintergreen is a salicylate, so if you are allergic to aspirin, have sensitivities to NSAIDs or are taking blood thinners, you should avoid it altogether. Wintergreen can stop your blood from clotting and should not be taken within 30 days of any surgical procedure. Wintergreen is a ‘hot’ oil and is highly irritating to your skin: avoid contact with the eyes, mucous membranes, inner ear or any open wound. Always heed recommended dilution ratios in order to avoid an adverse reaction. Avoid if you are pregnant or nursing, and do not use on children, pets or the elderly.
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