Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud;
And after summer evermore succeeds
Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold:
So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.
– William Shakespeare
A Shakespearean summer has the brightest cloud while the winter – barren and wrathful. That had also taught me about colorful summers and rusty calm brown winters. But the beauty of the aromatic shrub wintergreen is the fight these put up, to continue their photosynthesis throughout winter and maintain their skin color. Yes. They remain green throughout winter and hence the name ‘Wintergreen’, also aptly called evergreen.
Their genus is the Gaultheria which contains an aromatic compound methyl salicylate. Innate to the winter’s rusty smell, the oil of wintergreen is a pale yellow or pinkish fluid that has a sweet, woody smell. This characteristic smell could possibly trigger asthma although it could serve as a medicine for arthritis, rheumatism, edema, hypertension, and such inflammation.
How could a woody rusty oil be an analgesic? The answer to this is the intensity that comes from the salicylate, which induces numbness and an anesthetic effect on the nerves. As it improves blood circulation while the analgesic is work, it effectively fights pain.
The astringent property of wintergreen oil could contract muscles, tissues, hair roots and blood vessels. This helps in strengthening and stiffening of the target organ, thus adding firmness and lifting the external skin leading to a younger look.
This property of the wintergreen oil comes from is stimulating characteristics. It stimulates the kidneys thus helping in water flushing and filtration by the organs. This aids in the removal of toxins like uric acid. This prevents building up of fluids in any part of the body. By preventing unwanted fluid pockets, direct disorders such as rheumatism and arthritis which are cause due to the accumulation of unwanted toxins, are naturally kept under check. Kidney stones, gall bladder stones are all no risk effects of wintergreen oil.
This essential oil helps removal of excess water, fat and salt from the body. Now what does this cost us? As good as it gets, is the escape from serious conditions such as edema, water logging and hypertension.
Women health is a critical area of study and research. Obstructed menstruation is a known issue in urban women. The essential oil of wintergreen is one of the agents that can liberate the obstruction and restart the menses and also aid in keeping them regular. What could possibly the long-term effects? – saving our women from uterine ulcers and cancers, abdominal pain, failing health and difficult periods.
Wintergreen oil is surprisingly one of those oils that have diverse applications. It can be used in fine art printing applications to transfer color photocopy image or print into an art. The image is coated with wintergreen oil before being placed face down on the target paper. The final step is a standard etch press.
The oil comes with a strict warning. It is UNSAFE for oral intake. It is rigidly recommended not to directly consume it by mouth – no direct drinking. According to research in Oregon, about 30ml is enough to kill an adult and 1ml would kill a child. So NO-NO to oral intake.
This shrub is a home plant of native America. Native Americans were known to use the wintergreen berry in tea. It is a common flavoring agent in gums, mints and candies. It is a component of the American-origin drink root-beer. Only if we learn not to do the DON’T’s, we shall be able to make the best and diverse use of this otherwise useful essential oil.
Disclaimer – Usage for different applications might demand specific mixture and composition with specific compounds that may not have been discussed in this blog. All of the above information has not been evaluated by the food and Drug Administration or any other qualifying entity. All of the content above is from various sources on the web. The medicines and the recipes discussed, are proven to be effective based on the experiences and other blogs on the internet. Not all of these have been personally tried and tested by me. I am no expert in this oil’s usage. Good luck trying!
This post has been written in collaboration with the IndianSuperHeroes. They have these oils purely extracted from the herbs. You can find them in their store right here.