Wintergreen essential oil is rich in medicinal and aromatic values. It is extracted through the steam distillation from the fresh twigs and leaves of Gaultheria fragrantissima Wall. The fresh twigs and leaves are aromatic, stimulant, carminative and antiseptic. It is taken an important essential oil for its medicinal and cosmetic applications.
Wintergreen essential oil containing active chemical constituents the essential oil are dominated by methyl salicylate with minor and traces amount of monoterpenes d-aspinene, myrcene, b-3-carene, limonene and sesquiterpenes as d-cadinene, 3, 7-guaiadiene. Analgestic, anti-inflamatory, antirheumatic, antitussive, astringent, carminative, diuretic, stimulant.
Wintergreen-Gaultheria fragrantissima is a much branched evergreen aromatic shrub about 3 m tall. Bark orange-brown, twigs pink. Wintergreen leaves are simple, alternate, and oblong-lanceolate to elliptic, serrate, stiffly coriaceous, and dotted with glands, up to 23 cm long. Flowers are small, greenish white fragrant flowers in short axillary bunches. Its fruits are capsule, sub-globose, enclosed in bluish sepals.
Traditionally, it has been used in muscle, joint and connective tissue injuries and pain, inflamed nerves, coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma usually in Massage Oil and inhalation blends. It clears the head, is uplifting and relaxing. It is also used by many tribes to treat back pain, fever, headaches, sore throats, and many other conditions. Crushed leaves mixed with water are taken in cough. The oil is sometimes used to treat cellulitis, a bacterial infection causing the skin to become inflamed.