As its name suggests - Wintergreen is among a few species of plants that bear fruit and it's leaves are always green through winter. This allows the forest animals to consume the plant and plays an important source of winter food. A small low growing plant that grows to around 15cm. With its rich green leaves that stem white bell-shape flowers that progress to a bright red berry-like fruit, which are edible with a minty-like flavour. Once dried, the leaves and stems can also be made into a herbal tea.
Experts call it as 'Nature's Aspirin' as it is said to be very effective in treating arthritic and rheumatic pain. When the leaves are bruised, their aroma created is a strong minty odour, though Gaultheria procumbens is not classified as a True Mint. This essential oil is similar to that of Sweet Birch oil, as both are made up of mainly methyl salicylate. This is a stimulating and refreshing odour that has an intense sweet-woody, almost fruity aroma and is an ingredient in many liniments and sports rubs.
The plant has many uses from treating respiratory conditions, used topically for the relief of skin disorders, such as inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, and bruises. Traditionally used as a relief for muscle and joint aches, even the dried leaf and stem may aid in the relief of rheumatoid arthritis. Commonly used as a fragrance and flavouring agent for oral hygiene like toothpaste and mouthwash, chewing gum, soft drinks and mints.
Blends well with : Oregano, Mints, Thymes, and Ylang Ylang.