15 Sep The Wonders of Wintergreen Oil
We’re so excited about the brand-new essential oil we’ve just added to our popular SOiL range. Wintergreen essential oil is known as “mother nature’s aspirin”, because it’s such a great natural pain remedy. In fact, before the introduction of synthetic pain killers in the 1920s, wintergreen oil was considered one of the world’s best essential oils for the treatment of pain. Here’s a look at how wintergreen oil helps, why it works, and how to use it:
- Analgesic (pain relieving)
- Antiseptic, disinfectant
What it Does
Wintergreen has a natural “cortisone-like” effect that helps with the relief of:
- Arthritis & rheumatism
- Muscular pain & spasms
- Joint pain & inflammation
- Bone pain, frozen shoulder
- Poor circulation
- Chronic pain & fibromyalgia
Why it Works
Ever heard of something called methyl salicylate? It’s the stuff that gives aspirin its healing qualities. Wintergreen oil is made up of nearly entirely of methyl salicylate (from 85% to 99%), so it’s essentially liquid aspirin!
When you massage wintergreen oil onto your skin, the methyl salicylate penetrates the skin tissues, and then gets to work inhibiting the formation of prostaglandins (lipids involved in inflammatory responses). Wintergreen therefore has the ability to reduce pain and inflammation.
Did You Know? Wintergreen and birch are the ONLY plants in the world that naturally contain methyl salicylate.
How to Use It
Here are a few easy and effective ways to enjoy the benefits of wintergreen essential oil.
Soak It Up! Add 5-10 drops to your running bathwater. Close the door to lock in all the vapours, then lie back and soak for at least 10 minutes, breathing deeply. (Hint: For added moisturising benefits, dilute the wintergreen in 10ml carrier oil first.)
Rub It In! Add 5-6 drops of wintergreen oil to 10ml carrier oil (almond or olive oils are both lovely choices). Mix the oils thoroughly and apply liberally to the skin, massaging away muscle or joint pains.
Breathe It In! Add 4-5 drops of wintergreen oil to a bowl of steaming water. Place a towel over your head, close your eyes and lean over the bowl. Inhale the vapour for a few minutes to open up your respiratory tract. For a less intense inhalation, use your oil burner or diffuser; fill the bowl of the burner with water, then add 3-6 drops of wintergreen. Light the candle and the oil will evaporate into the room as the water heats up. (NB: Do not let the bowl dry out.)
Press It On! To make a wintergreen oil compress, dip a clean towel or cloth in mixture of 4-5 drops essential oil and 200ml warm or cold water; wring out the towel well. Cover the affected area with the compress; then place a plastic wrap over it and add a towel or blanket on top. Leave the compress on for 2-4 hours.
Did You Know? Native Americans used to chew on wintergreen leaves when running long distances, to help increase endurance and improve respiratory capacity!
Caution: Points to Remember
- Don’t use wintergreen oil if you are allergic to aspirin.
- Wintergreen oil is very potent; it should always be diluted with a suitable carrier oil/ base oil before applying to the skin. For external use only.
- Not suitable for pregnant moms or for children under 18 months.
- Make sure the essential oil you use comes from a reputable brand; this will ensure its potency and purity.
- Wintergreen has an enticing peppermint-candy smell, so be sure to keep it out of reach of your little ones.
Add wintergreen essential oil to your family’s natural first aid kit today!