▷ 17 Excellent Uses for Wintergreen Essential Oil
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17 Excellent Uses for Wintergreen Essential Oil

Written by Reannan Raine and updated on October 25, 2017
Wintergreen Essential Oil

Wintergreen essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the wintergreen shrub, which is also known as the checkerberry or teaberry shrub. The botanical name for this shrub is Gaultheria fragrantissima syn. G. procumbens. Wintergreen oil is used to treat pain, soothe muscle spasms, treat arthritis and gout, reduce inflammation, treat viral infections and much more.

This oil has analgesic, anodyne, anti-arthritic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, carminative, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue and stimulant therapeutic properties.

1. Improve Alertness

Enjoy wintergreen essential oil aromatherapy to become more alert. This is great for those mornings when you wake up feeling groggy or mid-afternoons when the day just seems to be dragging on. Add 4 to 6 drops of wintergreen EO along with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of distilled water to your diffuser and turn it on for 30 to 60 minutes.

If you don’t have time for an aromatherapy session, simply take a couple of deep breaths of wintergreen oil vapors directly from the bottle. Be careful not to get any of the oil in your nose or eyes. It is extremely irritating to the mucous membranes.

2. Get Headache Pain Relief

Headache or pain in skull

Mix 1 to 2 drops of wintergreen essential oil into 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. Put a few drops of the blend on your fingertips and gently massage it into your temples and forehead. The headache will quickly go away. Wintergreen oil aromatherapy can also alleviate headache pain.

3. Relieve Nerve Pain

Woman in pain

Use a 1% to 2% wintergreen oil/carrier oil blend to treat nerve pain. It is excellent for reducing pain associated with neuropathy and neuralgia. It soothes nerve pain and reduces inflammation.

Wintergreen oil aromatherapy is also used to reduce all-over nerve pain. A warm wintergreen bath oil soak is great for relieving nerve pain, too. Blend 1 to 2 drops of wintergreen oil with a light carrier oil like Abyssinian, grapeseed or rosehip seed.

Add 5 to 10 drops of the blend to warm bath water. For additional fragrance and symptom relief, you can also mix 2 to 3 drops of lavender essential oil into the wintergreen bath oil.

*Do not use wintergreen essential oil on small children and be very cautious with it if you have children in the home. Keep it well up out of their reach and the reach of pets.*

4. Relieve Inflammation

Inflammation - Joint or wrist pain

Gently, apply a 1% to 2% wintergreen essential oil/carrier oil blend to inflamed areas. The wintergreen oil will quickly relieve the pain and inflammation, reduce any swelling and possibly alleviate the cause of the inflammation. 

5. Alleviate Arthritis Pain

Massage a few drops of a 1% to 2% wintergreen essential oil/carrier oil blend into painful joints several times a day. Arthritis relief is one of the most common uses for wintergreen oil. Methyl salicylate is the active chemical constituent in wintergreen oil.

In fact, wintergreen oil is about 99% Methyl salicylate. It is often used in commercially formulated arthritis treatment ointments. For more powerful, cooling pain relief, add 1 to 2 drops of peppermint essential oil to your arthritis blend.

*Wintergreen oil is very similar to aspirin. Don’t use wintergreen oil if you are allergic to aspirin or are on blood thinners.*

Important Note: Whatever you choose for an oil, make sure that the oils you purchase are high quality. Remember, you're breathing this oil into your lungs so essential oil quality is a terrible place to cut corners.

6. Treat Gout

Gout

Massage a few drops of a 1% to 2% wintergreen EO/carrier oil blend into painful gout-affected joints two to three times a day. It will reduce the pain and inflammation as well as assist with the removal of uric acid that builds up in the joint.

Wintergreen oil improves circulation and is a natural diuretic that helps the body expel the uric acid. Adding 1 to 2 drops of peppermint oil would be beneficial.

7. Enhance Digestion

Improve digestion or appetite

Massage the belly with a 1% to 2% wintergreen essential oil/carrier oil blend to enhance the digestive process. Wintergreen oil increases the production of bile which improves digestion.

Begin applying the oil on the upper right abdomen, where the liver and gallbladder are, and work your way down from there. Wintergreen aromatherapy during mealtime can improve digestion, too.

8. Reduce Flatulence, Indigestion and Nausea

Nausea, upset stomach or indigestion

Massage the abdomen with a 1% to 2% wintergreen EO/carrier oil blend for relief from gas, indigestion or nausea. Wintergreen oil aromatherapy can also be used for this purpose.

*A 1% to 2% dilution rate is safe for daily topical application of wintergreen EO. (1 to 2 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil). Stronger dilutions rates can cause serious irritation.*

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9. Alleviate Muscle Pain and Cramps

Massage sore, achy or cramping muscles with a 1% to 2% wintergreen EO/carrier oil blend. Wintergreen oil is a natural anti-spasmodic. It will quickly calm muscle cramps while it alleviates pain and inflammation.

10. Treat Viral Infections

Bacterial infection

Apply a 1% to 2% wintergreen EO/carrier oil blend to the chest, back, throat and back of the neck for relief from cold and flu symptoms. Wintergreen oil’s natural antiviral properties will help kill the virus. It has actually been found to help control poliovirus. Wintergreen also provides relief from congestion. 

11. Quiet Coughs

Apply a 1% to 2% wintergreen essential oil/carrier oil blend to the chest and throat to quiet coughs. It will stop the muscle spasms and soothe the throat. Wintergreen aromatherapy can also be beneficial for excessive coughing. If you get a coughing attack, try inhaling the vapors right from the wintergreen essential oil bottle for fast relief.

12. Firm and Tone the Skin

Apply a 1% to 2% wintergreen oil/carrier oil blend to firm and tone your skin. It is a natural astringent that literally tightens up lose skin. Be very careful not to get it in your eyes or on the sensitive skin around the eyes.

Essential oils absorb into the skin around the eye when they are applied along the outer edge of the eye socket. If you apply it a little too close and it seeps into the eye, dab a little unrefined, virgin coconut oil on your eye. It will absorb the essential oil and naturally wash it away.

*Place a drop of a 1% wintergreen essential oil/carrier oil blend on an inconspicuous area of skin and wait for at least a few hours to make sure you aren’t sensitive to it.*

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13. Get Rid of Acne

acne

Dab the 1% to 2% wintergreen oil/carrier oil blend on pimples. Let it set for a few minutes, then lightly smooth it onto the surrounding skin. Argan oil and jojoba oil are especially good carrier oils for treating acne. They naturally regulate sebum production, which is the oily substance excreted by the skin that causes acne.

14. Prevent or Treat Bacterial or Fungal Infections

Apply a 1% to 2% wintergreen EO/carrier oil blend to the skin to treat or prevent bacterial and fungal infections. It has been clinically proven to kill a number of bacteria and fungi. Diffusing it can help kill these harmful organisms in the air and on surfaces before you become infected.

You can clean with wintergreen essential oil, too, to kill bacteria and fungi. Just add 5 drops to your cleaning water. It will leave the room smelling minty fresh, too.

15. Clear up Dandruff

Dandruff

Add a few drops of wintergreen essential oil to your favorite shampoo to get rid of dandruff. It also washes away excess oil. Use 1 to 2 drops per tablespoon of shampoo.

16. Improve Menstrual Regularity

Massage a 1% to 2% wintergreen EO/carrier oil blend into the lower abdomen and lower back to improve menstrual regularity. Its natural emmenagogue properties make it excellent for this use. Use it to get relief from menstrual cramps and pain, too.

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17. Alleviate Bloating and Excess Water Weight

Use a 1% to 2% wintergreen oil/carrier oil blend to get rid of edema and bloating from PMS or any other common cause of excess water retention. Simply, apply the blend to the areas that are most affected. The abdomen, thighs or ankles and lower legs are the usual areas where water weight accumulates. The 1% to 2% blend can be applied two to three times a day.

Was this list helpful to you? Wintergreen essential oil is toxic. It is used to flavor foods and some experts say it is okay to add a drop or two to food or a drink for flavor, but you want to be very cautious. It can cause you to become seriously ill if you consume too much of it.

I love the smell of wintergreen, though, and it is great for pain relief, so I often have it on hand. It smells minty, although it isn’t really a mint at all and actually blends nicely with peppermint.

Please leave a comment to let me know if this list helped and share your own experiences with wintergreen essential oil, if you have already used it. We can all learn from each other’s experience and keep adding to the on-going list of wintergreen oil’s uses. Be sure to share, too, so that others can become aware of all of its natural healing benefits.

References:

About the author

    Reannan Raine

    Reannan worked in the non-profit sector for 30 years. Now she devotes her time to freelance writing and sharing knowledge about alternative ways to stay healthy. She believes we could all benefit from the use of fresh herbs and spices in our cooking, essential oils in our medicine cabinets and daily meditation.

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