Wintergreen Essential Oil

Wintergreen essential oil extracted from the leaves of Wintergreen plants, botanically known as Gaultheria Procumbens is native to North America and Canada. Gaultheria fragrantissima wallich is indigenous to India and the Indian Wintergreen essential oil has similar therapeutic properties just as the American Wintergreen essential oil. I love Wintergreen oil for its effectiveness in relieving muscular pains and spasms.

Experts call it as ‘Nature’s Aspirin’ as it is exceptionally potent in treating arthritic and rheumatic pain since ages together. Ayurveda, the ancient natural science of healing calls this herb as Gandapura and was used in many spiritual ceremonies where this sacred plant was trusted to bring harmony between earth and its inhabitants through its healing powers.

Purchase Winter Green Essential Oil – Retail – CLICK HERE

Purchase Winter Green Essential Oil – Wholesale – CLICK HERE

Historical uses of Wintergreen essential oil: The essential oil of Wintergreen was used for flavoring in the primordial times. The principal constituent of this oil is methyl salicyclate, which is 98% of this oil and other major constituents are gaultherilene, myrcene, limonene and formaldehyde. The Native Americans used Wintergreen leaves to brew tea for treating rheumatic problems and chewed the leaves to treat respiratory problems, headache, sore throat, fever, tooth decay and to augment lung capacity. Wintergreen essential oil is used externally as a folk medicine for joint problems, muscular discomforts, inflammation, cramps, rheumatism, arthritis, psoriasis, bruises, eczema, improper blood circulation, cellulite, headache, obesity and certain heart diseases. Wintergreen was used in numerous ritual practices for treating curses, protecting from evils and for its amazing healing benefits.

Ayurvedic health benefits of Wintergreen essential oil: Ayurveda is a holistic approach that doesn’t focus on the disease alone but treats the individual as a whole. According to this ancient science, human body is made up of three doshas or energy elements namely vata, pitta and kapha, which are a combination of five vital elements of nature (air, water, fire, earth and ether). Vata symbolizes air and is responsible for ejections, eliminations and discharges of the body. It regulates metabolism and is the key to functions of the brain and nervous system. Pitta represents fire and is in charge of digestion, body temperature, vision and reasoning skills. Kapha with its lubricating qualities signifies earth and is completely responsible for the shape and figure of an individual. Reproductive health, circulation, muscular strength and ability to regain good health are vested with a balanced kapha.

Every individual will have a predominance of any of these three doshas where the predominant one determines the characteristic of an individual. Good health is a symbol that your doshas are in balance and imbalance of any of these doshas will end up in illness. Ayurvedic remedies are purely natural and suggest the use of herbs, essential oils extracted from plants, Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage, practice of yoga, meditation, taking up an Ayurvedic routine and spirituality.

Wintergreen essential oil is a trusted medication in treating vata imbalances predominantly. In Ayurveda, wintergreen oil is used in treating Vata gout where the autoimmune system gets weakened and affects joints and muscles. This is mainly due to the natural pain killing attribute of Wintergreen oil and a gentle massage with Wintergreen essential oil is said to soothe and warm up the skin, granting complete relief from pain, stiffness, inflammation and dryness. Let’s now have a look at the other major health benefits of Wintergreen essential oil are:

1. Chronic rheumatism and arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis or chronic rheumatism is a long term health disorder and is known as Ama vata in Ayurvedic terms. It affects the joints, causing inflammation, swelling, redness, and sharp pain. Ayurveda states that the fundamental cause for this illness is the imbalance of the digestive fire and the stagnation of ama or toxic substances of the body mainly due to unhealthy lifestyle and stress. Wintergreen essential oil has stimulant, anti-arthritic and anti-rheumatic properties that aids in discharging toxins from the body through urine and stimulating proper blood circulation. Applying few drops of Wintergreen oil with carrier oils like Jojoba oil or sesame oil will help clearing impediments in the blood flow, checks rheumatism and helps in removal of toxins, reduce excess weight, salts and excess water by penetrating deeply into the tissues and muscles through the skin.

2. Pain, inflammation and muscular problems: Wintergreen essential oil is used as a counterirritant in treating pain, sores, muscular pains, lower back pain, achy joints and inflammation, where counterirritants act by creating an irritable sensation that lessens swelling and pain in the tissues. The analgesic, relaxant and anodyne properties of this oil cause numbness and warmth when applied on the painful area. It eliminates pain, reduce stress, drive away tension and induce good sleep by inhibiting the formation of prostaglandins responsible for causing pain. This is mainly due to the presence of Methyl salicyclate which is equivalent to the conventional medicine aspirin (the fundamental component of aspirin is salicyclate). These soothing and pain-relieving attributes of Methyl salicyclate in Wintergreen essential oil makes it a vital part in celebrated pain relievers like BENGAY.

3. Respiratory problems and other spasmodic disorders: The anti-spasmodic properties of Wintergreen oil aids in treating all kinds of spasms in the respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system, circulatory system and muscles. Adding few drops of Wintergreen essential oil in steam inhalation, warm baths, gentle massaging and few other topical applications on the affected parts will give complete relief from respiratory disorders like asthma, chest congestion, breathing problems and spasmodic coughs. Nervous afflictions, muscular contractions and certain other health disorders due to spasms can be effectively treated with the oil of Wintergreen.

4. Skin disorders: Wintergreen essential oil is highly toxic and it acts as a protective shield against bacteria, virus, fungi, microbes and other harmful organisms. This makes it a good antiseptic and protects the skin from being septic in case of microbes’ prone open wounds, cuts and other skin infections. This oil is very powerful and kills Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria and heals septic problems. Mild application on the skin is effective for treating all types of skin disorders as this oil has the potential to infiltrate into the skin and is easily absorbed by tissues and blood stream for faster relief. Wintergreen essential oil is also effectual in uplifting the skin, augmenting the skin tone and fighting against the symptoms of aging.

5. Digestion and elimination: To put in simple terms, this oil boosts digestion, promotes quicker absorption of nutrients and stimulates trouble-free excretion, where the toxic substances of the body are eliminated for supporting good health. The hepatostimulant property of Wintergreen essential oil assists the secretion of digestive enzymes, bile, gastric juices and hormones facilitating proper functioning of the body. This oil stimulates the working of gall bladder, liver, kidneys, endocrinal glands, digestive system, excretory system, circulatory system and the nervous system. The diuretic attribute of Wintergreen oil aids in eliminating the excess water, salt, fat and uric acid in the body through urine, which makes it a promising natural remedy for treating bladder infections, hypertension, edema, obesity and water logging.

6. Woman’s health: Being a natural emmenagogue, wintergreen essential oil helps in treating plenty of womanly problems like delayed menstruation, uterine ulcers, dysmennorhea, blocked menses, pain in the pelvic region, hair fall, hemorrhages, fatigue, vomiting and stress related to menstruation. A soothing massage using 2 to 3 drops of Wintergreen essential oil blended with sesame oil can grant complete relief. Adding few drops of this oil to your bath tub with warm water can calm your nerves and soothe your senses.

7. Spiritual strength: The strong aroma of Wintergreen essential oil improves attentiveness and stimulates the mind. Applying this oil to your skin is said to heighten the vibration of the body and accentuate sound. Increased vibration helps in unveiling spiritual awareness and paves way to the harmony of self and divinity. This attribute has made Wintergreen oil to be an incredible part of the ancient chants (mantras) and meditations where sound was used for adding spiritual strength.

Wintergreen essential oil improves logical thinking and stimulates mental power. Apart from all these natural benefits, this oil is used as a flavoring agent in candies, root beer, chewing gums, smokeless tobacco, mouth fresheners, mouthwash like Listerine, in toothpastes and certain other oral care products. It is also used as a solvent in printmaking.

Disclaimer: Ingesting Wintergreen essential oil should be strictly avoided as it is highly toxic and can cause serious health effects. 1 fl oz of this oil is equivalent to 171 adult aspirin tablets. Use it only as a topical application after diluting it with soothing carrier oils in 1:10 ratio. This oil has blood-thinning effects and should be avoided by people who are susceptible to aspirin. Never use it on children below 12 years of age, pets, pregnant women and on broken skin. Consult your healthcare practitioner before using Wintergreen essential oil for your individual constitution.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Potter’s New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations by R. C. Wren
  2. Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar
  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  4. The Essential Herbal for Natural Health: How to Transform Easy-to-Find Herbs into Healing Remedies for the Whole Family by Holly Bellebuono

Reference Links:

  1. Methyl Salicyclate by Wikipedia
  2. Ayurvedic and Herbal remedies for Arthriti by Dr. Narendra Jain
  3. Treatment of Gout  – The Ayurvedic Way by Ravi Bhanot, Ayurvedic Researcher, The Ayurveda Institute of Europe
  4. Wintergreen by Georgetown University Medical Center

Ayurvedic Oils for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Inflamed joints are often painful and give you a repulsive appearance. Wake up!  It is rheumatoid arthritis, when left unnoticed can dramatically affect the functioning of other organs of your body. Experts term it as a long term ailment that ends up in swelling, irritation and redness of the joints and tissues surrounding it. The ancient wonder science gifted by our ancestors has mind-blowing and natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis.  This illness is known as Ama vata in Ayurvedic terms and most often it is said that the pain in the affected joint areas is as painful as a Scorpion’s sting. The prescribed use of Ayurvedic essential oils according to the Ayurvedic body types has proven positive effects in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Causes and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:  The exact cause for rheumatoid arthritis is not known. Few may inherit this disease from their family and Ayurveda strongly denotes that the basic reason behind this illness is due to the toxins known as ‘Ama’ due to unevenness of body fire. This sultry toxin has the dangerous effect of jamming the function of the vital parts of the body that helps in nourishing the system.  Imbalanced vata carries this toxin and it finally reaches kapha subjugated parts of the body like stomach, joints, brain, chest and few others. Since this is an autoimmune disease, it erroneously affects the healthy tissues of the body and gradually lowers the regular functioning of the body and slows down the system.

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are swelling, inflammation of the joints, loss of appetite, indigestion, pain, morning stiffness, pleurisy, burning and itchy eyes, insomnia, burning sensation in the feet and hands, loss of energy, fatigue, nodules under the skin, weakness, aversion to food and few more. This disease is common among women than men, especially in the middle ages. According to Ayurveda, there are three types of rheumatoid arthritis. They are Vataj, Pittanubandi and Kaphanubandi and each of them have the predominance of the Ayurvedic doshas, vata, pitta and kapha.

Ayurvedic remedies for rheumatoid arthritis: The greatest value to treasure about Ayurveda is that it treats a disease from the beginning by analyzing its root cause and not by looking at it just at the surface level. This is because it aims at permanent remedy as well as focused prevention of the illness in the future. By this time, you must have clearly understood that rheumatoid arthritis occurs mainly due to the uneven deposition of toxins in the body especially, the joints. So Ayurveda focuses on the process of eliminating, purifying and discharging the toxins settlement using simple yet startling essential oils and certain other natural remedies.

  • Turmeric essential oil for rheumatoid arthritis: Popularly known as the ‘Golden Goddess’ this oil has innumerable curative properties and the most highlighting among them are anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-bacterial properties. Turmeric essential oil eliminates the toxins that are stored in the body and cleanses the system and is perfectly called as an ‘All-purpose cleanser’ in the Ayurvedic world. It treats the kapha imbalance and is prevalently used in weight-loss treatments with its therapeutic and warming properties. A renowned research has proved that Turmeric and its extracts like Turmeric essential oil with the presence of curcuminoids are in charge for the antiarthritic effect and have been effectual in treating and preventing inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Peppermint essential oil: Another celebrated remedy for rheumatoid arthritis is the use of peppermint essential oil that has anti-inflammatory, anesthetic and analgesic properties that help in lessening the inflammation, reducing pain and soothe the inflamed areas from within. It is also used as an excellent cleanser for mouth, which is considered as the storehouse of ‘Ama’ or the toxic substances of the body. You can dilute this oil in carrier oils like jojoba oil or olive oil and gently massage the affected areas for guaranteed relief from pain, swelling and irritation.
  • Oil Pulling: Oil pulling is a natural treatment for removing toxins from the mouth and from all over the body. The benefits of which are mentioned in Charaka Samhita, the Ayurvedic text. Regular oil pulling with sesame oil, coconut oil or sunflower oil preferably in the morning in empty stomach for about 20 minutes will help in oral hygiene, whiter teeth, stronger gums and natural alleviation of toxins from the body that cause rheumatoid arthritis and other major health disorders.
  • Other natural remedies: Apart from the use of Ayurvedic oils for treating rheumatoid arthritis, Ayurveda has few more suggested remedies like the use of Ashwagandha herb (Withania Somnifera) and Asparagus racemosus, which have been proved beneficial in the healing of rheumatoid arthritis. Ayurveda also insists on regular physical exercises that involve the movement of joints, yoga and meditation for quick remedy of rheumatoid arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation has also listed a research update by the scientists from the Baltimore John Hopkins University, stating that yoga has absolutely been helpful for treating people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Whatever illness you may have, Ayurveda has the right protective shield for you and it is rightly called as the ‘Science of Life’.

Thought for the day:

Health is the soul that animates all the enjoyments of life, which fade and are tasteless without it.                       - By Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Suggested reading:

  1. Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing by Bruce Fife.
  2. Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy by Mukunda Stiles
  3. Yoga & Ayurveda: Self-Healing and Self-Realization by Dr. David Frawley

Reference Links:

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis by PubMed Health
  2. Ama Vata by Podar Ayurved Medical College
  3. Yoga helpful for Rheumatoid Arthritis by Arthritis Foundation
  4. Turmeric extracts containing curcuminoids prevent experimental rheumatoid arthritis by The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
  5. The benefit of Ayurvedic diagnostics in treatment strategies for rheumatoid arthritis by European Journal of Integrative Medicine.