Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wintergreen Essential oil

Wintergreen essential oil, gaultheria procumbens, has been used to staunch bloody wounds, applied to dog bites, snakebites, and insect bites. Also used as a poultice, good for boils, swellings, ulcers, old sores.
Wintergreen, gaultheria procumbens, is a native North American evergreen shrub. The creeping stems send up erect branches, 2-6 inches high, which bear alternate, oval, leathery leaves with serrate (and sometimes bristly) margins. Both the leaves and the solitary, nodding, white, bell-shaped, flowers grow in the axils of the leaves near the tops of the branches. Flowering time is from May to September. The edible fruit following the flowers is a dry, scarlet, berrylike capsule about 1/3 inch across. The whole plant is pungent in taste, the spiciness being due to the volatile oil.
Wintergreen essential oil blends well with the following essential oils: oregano, mints, thyme, ylang ylang, narcissus and vanilla.
Wintergreen oil cautions - can cause skin irritation and must be used cautiously. It is poisonous except in very small amounts. The essential oil can be highly toxic; absorbed through skin, can harm the liver and kidneys. Always use diluted in a suitable carrier oil. Wintergreen should never be used during pregnancy.
Wintergreen oil properties - Analgesic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, stimulant, anodyne, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aromatic, emmenagogue.

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