12 Impressive Benefits of Wintergreen Essential Oil
Wintergreen Essential Oil benefits includes relieving pain, treating topical infections, acting as a natural deodorant, promoting a positive mood and relieving gas in the stomach. Other benefits includes treating cancer, repelling insects, improving exercise efficiency, promoting good oral hygiene and suppressing appetite.
Wintergreen essential oil is well-known in most parts of the world, being extracted from the leaves of an evergreen shrub with the scientific name Gaultheria procumbens. It is native to North America, especially the northern united states and Canada, but is today grown in many parts of the world with cold climates. It is common in mountainous snowy regions, also including mountains.
Once extracted, Wintergreen oil has an odor naturally resembling mint; being both fresh and sweet, but is much more stifling to inhale directly. Its natural color is pale yellow to pinkish yellow.
Today, it is mainly extracted via steam methods, but evidence of its extractive techniques date back to the Native American Indians who are believed to be the first to use it for its medicinal value.
12 Impressive Benefits of Wintergreen Essential Oil
1. Pain Relief
Wintergreen essential oil is well known for its pain relieving properties, thanks to the presence of compounds in it known as the methyl salicylates. Salicylates are effective pain relieving compounds, with aspirin being the most well-known salicylate.
Peppermint and wintergreen oil are known as counter irritants, since they bring relief to conditions associated with pain and inflammation, or generalized irritation. Many pain relief formulations marketed at joint and muscle pains make use of Wintergreen essential oil, simply because it works.
2. Helps Treat Topical Infections
Wintergreen oil is actually very effective at helping treat infections affecting the skin, including those caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses. It is not advised to use it for infections inside the body, or applying to open wounds, as it is not be allowed to enter blood circulation.
3. Natural Deodorant
Wintergreen essential oil is very popular in natural Deodorant formulations, as it helps in masking of body odor quite efficiently. Its fresh minty aroma helps eliminate offensive odors, and also suppresses bacterial colonization. Bacteria break down sweat into byproducts which ultimately causes the offensive odor we know of.
4. Decongestant Properties
Oftentimes when you develop a common cold, a myriad of associated respiratory symptoms occur. These include coughing, runny nose, and nasal congestion that makes breathing difficult. As adults we know to deal with these, but in children it can be extremely frustrating, and even dangerous. Wintergreen oil can be applied to the chest in a coconut oil base, or even using a thicker carrier such as petroleum jelly, and allows for many hours of nasal decongestion. It also suppresses coughs and can help you sleep better as you recover.
5. Promotes A Positive Mood
The best way to use undiluted wintergreen essential oil is via diffuser, as its aromatic oils promote a very positive mood. You can use it before bed to unwind, helping reduce stress, boost relaxation and make it easier for you to sleep. High stress levels plays into more stress, as it can disrupt sleep cycles and cause health deterioration. Wintergreen essential oil also helps increase levels of brain serotonin and dopamine, which reduces the risk of depressive illness.
6. Anti-Gas Properties
Though consuming undiluted wintergreen essential oil is not safe, many manufacturers still make it safe for consumption by diluting it in enough of a carrier so that it still elicits benefits but greatly reduces likelihood of adverse effects. One such benefit it is used for orally is to reduce gas and flatulence. Tiny gas bubbles may become trapped in the intestinal tract, which cause discomfort and embarrassing flatulence. However, using a diluted wintergreen oil product that is safe for oral consumption helps in the removal of these bubbles, relieving discomfort as well. It also possesses anti-spasmodic properties as well, which can help to soother cramping associated with diarrhea, food poisoning or the gas itself. Just be sure to consume a product from a reputable manufacturer that known how to dilute their product.
7. Helps Treat Cancer
The first thing to realize before thinking of using the oil for this purpose, is the fact that it must be specially distilled in order to ensure its safety for oral use. However, studies conducted in rodents (also susceptible to its toxic effects) showed efficacy in treating cancers of the mammary glands. The cancerous cells stalled their growth, with many of them undergoing apoptosis.
If you are even thinking of using it for this purpose, consult a natural health practitioner first.
8. Natural Insect Repellant
When used undiluted and applied around the home, wintergreen essential oil was found to have insecticidal properties. If you are afraid of the toxicity of synthetic insecticides, then this is one purpose it is suited for. Try not to come into direct contact with the oil, however, as undiluted it still has irritant properties. If you have less of a problem, or small children and pets around, dilution is a safer option that still guarantees some degree of repellency.
9. Emmenagogue Properties
Wintergreen essential oil can help to regulate your monthly menstrual cycle, all without consumption. Applying some around the pelvic areas may help to regulate normalcy of your cycle, and ease pain as well. Massaging the pelvic regions and lower back by adding to a suitable carrier oil can help ensure that menstrual flow is not obstructed, which in turn helps reduce cramping further.
10. Improves Exercise Efficiency
Inhalation of wintergreen essential oil before exercise is said to have a stimulatory effect that improves respiration and power output, greatly contributing to exercise efficiency. Being able to work out for longer, and more intensely is key to achieving your goals as you can burn more calories or build greater muscle mass by working out harder. It is effective when applied to the skin after your workout as well, for improving circulation so that waste materials are removed, as well as providing pain relief.
11. Promotes Good Oral Hygiene
Wintergreen essential oil can be diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut and be used as an effective rinse. Coconut oil pulling is a very popular alternative health technique that is arguably superior to traditional mouthwashes. Wintergreen oil kills bacterial cultures that are responsible for gingivitis and even more serious bacteria that use damages and inflamed gums to gain entry to the body. Wintergreen oil is also included in many toothpastes. For best results, rinse for around 30 seconds using a carrier like coconut oil. Do not swallow when finished, but rather spit out.
12. Suppresses Appetite
Many foods and substances are known to stimulate the appetite, but what that in mind, so are there foods that suppress appetite. Wintergreen essential oil is useful to reduce cravings of sugar, and appetite as well, making it useful in encouraging weight loss. If you know you had solid meals, but find yourself cravings snacks often in-between, try keeping the oil handy for inhalation.
Wintergreen essential oil is excellent when it comes to improving health, but must be used cautiously. It is available throughout the entire world, and very affordable, making it a necessity in many homes.
Wintergreen essential oil should under no circumstances be consume undiluted, and even if it is, still carries significant toxicity risk. This is largely because of the methyl salicylates, a 5ml dose of which is equivalent to taking more than 50x 81mg aspirins. This is a crazy dose, with serious repercussions. Topically, it is much safer, but needs a carrier oil for dilution.