Information on Wintergreen

Latin NameGaultheria procumbens
Other NamesCheckerberry
Part UsedHerb
Herb FormsEssential oil, bulk herb for tea.
AffectsDigestive system, Urinary system, Integumentary system
CautionsNone noted (leaf). Oil of wintergreen is too toxic to be used internally.
Botanical InfoAn trailing evergreen shrub in the Huckleberry famiy with fragrant leathery leaves with toothed margins, white flowers, and red berries.
DescriptionOil of wintergreen, which contains methyl salicylate, is widely used externally for its anti-inflammatory activity for arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica, and sore muscles. The tea of the herb has a refreshing astringent taste and is used as well for nephritis and neuralgia, irritated bladder, and children's headaches.

Wintergreen has a taste of SPICY, ASTRINGENT and a temperature of COOL.


Infusion1 cup 2-3 x daily
Oil1-2 drops (diluted) applied externally

Ailments Treated by Wintergreen

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Muscles, soreanalgesicoil, externally
Pain, to relievecounterirritantoil externally
Sciatica, acuteanalgesicoil externally
Arthritisantiinflammatoryessential oil externally
Rheumatism, chronicanti-inflammatoryoil externally


Leung, A. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Felter, H.W. and J.U. Lloyd. 1983. (1898). King's Dispensatory. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.