Wintergreen Essential Oil: Benefits and Side Effects

wintergreen essential oil

Wintergreen essential oil is made by steaming warmed, water-soaked wintergreen leaves. The leaves and oil of wintergreen are commonly used for medicinal purposes.

Wintergreen oil, even in little doses, can ease digestion problems, including upset stomach and flatulence. The oil is also effective for relieving painful conditions caused by inflammation such as arthritis, rheumatism, headaches, menstrual cramps, sore muscles, nerve pain, lower back pain, as well as ovarian pain. Furthermore, the oil treats respiratory ailments such as coughs, nasal congestion, and a runny nose.

This essential oil also serves as a natural food preservative.

Benefits of Wintergreen Essential Oil

Let’s take a look at the myriad of benefits that wintergreen essential oil offers.

Promotes Oral Health

Wintergreen essential oil helps to destroy bacteria that cause gingivitis and treat inflamed gums. The essential oil is also used as an ingredient in many types of toothpaste. To tackle dental problems, rinse your mouth for about 30 seconds with wintergreen essential oil. Remember to spit out the oil and not swallow it.

Improves Mood

The aromatic oil, when used via a diffuser, helps to improve mood. You can use wintergreen essential oil before bedtime to boost relaxation, calm your nerves, relieve stress, and induce sleep. When stress levels are high, it can affect sleep cycles negatively and result in certain ailments. The essential oil also helps increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, which lowers the risk of depression.

Treats Cancer

According to some studies, wintergreen essential oil has shown to be effective in treating cancers of the breast. However, for safety purposes, the oil must be distilled. If you are even considering using the essential oil as a treatment for cancer, you should consult a doctor or herb expert first.

Preserves Food

One other popular use of wintergreen essential is that it serves as a natural food preservative. According to some studies, wintergreen essential oil can help protect food against bacteria and fungi that cause spoilage. In fact, wintergreen essential prevents the growth of microorganisms in food.

wintergreen essential oil

Relieves Pain

Wintergreen essential oil is popular for its pain-relieving effects, which is attributed to methyl salicylates, the compounds found in it. These compounds are as potent as a well-known salicylate known as aspirin.

Similar to peppermint, wintergreen oil is believed to provide relief to health conditions associated with irritation, pain, and inflammation. In fact, several pain relief medications for joint and muscle pains incorporate wintergreen essential oil as an ingredient, simply because of its effectiveness.

Wintergreen essential oil is beneficial for treating headaches, rheumatism, arthritis, and menstrual cramps. The essential oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help in relieving these health conditions. The oil serves as an effective topical agent as it is easily absorbed into the skin, tissues, and muscles. As a natural analgesic, it also provides a soothing effect and boosts blood circulation.

Makes Exercise More Efficient

It’s no secret that to build muscle mass and burn fat, you need to work out intensely and for long periods of time. To increase the efficiency of exercise boost respiration, and improve productivity, you can inhale wintergreen essential oil before every exercise routine. Wintergreen essential oil is as well effective when applied to the skin after a workout regime. It enhances circulation to get rid of waste materials and provides relief for pain.

Helps Treat Infections

Wintergreen essential oil is very effective in the treatment of skin-related infections, including those caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. The oil should not be used to treat internal infections or applied to open wounds. It is detrimental to health to allow the oil into blood circulation.

wintergreen essential oil

Reduces Food Cravings

Like many herbs, foods, and substances known to suppress appetite, wintergreen essential oil not only reduces cravings of sugar, it suppresses appetite for food as well, making it effective for weight loss. Inhalation of wintergreen oil can help reduce cravings for in-between snacks after taking solid meals.

Acts as a Natural Deodorant

Wintergreen essential oil is very amazing as a natural Deodorant, as it helps to efficiently cover body odor. With its fresh minty aroma, the oil helps to get rid of unpleasant odors. It also reduces bacterial colonization, as these bacteria break down perspiration into by-products which eventually lead to body odor.

Regulates Menstrual Cycle

Without oral intake, wintergreen essential oil can help to regulate a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. Simply apply the oil around your pelvic regions to help relieve menstrual pain and bring normalcy to your cycle. Along with a carrier oil like coconut oil, you can massage your pelvic regions and lower back with wintergreen essential oil. This helps to stimulate menstrual flow and reduce cramping associated with periods.

wintergreen essential oil

Reduces Flatulence

Ordinarily, the consumption of undiluted wintergreen essential oil is not safe, but many manufacturers of oils try to make it safe for consumption by diluting it in a lot of carrier oil to reduce its side effects. One of the benefits of distillation is that wintergreen oil can be ingested orally to reduce flatulence and excess gas. When gas bubbles become trapped in the intestinal tract, it can lead to upset stomach and flatulence.

Luckily, the use of a product made with diluted wintergreen essential oil is safe for oral consumption. The distilled oil helps to remove these bubbles and provide relief for an upset stomach. The oil also contains anti-spasmodic effects, which helps to soothe stomach cramping caused by food poisoning, excess gas, or diarrhea. However, it is advisable to only consume a wintergreen oil product from a reputable manufacturer that is known for diluting their oils.

Treats Respiratory Conditions

So many times, when we develop a common cold, it is accompanied by a host of respiratory symptoms as well. These symptoms may include nasal congestion, coughing, and a runny nose. Thankfully, wintergreen essential oil can be applied to the chest, along with coconut oil or even some petroleum jelly, to decongest the nasal cavity. The oil also reduces coughs and can induce sleep during the recovery process.

Functions as an Insect Repellent

Applying undiluted wintergreen essential oil around the home has been proven to be effective in repelling insects. If you would rather not use synthetic insecticides because of their toxicity, then wintergreen oil is your best bet. However, be careful not to allow direct contact with the oil, as the undiluted wintergreen oil contains irritant properties.

It is advisable to use diluted wintergreen essential oil to repel insects if it is not a major problem or if you have young children and pets around the house. In fact, dilution is not only safer, but it can also repel insects to some degree.

Side Effects of Wintergreen Essential Oil

Wintergreen essential oil is very effective for boosting health, but must be used with caution.

  • On no account should Wintergreen essential oil be taken undiluted. This is because even in its diluted state, the risk of toxicity is high. In fact, methyl salicylates are unusually higher than aspirins in dosage. It is much safer to dilute wintergreen essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil.
  • Oral consumption of wintergreen essential oil might aggravate stomach and intestinal inflammation.
  • It is not advisable for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers to take wintergreen essential oil by mouth or apply it on their skin, as it might be toxic.
  • People who are asthmatic or allergic to aspirin should use wintergreen essential oil with caution.