Allaire Woodward & Co. Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens, L.
(N.O.: Ericaceae)

  • Common Names: Teaberry, Boxberry, Chickerberry.
  • Medicinal Part: The whole plant.
  • Solvent: Water.
  • Bodily Influence: Astringent, Stimulant, Anodyne.
  • Uses: Distilled Wintergreen oil is chiefly used for flavouring confectionery or pharmaceutical preparations. Our Indians employed the plant for rheumatic conditions, internally and externally. Compared to the size of the Willow (Salix nigra) or Birch (Betula lenta), Wintergreen is a very small plant, but they all have a common agent, salicylate, which is most useful in relieving pains of rheumatism and as a stimulating nervine. May be employed in diarrhoea [sic] and as an infant's carminative. Adjust dose according to age.
  • Externally: Oil of Wintergreen may be added to the bath or steam cabinet. The fresh or dried herb put into a white cotton bag and simmered in a large vessel, adding liquid and container bag to the bath water, is effective for joint pains and swellings. Do not immerse the whole body, just waist high; if the shoulders and neck have the same condition, squeeze the simmered bag over this area. If you feel drowsy, too relaxed or have heart palpitations, get out. Continue once or twice a week for thirty times consecutively. Other suitable herbs can also be used and combined in this type of bath. It is wise to drink a herbal diuretic tea mixture during this period so that uric acid, or deposits, will not re-locate.
  • Homoeopathic Clinical: Tincture of fresh leaves- Gastritis, Neuralgia, Pleurodynia, Rheumatism, Sciatica.

    - pp. 305-306, Indian Herbalogy of North America: The Definitive Guide to Native Medicinal Plants and Their Uses by Alma R. Hutchens (1973)