Used internally and externally to relieve pain and aching.
Wintergreen's primary medicinal property is methyl salicylate, which is the basic compound of aspirin. The plant is analgesic and astringent and is used internally or externally to help relieve pain.
Externally, liniment of the herb can be applied to arthritic or rheumatic joint inflammations where it may help reduce pain and irriiation. The liniment is also useful for strained or sore muscles and can be applied along with gentle massage to relieve aching.
Internally, wintergreen tea can be taken for general relief of minor pains. It may be helpful in treating headaches, in the discomfort of arthritis or rheumatism, or in muscle aches and pains after strenuous exercise. Since wintergreen is also diuretic and antiseptic, it can be taken internally for mild bladder irritations where there is pain. In this case, wintergreen can help increase the flow of urine while easing the pain associated with the condition.
The oil of wintergreen, which can be purchased from an herb or health food store, can be applied to painful teeth and gums with some relief. The oil should be used sparingly, as it is very concentrated and can be toxic if swallowed.
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