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Beat the Winter Blues with Wintergreen

In my continuous quest to learn about Boreal Forest Plants, I came across the healing powerhouse: Wintergreen Oil. Wintergreen is native to North America, mainly in the Northeastern United States and Canada. This low-growing shrub thrives best in rich, organic soils in shady locations, such as on mountains and forests in cool, moist regions.

Wintergreen's medicinal uses have been widely known for many centuries, particularly by the Native Americans, who used the leaves to help treat respiratory tract infections. They also chewed the leaves to increase endurance and respiratory capacity, helping them run long distances.

When used aromahtherapeutically, wintergreen oil helps relax and uplift your mood. It has powerful, mentally stimulating effects that increase your attentiveness and the vibration of your body.

Wintergreen oil is said to have analgesic, antirheumatic, antiarthritic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aromatic and astringent properties.

• Pain relief — The most popular health benefit of wintergreen oil is its pain-relieving effects, which can help alleviate headache, muscle cramps, joint pain, tendonitis and bone pain. Wintergreen oil also helps drive out stress and tension.

• Relief for rheumatism and arthritis — Wintergreen oil stimulates blood circulation around the affected tissues and muscles, helping clear blood obstructions, which is one of the major causes of these two conditions. It also reaches the bloodstream, where it helps stimulate and increase urination, speeding up the removal of uric acid and other toxins. This can reduce the effects of rheumatism.

• Promotes skin and hair health — Wintergreen oil is said to help tone the skin and prevent acne (if used in a very diluted form). It also prevents dandruff and tones the hair roots, which helps prevent hair fall.

The Cannabis Infused Healing Balm I mentioned in an earlier blog, contains the rejuvenating power of Wintergreen Essential Oil, making it an excellent healing salve for all the above mentioned conditions.

Despite its usefulness as a pain reliever, I caution you to be very careful when using wintergreen oil. Methyl salicylate is extremely toxic. Do NOT ingest this essential oil, even diluted preparations of it. Whether topically or vaporized, use it in moderation and always dilute with a safe carrier oil.

Wintergreen oil is not recommended for small children, pregnant women, nursing moms and epileptics. If you have an allergy to aspirin, you should also avoid using this oil, as they have the same components.

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