Wintergreen oil is a product of a type of tree colloquially called wintergreens. The plant is native to North America and was first found to have been used by the indigenous people. The reason for the name is due to the tree's retention of green leaves in the winter time. The most common wintergreen is Gaultheria procumbens, also known as eastern teaberry or boxberry, and is the species we use in the Battle Balm® formula.
The oil of wintergreen is comprised mainly of methyl salicylate (~97%), a similar compound to what is found in aspirin. Historically, the leaves of the wintergreen plant were distilled and used as folk remedy to treat headache, nerve pain (particularly sciatica), arthritis, muscle and joint discomfort, poor circulation, tendinitis, inflammation, sore throats, dental decay, colic, rheumatism, joint and muscle pain. Some other uses for oil of wintergreen are: astringent, carminative, diuretic, stimulant, anodyne, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aromatic, and emmenagogue. More recently, wintergreen has been used as flavoring for mouthwash, toothpaste, chewing gum, and herbal tea.
As an interesting note, ListerineTM is used to kill bacteria and germs present in the mouth and contains methyl salicylate as one of the active ingredients. (We do not recommend gargling with Battle Balm®.)
Battle Balm® uses 100% Certified Organic Wintergreen oil as one of its 20 key ingredients. Wintergreen is just one of the many proven herbal compounds used to reduce swelling as well as manage acute and chronic pain so you can bounce back from injury and get into the gym again quickly!
- http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-783-WINTERGREEN.aspx?activeIngredientId=783&activeIngredientName=WINTERGREEN (WebMD - Wintergreen)
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wintergreen (Oil of Wintergreen)
- http://medicinalherbinfo.org/herbs/Wintergreen.html (Medicinal Herb Info - Wintergreen)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2133450 (Antibacterial effects of Listerine on oral bacteria.)