phytochemicals Phytochemicals
 
 

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Wintergreen

Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens

What is wintergreen?

Wintergreen is a small evergreen creeping shrub which grows up to 15 cm. The leaves are leathery. In late spring, wintergreen forms small white flowers. In summer, red cherry shaped berries are formed which last until next spring. The crushed leaves have a very nice and typical smell.

Parts used

The leaves of the wintergreen are used. The red berries are also eatable.

Phytochemicals

These are typical phytochemicals found in wintergreen: arbutin, menthyl salicylate, gautherin, tannins, .

Benefits of wintergreen

Wintergreen and has been incorporated in liniments and ointments for muscular skeletal problems. Wintergreen has also been used to ease the pain of muscles and joints. The salicylates inhibit the formation of prostaglandins, thereby reducing inflammation and pain.
Wintergreen was chewed by Native Americans to increase lung capacity. The early settlers chewed it to prevent tooth decay.
Wintergreen is used internally as a tonic (mountain tea) or to treat rheumatism. Wintergreen has also been used to treat bladder inflammation and diseases of the urinary tract. Internal use of wintergreen should be avoided because it can be toxic. Wintergreen should not be used by people who are allergic to aspirin.

Other facts

Wintergreen is a very common garden plant. Wintergreen can grow anywhere in the garden, even in shade. Wintergreen is used for flavouring for candy and mouthwash.

Other names

Boxberry, Canada tea, checkerberry, ground Berry, mountain tea


 
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