Cayenne and Wintergreen Oil
Wintergreen Oil - Research
No current documented studies are available on the external or internal uses of wintergreen or wintergreen oil. However, methyl salicylate is tentatively is accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an over-the-counter (OTC) external analgesic, and it is included in many OTC products intended to relieve mild muscle and joint pain. There are current studies on the active constituent of wintergreen, methyl salicylate, for use in topical creams in the treatment of pain relief, possible antimicrobial use in dental care, and the comparison of salicylate levels between the oil of wintergreen and synthetic methyl salicylate cream.7,8,9
North American Indians chewed the leaves of the wintergreen plant for their distinct flavor, used them in the treatment of aches and pains, and to aid in breathing during hard work.3,5 French explorers used wintergreen leaves in hot infusions, thus leading to the term ‘Thé du Canada’, the tea of Canada.3 During the American war of independence, wintergreen leaves served as a replacement for Chinese tea.3 Folk remedies also used the wintergreen plant for body aches, cold symptoms, colic, headaches, inflammation, pain, skin diseases, sore throats, rheumatism, and tooth decay.2,4
2 Wintergreen. Purdue University Center for New Crops and Plant Products website. December 6, 1997. Available at: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/med-aro/factsheets/WINTERGREEN.html. Accessed October 6, 2004.
3 Guenther E. The Essential Oils. Volume VI. Huntington, NY: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Company, 1952.
4 DerMarderosian A, Beutler JA (editors). The Review of Natural Products: The Most Complete Source of Natural Product Information. 3rd edition. St. Louis, Mo: Facts and Comparisons, 2002.
5 Plants for a Future: Database Search Results: Gaultheria procumbens. ibiblio website. Available at: http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Gaultheria+procumbens. Accessed October 6, 2004.
6 Williamson EM. Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia. Saffron Walden, UK: C.W. Daniel Company, 2003.
7 Lobo SL, Mehta N, Forgione AG, et al. Use of Theraflex-TMJ topical cream for the treatment of temporomandibular joint and muscle pain. Cranio. April 2004;22(2):137-144.
8 Charles CH, Vincent JW, Borycheski L, et al. Effect of an essential oil-containing dentifrice on dental plaque microbial composition. Am J Dent. September 2000;13:26C-30C.
9 Wolowich WR, Hadley CM, Kelley MT, Walson PD, and Casavant MJ. Plasma salicylate from methyl salicylate cream compared to oil of wintergreen. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2003;41(4):355-358.