Medicinal Herb: Wintergreen
Medicinal Herb: Wintergreen
Name of Herb
Wintergreen, Canada tea, partridge berry, checkerberry, boxberry, wax cluster, spice berry, mountain tea, deerberry, spicy wintergreen, aromatic wintergreen, chink, ground berry, grouse berry, red pollom, redberry tea, hillberry, ivory plum.
A small indigenous shrubby, creeping, evergreen plant, growing about 5 to 6 inches high under trees and shrubs, particularly under evergreens such as Kalmias and Rhododendrons. It is found in large patches on sandy and barren plains, also on mountainous tracts. The stiff branches bear at their summit tufts of leaves which are petiolate, oval, shiny, coriaceous, the upper side bright green, paler underneath. The drooping white flowers are produced singly from the base of the leaves in June and July, followed by fleshy, bright red berries (with a sweetish taste and peculiar flavour), formed by the enlargement of the calyx [1,2].
Generally the oil from the leaves is expressed to optain the essential oil, which is for external use only. However, the dried leaves can be used to make a tea.
Traditional Uses in Herbal Medicine:
The analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of these plants are due to its salicylic acid derivatives, especially methyl salicylate (essential oil), acting through several mechanisms including some antioxidant effects.
1. Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Volume II. New York: Dover Publications, 1981.
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. Michel, P., Dobrowolska, A., Kicel, A., Owczarek, A., Bazylko, A., Granica, S., Piwowarski, J. P., & Olszewska, M. A. (2014). Polyphenolic Profile, Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Eastern Teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens L.) Leaf Extracts. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 19(12), 20498–20520. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules191220498
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