Gaultheria procumbens

Gaultheria procumbens                             Common name: Wintergreen

Family: Araliaceae

Parts used: Inner root bark

Constituents: Volatile oil: methyl salicylate, oenanthic alcohol (n-heptan-1-ol)

Medicinal actions: Stimulant, aromatic, astringent, carminative, analgesic, rubefacient, diuretic, galactagogue

Medicinal use: Its main use is pain reducing and anti-inflammatory. It is commonly used to reduce pain and swelling in acute arthritis and other joint problems. It is usually used as a liniment in muscular and skeletal problems of all kinds. Internally it will have diuretic effect because of irritation of the kidney, as well as stimulating action on menstruation.


  • High in methyl salicylate which can be converted into salicylic acid in the body and is a topical analgesic.

Pharmacy: Infusion: 1tsp/cup, BID. Poultice/lotion applied externally as needed.

Contraindications: Internal use can cause gastrointestinal irritation and should be avoided by lactating mothers due to the passage of potentially toxic compounds in breast milk.

Toxicity:  Large internal doses have caused death by producing inflammation of the stomach.

Interactions: None known.

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