This native, evergreen, creeping member of the rhododendron family contains methyl-salicylate, or oil of wintergreen. Salicylic acid is aspirin, and in oil of wintergreen, a methyl group attached to the acid allows the compound to penetrate the skin. Oil of wintergreen is an excellent pain reliever, applied topically to sore, sprained, or bruised muscles, where it locally delivers all the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin.

Traditionally, leaf tea used for colds, headaches, stomachaches, fevers, kidney ailments; externally, wash for rheumatism, sore muscles, and lumbago.


Native American Ethnobotany Database.

Grieve, M. (Maud). A Modern Herbal; the Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic and Economic Properties, Cultivation and Folk-Lore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs, & Trees with All Their Modern Scientific Uses. New York :Harcourt, Brace & company, 1931.