There is an oil in wintergreen leaves that has properties similar to aspirin. Wintergreen oil has been applied externally to treat inflammation of the joints and muscles and to reduce swelling. It can be taken internally as well to relieve pain. The leaves contain menthyl salicylate, which like aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties. When used topically it is a refreshing, cooling fragrant analgesic. The Indians crushed the leaves and used it as a poultice for overtaxed muscles, arthritic pain and other aches and pains. It can also be used swollen areas, wounds, rashes, inflammations, and toothaches. The oil of wintergreen is very useful in liniments.
Wintergreen is also effective when taken in frequent small doses to stimulate the heart, and improve respiration.
It is helpful in opening obstructed bowels and valuable in treating gas and colic in the digestive tract. Gargling with the tea helps to relieve a sore throat,
Analgesic: This herb relieves pain
Anodyne: This herb reduces pain
Anti-pyretic: This herb reduces fever
Antiseptic: This herb combats and neutralizes pathogenic bacteria and prevents infection
Anti-spasmodic: This herb prevents and relieves spasms
Aromatic: This herb contains volatile, essential oils that aid digestion and relieves gas.
Astringent: This herb has a constricting or binding effect, for example: one that checks hemorrhages or secretions by coagulation of proteins on a soft surface
Diuretic: This herb increases the secretion and flow of urine
Expectorant: This herb encourages the loosening of phlegm from the respiratory tract
Rubefacient: This herb stimulates blood flow to the skin causing local reddening