Wintergreen Essential Oil contains 85-99% of methyl salicylate, the same component of aspirin. Thirty ml (about an ounce) of wintergreen oil is equivalent to about 171 adult aspirin tablets or about 60 grams of aspirin. All over the world people use the wintergreen as it forms the base of the aspirin group of medicines and hence it is easy to understand why wintergreen is so effective in alleviating pains and inflammation in different body parts. This also explains why the herb is a useful medication in treating rheumatism with its cortisone-like effects that can relieve pain quickly. American settlers also used it to cure headache, muscle pains and colds. These days, herbalists world over suggest the external application of wintergreen oil to alleviate excruciating swellings owing to injuries as well as to heal swellings and irritations of the joints and the muscles.
Earlier, wintergreen was also used to add essence to candies, cough drops as well as toothpastes. Incidentally, the practice still continues as many such products available in the market suggest the usage of wintergreen extracts even today. However, over the years, the herb has mostly been substituted by synthetic substances. Therefore, these days it is only animals like the deer and the partridge that thrive on the original evergreen herb as it serves as their staple food during the winter months.