Wintergreen, also often called teaberry, grows in forests with dappled sunlight. There are several species that are all called “wintergreen” and they are all in the family Ericaceae.
Oil of wintergreen is from the leaves of Gaultheria procumbens.
Wintergreen is low growing and forms a carpet along the forest floor. It can be very plentiful.
Habitat: Acidic soils in forests.
Leaves: Waxy, small, lanceolate growing low to the ground.
Berries: Red, round, waxy.
Flowers: Five petals, 10 stamens, pinkish growing in a cluster.
Wintergreen contains methyl salicylate, an aspirin-like chemical. If you are allergic to aspirin, it is wise to avoid it until you discuss it with your doctor.
Just like aspirin, it does have medicinal properties and can help with pain and inflammation.
- 1 Cup Vodka
- 1 Cup Wintergreen Leaves and Berries fresh and chopped
- Rinse and dry the wintergreen leaves thoroughly.
- Chop the leaves.
- Please in a mason jar and cover with vodka. Put lid on top.
- Place jar in a dark location for 6 weeks or more. Shake once every day or two.
- Strain the vodka, add another cup of wintergreen leaves and allow to sit for another 6 weeks. Test for flavor. For very strong extract, you can repeat this step again.
- Use as you would any mint extract.