Wintergreen’s benefits have been lauded by medical practitioners for centuries, who used it widely, both as a balm, and as a local anesthetic. In the nineteenth century, it was viewed as something of a cure-all, one such preparation known as the Swain Panacea. Many a doctor and pharmacist have made their fortunes selling preparations based on wintergreen, and wintergreen essential oil is still actively listed in the United States Pharmacopeia. That said, there are many ‘fake’ wintergreen essential oils on the market, so care should be taken to ensure you are purchasing from a reputable source. The fake examples have roughly the same concentration of methyl salicylate, but none of the other components that make wintergreen so special. Nearly all true wintergreen essential oil is grown and produced in China, Tibet and Nepal.
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