wintergreen

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wintergreen

wintergreen or checkerberry, low evergreen plant (Gaultheria procumbens) of the family Ericaceae (heath family), native to sandy and acid woods (usually of evergreens) of E North America and frequently cultivated. It has a creeping stem, erect branches, glossy, oval leaves, and small, waxy, white flowers followed by crimson fruits. The aromatic leaves and fruits are edible; the leaves are a source of wintergreen oil (now mostly obtained from the sweet, or black, birch, Betula lenta, or synthetically). The oil is used in medicine and as a flavoring. A tea has often been made from the leaves, whence two of the many names of the plant, mountain tea and teaberry. There are other species of Gaultheria found in W America and elsewhere; one of these, G. shallon, is called salal or shallon. Some pipsissewa species, of the family Pyrolaceae, are sometimes called wintergreen. True wintergreen is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Ericales, family Ericaceae.
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wintergreen

wintergreen

Shiny, waxy oval pointed leaves, white hanging bell-shaped flowers, red berries. Leaves sometimes a bit brown or red. Gives the body strength. Doesn't die in winter, stays green year round (hence the name). Eat the leaves, make tea from them. Kind of a dull mint flavor. Tea used for colds, fever, headache, kidney, stomach, rheumatism, anti-inflammatory painkiller. Berries also edible. Do not make or take wintergreen essential oil, which is very toxic. It absorbs through skin and harms kidneys and liver.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz

wintergreen

oil of wintergreen an aromatic compound, formerly made from this and various other plants but now synthesized: used medicinally and for flavouring

wintergreen

1. any of several evergreen ericaceous shrubs of the genus Gaultheria, esp G. procumbens, of E North America, which has white bell-shaped flowers and edible red berries
2. any of various plants of the genus Pyrola, such as P. minor (common wintergreen), of temperate and arctic regions, having rounded leaves and small pink globose flowers: family Pyrolaceae
3. any of several plants of the genera Orthilia and Moneses: family Pyrolaceae
4. chickweed wintergreen a primulaceous plant, Trientalis europaea, of N Europe and N Asia, having white flowers and leaves arranged in a whorl
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
I took a whiff and it sure smelled like oil of wintergreen to me.
Result was a very high conversion 87% of salicylic acid to methylsalicylat (oil of Wintergreen), and 81% of salicylic acid to isoamyl salicylate [22].
Five mL of oil of wintergreen is equivalent to 21.7 adult aspirin tablets (325 mg), and its ingestion can cause serious toxicity even in adults."
These substances range from salicylate preparations, such as Pepto-Bismol, Ben Gay ointment, and oil of wintergreen flavoring, to lamp oil, bug repellant, lighter fluid and other fuels, air freshener, spray deodorant, hair spray, cooking spray, and ethanol, said Dr.
The chemical used in the test, Oil of Wintergreen, was benign.
Food flavorings containing oil of wintergreen may be up to 98% methyl salicylate.