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December 2012
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Wintergreen, a group of plants belonging to genus Gaultheria

Images of Wintergreen on Google

Wintergreen is a group of plants. This belongs to the genus Gaultheria.

Overview of Wintergreen

• Wintergreen plants remain green all through the winter.
• They are evergreen plants.
• Most species of the shrub genus Gaultheria demonstrate this characteristic.
• Hence, they are called winter greens in North America.
• The most common variety is in Eastern Teaberry.
• Wintergreen berries are used medicinally.
• Native Americans brew tea from its leaves.
This is to alleviate:
– Rheumatic symptoms
– Headache
– Fever
– Sore throat
– Various aches
– pains
• Wintergreen is a common flavoring used in American products. It ranges from:
– root beer
– chewing gum
– mints
– candies
– smokeless tobacco
– snus
It is also a common flavoring for dental hygiene products like:
– Mouthwash
– Toothpaste
• Wintergreen oil can also be used in fine art printing applications.
• It transfers a color photocopy image or color laser print to a high-rag content art paper.
• The transfer method involves coating the source image with the wintergreen oil.
• Then it is placed face-down on the target paper.
• It is then pressed and the pieces of paper are put together under pressure.
• This is done by using a standard etching press.

Wintergreen oil is used topically for:
• muscle and joint discomfort,
• arthritis,
• cellulite,
• obesity,
• edema,
• poor circulation,
• headache,
• heart disease,
• hypertension,
• rheumatism,
• tendinitis,
• cramps,
• inflammation,
• eczema,
• hair care,
• psoriasis,
• gout,
• ulcers,
• broken or bruised bones.

Growing conditions for Wintergreen

• Loosen the soil prior to planting the wintergreen.
• Plant it in early spring.
• Use a garden fork to create a fine planting medium.
• The soil should be free of large rocks and debris.
• Wintergreen prefers soil with a pH between 4.0 and 6.5.
• If the pH is below 4.0, addition of lime to the soil is recommended.
• For a pH above 6.5, addition of peat moss is recommended.
• Prepare a hole for the wintergreen shrub.
• It should be twice the width of its container and with same depth.
• Space the holes 12 to 15 inches apart.
• Remove the wintergreen and deposit it in the center of the hole.
• Back-fill the hole and pat the soil around it.
• This will help to release air pockets.
• Water the wintergreen at a rate of 1 inch per week.
• Maintain moist soil.
• This should be up to a depth of 1 inch at all times.

Caring conditions for Wintergreen

• Water the plant to moisten the soil up to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.
• Keep the soil consistently moist.
• Fertilize wintergreen with an organic fertilizer in the early spring.
• Spread a 1-inch layer of compost or aged manure over the surface of the soil.
• Maintain a 2-inch layer of mulch around the plant.
• Use an organic mulching material such as peat moss or pine straw.
• Harvest leaves from your wintergreen plant from June to September.
• Snip the leaves from the plant with a pair of sharpened and sterilized pruning shears.

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