Common name: Wintergreen

Vernacular name: Machhino, Dhasingre

Botanical name: Gaultheria fragrantissima Wall.

Family: Ericaceae.


A robust shrub approximately 2-3m high. Leaves stalked, 3-13.5cm x 1.5-5cm, oblong-lanceolate, serrate, coriaceous, bright green. Flowers white, scented. Fruits deep purplish-blue when ripe.

Flowering period: March-July.

Fruiting period: September-November.

Parts used: Leaves.

Distribution: It is a native of Himalaya and is distributed in central and eastern regions of the country ranging between 1100-2800m. Himalaya (Nepal to Arunachal Pradesh), NE India, Bhutan, N. Myanmar, Sri Lanka.

Propagation: The Plant is propagated from seeds.

Method of extraction of Wintergreen Oil: Wintergreen oil is obtained by steam distillation of leaves of Gaultheria frangatissima Wall.

Specification of Wintergreen
1. Organoleptic Properties
Appearance Fluid liquid.
Color Amber or pinkish
Aroma Aromatic with a sweet odor, creamy-fruity top note.
2. Physico-chemical Properties
Specific gravity 1.1735 to 1.1855 at 25°C.
Optical rotation [-] 0.3º to [-] 10.5º at 25º C
Refractive index 1.537 to 1.5405 at 25°C.
Acid number 10 to 25
Ester number 335 to 365
Ester number after acetylation 88.8 to 98% (calculated as Methyl Salicylate)
Solubility Soluble in 2.0 to 3.5 volumes of 80% alcohol.
3. Chemical constituent
Methyl salicylate, gaultherline
4. Uses:
  1. As a flavoring agent in confectionery industry and in soft drinks.
  2. In perfumery industry.
  3. In aromatherapy: Antiseptic,abti-rheumatic.
  4. As a flavoring agent in the confectionery industry and in the manufacture of soft drinks; it is also used in the pharmaceutical and perfumery industry.
  5. Medicinal & Aromatherapy use: Antiseptic, a diuretic, stimulant, emenagogue and anti- rheumatic. It is very useful in many rheumatic conditions, for gout and stiffness due to old age. It also revitalizes and gives energy following muscular pains, particularly good for athletes for instance.

Essential Oil