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Gaultheria health benefits and therapeutic value

gaultheria health benefits

Famous for its warm, camphor-like smell, gaultheria also has many other medicinal properties.

Gaultheria is a shrub belonging to the Ericaceae family and the Gaultheria genus. This tiny shrub, less than 6 inches (15 cm) tall, grows in North America and in China. This plant grows in dry and acidic soil.

It is a cousin to blueberries and heath. Gaultheria is easy to recognize with its bright red fruits and deep green leaves.

Gaultheria, a short story

Gaultheria owes its name to Jean-François Gaulthier (1708-1756), the King of France’s surgeon-botanist sent to Quebec.

Canadian Indians chewed gaultheria and drank infusions to lessen fever and soothe painful joints.

Gaultheria today is mostly harvested in Nepal, in the Himalayas.

Gaultheria health benefits

Gaultheria is mostly used today as an essential oil. It is produced by distilling leaves and berries.

Benefits of GaultheriaGaultheria is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is particularly effective against muscle, ligament and joint inflammations.

Sport amateurs often use gaultheria essential oil to soothe muscle pain connected to intense physical efforts: sprains, cramps, stretched muscles, backaches, etc.

Gaultheria also has cardiovascular and blood circulation benefits. Use is recommended to fight arterial hypertension and heart palpitations.

This plant is stimulates the liver and is a pain killer.

Gaultheria helps send headaches and migraines away, be they due to liver, blood circulation, or nutritional disorders.

Using gaultheria

  • In the bathtub

To relax and loosen up contractures, add 10 to 12 drops of gaultheria essential oil in the bath water.

  • Aromatherapy

With a specific diffuser or mister, diffuse a few drops of gaultheria essential oil.

Using gaultheria during a massage

Softly rub a few drops on painful areas during a massage three times a day, ideally in conjunction with arnica.

On sprains, mix 10 drops of gaultheria essential oil, 10 drops of medicinal rosemary essential oil, 5 drops of bay laurel essential oil in ½ fl.oz. (15 ml) of macadamia or sweet almond oil.

To sooth rheumatism, mix 1 drop of gaultheria essential oil, 1 drop of thyme essential oil and 1 drop of tropical basil essential oil to 3 drops of hazelnut plant-based oil.

In case of poor blood circulation: dilute several drops of gaultheria essential oil in any plant-based oil and massage legs with an upward motion, towards the heart.

Good to know about gaultheria

Gaultheria is not recommended during pregnancy and breast-feeding, nor is it recommended for children below 12 years of age.

The plant contains methyl salicylate, which is the molecule from which aspirin is made: it is thus strongly advised that persons allergic to aspirin not use it.

To avoid irritating skin, it is recommended to dilute gaultheria essential oil in any plant-based oil (1 drop for 10 drops) and verify any skin reactions before using it for the first time.

It is strongly discouraged to ingest (eat or drink) gaultheria essential oil.

Images: adobestock: Madeleine Steinbach, CC BY 2.0: Kristof Zyskowski & Yulia Bereshpolova
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