How does Wintergreen work?

Wintergreen leaf contains an aspirin-like chemical that might reduce pain, swelling, and fever.

Are there safety concerns?

Wintergreen is safe in the amounts found in foods, and seems safe for most adults when used as a medicine. The oil is unsafe to take by mouth. Ingesting wintergreen oil or large amounts of wintergreen leaf can cause ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, stomach pain, and confusion.

When applied directly to the skin wintergreen oil can cause skin irritation.

Wintergreen leaf and oil can be poisonous for children.

Do not use wintergreen leaf if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You are allergic to aspirin or salicylates.
  • You have a stomach or intestinal condition.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.