On a wintry walk in the woods, the glossy evergreen leaves and bright red berries of American Wintergreen make a pretty sight against fallen snow. Plentiful in the northern U.S. and Canada, the low-growing Gaultheria procumbens is known for the pungent aroma and mint-like taste of leaf and berry — pleasing but hard to define.
Native Americans used the leaves to treat pain and fever, and introduced colonists to the custom of drinking wintergreen tea. This “teaberry” carried them through the Revolutionary War, when British tea was scarce. [Read more…] about Wintergreen Oil: Local Employer to Bootlegger’s Subterfuge