Methyl Salicylate – Your Ultimate Guide

Methyl Salicylate wintergreen natural ingredients
Lately, balms, oils, and topical treatments native to the Far East and other parts of Asia have grown hugely popular and have become used more widely spread across the globe.

Asian balms such as White Tiger Balm, Red Tiger Balm, Thai Golden Cup Balm, and heaps more are now selling incredibly well in the West, and for good reason too.

These topical balms are designed to be applied directly to the skin where they can provide numerous health benefits, helping with a whole variety of different ailments from headaches and migraines to sore muscles and trouble breathing.

One key ingredient which you will find in the vast majority of these balms is Methyl Salicylate, which we’re going to be looking at today.

Here’s a look at your ultimate guide to Methyl Salicylate.

methyl salicylate wintergreen oil asian balm gaultheria procumbens

What is Methyl Salicylate?

Methyl Salicylate is also known as Wintergreen Oil, due to the fact that it is derived from the leaves of Wintergreen plants. The leaves are extracted, fermented, and then distilled until a potent oil is extracted which has a distinctly minty aroma. This leads many people to incorrectly assume that Wintergreen oil is derived from the mint family of plants, but that is simply not the case at all. The final oil which is extracted is made up almost exclusively of Methyl Salicylate, which is the primary active ingredient found within wintergreen oil. When applied to the skin, Methyl Salicylate provides a mild burning and tingling sensation, which gradually eases off to leave behind a cooling sensation instead. Because of this, and thanks to its healing properties, when infused together with other essential oils in balms and ointments, it can be highly beneficial.

What are the benefits of methyl salicylate?

Some of the main benefits of Methyl Salicylate include the following:

Pain relief

Many of the topical ointments and balms containing Methyl Salicylate, such as White Tiger Balm for example, provide noticeable pain relief when applied to a painful area of the body.

The main reason for this is that Methyl Salicylate contains an active ingredient which is very similar to aspirin. This helps to neutralize pain and discomfort, making it a very effective pain-relieving ingredient.


Wintergreen oil, AKA methyl salicylate, also functions as a potent anti-inflammatory which again is part of the reason why it helps to fight pain and discomfort.

If you’re suffering with a painful rash, sore muscles, or general swelling, methyl salicylate can get to work instantly on easing inflammation.


Another key benefit of methyl salicylate is the fact that it serves as a powerful anti-bacterial agent, making it great when applied to open wounds and insect bites, as this allows it to prevent infection and keep wounds, bites, and injuries sterile.

Methyl salicylate is also often found in toothpaste and dental products, due to the fact that it is such a potent anti-bacterial agent, meaning it can help to neutralize harmful bacteria found in the oral cavity.