Wintergreen oil, while known mostly for its clean, fresh scent, also has numerous healing properties. You may have seen wintergreen as a flavor of gum or breath mint. And if you’ve used a minty-smelling muscle rub, chances are it has wintergreen oil as an ingredient. Find out what else this wonderful essential oil can do for your health!

Here are 10 powerful uses of wintergreen oil:

1. Muscle Pain Relief

Many people deal with joint pain and muscles on a day to day basis. If that’s you, instead of popping a pain pill, first try wintergreen oil. It can reduce swelling and irritation that occurs around painful muscle, tissue and joints.

Massage several drops of it into your skin. It’s great for relieving rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. (1)

2. Cold and Flu Treatment

Wintergreen leaves contain an aspirin-like chemical. You can use it to reduce pain, congestion, swelling and fever. However, if you are allergic to aspirin, you’ll want to steer clear of wintergreen. Otherwise, it might be a good remedy for congestion. (2)

Can’t breathe at night? Try wintergreen essential oil! Combine it with coconut oil and rub the mixture onto your chest and upper back. It will help open your nasal passages and help you breathe more deeply.

3. Antibacterial and Antiviral

Since it combats bacteria, viruses and fungi, you can use wintergreen oil as a cleaner for your home. Try running it through your dishwasher or washing machine to kill odor-causing bacteria. And for a great, natural bathroom cleanser with a great scent, use wintergreen essential oil on your toilets and showers. (3)

4. Digestive Relief

Wintergreen essential oil is a great digestive aid. Uses in small doses, in can increase stomach acid and improve digestion. Furthermore, it can reduce muscle spasms, making it a natural remedy for nausea.

Mix a few drops with coconut oil. Then, rub the mixture over your abdomen and lower back. It’ll improve blood flow and prevent cramping and pain. (4)

5. Skin and Hair Treatment

Wintergreen essential oil’s antibacterial properties make it a great treatment for skin and hair. For example, it can help fight inflammation from bacteria-causing acne. It can also be used to remove bacteria and greasiness from hair. Added bonus is its great fresh scent! (5)

You can add one to two drops to your normal face wash. Alternatively, mix it with coconut or jojoba oil to calm itchy, red, swollen skin.

6. Energizer and Fatigue Fighter

Native Americans may have used wintergreen leaves to increase stamina, alertness and endurance. This may well be due to its ability to extend respiratory capacity as well as subdue inflammation. (6)

To help keep a health flow of oxygen and help stay alert, try inhaling wintergreen and peppermint oil before workouts. Or, if you work out at home, try diffusing the oils in the room during your exercise routine.

7. Soothing Bath Soak

Life can be stressful. That’s no secret. And stress can leave your muscles feeling like someone used them as a punching bag. To unwind after a long day, add drops of wintergreen oil and lavender oil to a warm bath. Or, if you can handle it, try taking an ice bath with these oils. It’s a great muscle ache treatment!

8. Air Freshener

Above, you read that wintergreen oil works great to kill bacteria in your home. But unlike other store-bought cleaners that can be harmful to inhale, wintergreen will leave behind a safe, pleasant scent. For that reason, it makes a great natural home deodorizer!

Combine several drops with water in a spray bottle. Apply it to hard surfaces, appliances, and garbage cans. Furthermore, you can use it to add a burst of freshness to your laundry. Your clothes will smell great!

9. Hunger and Cravings Reducer

It can be difficult to stay away from bad foods. However, you can help curb cravings by sniffing wintergreen essential oil or gargling it in your mouth. Alternatively, dab it on your temples, chest, or clothes. (7)

10. Homemade Toothpaste

Here is another way to utilize the bacteria-killing power of wintergreen oil. It can kill bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath, as well as treat mouth irritants. (8) You can even try this homemade toothpaste recipe.

Try adding a few drops of it to your homemade toothpaste.