Categorized | Using Nature

The Wonder of Oil of Wintergreen

Barry had a great hint that he is lending us. He awakened me to some facts about  Wintergreen Oil.

This Oil has been used in a surprising number of products such as chewing gum and candy, but also in liniments for sore muscles and arthritic conditions. But Barry  says it has a largely unadvertised use as a deterrent to pesky animals and even birds!

When you have to leave your garbage out in town, or you want to keep your garden safe from deer, you can use this Wintergreen Oil (Oil of Wintergreen is the same thing).


Garbage Can

 He says that I just have to put a tiny dot on each cabbage leaf to discourage the deer from coming for nibbles. This problem can be huge for those with gardens grown close to wilderness areas inhabited by wildlife. The deer are as intrigued by new and different flavours and tastes after an arduous winter, as I am. As soon as I plant out my nursery cabbages, broccoli, etc., they sneak in when all is quiet – usually the early hours before anything is moving and waltz down the rows, chomping  them off as they go. After all the work I go through to get them that far, that feels like a disaster. We’ve considered the cost of building a fence around the area. This could be a simple and cheap alternative! He says that it will discolor the spot on the plant, but this eventually becomes an outer leaf and I don’t usually use those in the end anyway.

When I bought a bottle from the pharmacy (it’s behind the counter – so you have to ask for it) and got it home, I thought I’d give our friendly pooch a sniff. I wasn’t very surprised at how she back off. She wanted nothing to do with it. We could be on to something big here!


Rottweiller dog

If a dot will keep ravens, dogs, and cats away from your garden, or garbage, or yard…wow. Let me know if this works for you.

It is to be used with caution of course, because it can be fatal in large doses.







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19 Responses to “The Wonder of Oil of Wintergreen”

  1. Judy says:

    wow, wintergreen, do you think we are hurting ourselves with the gum? even in some small way. i love wintergreen, Erika loves spearmint. We grew gingermint in our Greenhouse this year. I also love the Chocolate mint we sell,


    • sherry says:

      Not necessarily hurting ourselves, I don’t think. There are some things that are good for a person, but where moderation is still the best. I have spearmint. I quit doing chocolate mint because it didn’t taste like chocolate. The smell wasn’t enough to hook me. I wonder how they keep coming up with these varieties. I want to sample it too.

  2. Wow when I read that animals shun this I went looking and here is what I found. wintergreen is. It actually a mint but a salicylate related to Aspirin. Youre right Sherry. Definitely want to keep that out of the reach of children!

  3. Judy says:

    I’ll have to do some ginger mint at home and dry it. Thou I’d rather do mint and add a slice of ginger

  4. Wendy says:

    I love wintergreen anything. I would love to know if theythe oil would keep moose away from aspens. I had a young moose come in to the yard, with one ‘no big deal’ step over the fence and prune my towering aspens.

    • sherry says:

      You just made me think that I should put some on my fruit trees too. I wonder then, also, about berry eating birds. Ha- maybe someone should invent a motion sensitized, solar energized garden spray device. It could be cost prohibitive.

  5. Wendy says:

    I had a cost free device. It was my broom. I chased that moose out of the yard and made all manner of noises that I’m sure had the neigbours heard, they would have to rush to see if the Indians had returned from the past. As for the damage: done. I have pictured such a device that you describe. But $$$ yes! That device would be programmed to recognize cats, dogs and would make an attack if the branches were pecked…hmmm, sounds like a remote scarecrow. I have even hung sunlight soap bars from my trees to deter the deer. It may have worked. I wasn’t awake at 4 a.m. to see. I did have a huge crop of apples and then, lo and behold, in comes a driving wind last summer which tore 100 apples per tree to the ground. They weren’t even ripe enough to scrounge, lol.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I like spearmint more than wintergreen for taste, but I could be convinced to start liking wintergreen after this blog.
    If there is a place around your garden that grows a bit wild, maybe you could let wintergreen take over. This might act like a natural barrier to the deer. You’d have to be willing to introduce a weed, though! If not, you could try burying pots of them around your garden.
    Judy, how is the ginger mint? I love mints! If you have a sample to spare, I’d love to try it!

  7. Carmen says:

    So, I had tried a bit of the wintergreen oil to see if it would keep the cat out of my little garden. Sorry to say, it didn’t work. Either my cat is very resiliant to everything or it’s just another thing that doesn’t bother cats. I’d like to think it’s just my cat, cause you should hear all the stuff I’ve done to stop it from being a pest…you should also see my new shag carpet on my stairs…torn to shreds after many attempts to stop him. Anyway, the most interesting part of the whole wintergreen test was that mom put a small amount in a pastic container for me and it ate through the entire bottom of it by morning…the oil…not the cat.

    • sherry says:

      Surprisingly caustic then… I don’t have any deer in the garden as yet, but I don’t know if it’s just the dog keeping it away. I’ve got one spot the dog is digging and I’ll try that! Thanks a bunch for lending us your experience!

  8. Naomi says:

    Carmen, have you tried cayenne pepper?


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