Market Report of Wintergreen Essential Oil

Market Report of Wintergreen Oil (Gaultheria fragrantissima)(2023/024)

The shrubs of wintergreen are special for a number of reasons, they grow throughout the year regardless of the season or weather conditions. Wintergreen in Nepal is mainly gathered from the wild, making it organic in nature. As it is an all-season shrub, it can be collected throughout the year by the collectors, which has a positive impact on the wages of our collectors in Nepal. The specialty of wintergreen in Nepal is that it consists primarily of 99.8% methyl salicylate. It is mainly found in the Hilly region of Nepal and is usually collected by CFUG members from the particular region. The traditional method is used for the extraction of wintergreen i.e., the Slow distillation process, which helps in releasing all the components of the shrubs. This helps to improve the fragrance of the distilled essential oil. We take pride in the quality and fragrance of the essential oil manufactured by us.

The production, as well as demand for wintergreen, has been less than in previous years. Here are some reasons for the declining market:

  • Wildfires
  • In 2021, Nepal faced one of the biggest wildfires in the country which destroyed a huge percentage of crops, mainly wintergreen. The damage might take at least 3 years to recover.
  • Sustainability efforts
  • As a part of our sustainability effort, a specific area for collection is available only for 2 years so as to let the forest recover for future collection. After 2 years, the collectors move on to different areas. The collection area’s limitations as well as the distance to the collecting area have caused the collectors to collect smaller amounts of crops at a time.
  • Economic condition
  • The cause of low demand for oil can be due to the harsh economic condition around the world.


    Community Forest User Groups usually work for the sustainability and empowerment of the collectors/farmers as well as the forests. Each area has different groups of collectors who are responsible for the collection as well as preservation of the crops from a certain area. Wintergreen essential oil has helped the collectors in the following ways:
  • Mostly women are involved in the collection of crops. Due to the harsh economic condition, it is difficult to sustain a family with a single income. Now, wintergreen has given an opportunity for all women to step up and contribute their part in sustaining their families.
  • The increasing inflation has caused the collectors to move abroad for more opportunities. We try to empower our collectors by providing them with the best value possible in order to improve their lifestyle here in Nepal.

  • The decreasing demand has directly affected the wages of the collectors. The wildfire and economic condition have been one of the major factors of collectors leaving the country by legal or illegal means. We as a manufacturer are doing our best to increase the wages of the collectors and retain them, but our single effort has not been enough to bring positive results.


    We believe in collective growth. The women residing in rural areas are backward as compared to women living in the urban area of Kathmandu. They are way too constrained in work and household responsibilities due to which they often ignore their hygiene and personal health. We periodically organize a small program called ‘Sano Kosheli’ where we provide menstrual as well as personal hygiene materials to females along with knowledge on menstrual health. We have organized this program in places like Lele, Solukhumbu, Banke, Rautahat, and Konjyosom and have seen a positive impact on the effort of women to improve their personal health. We hope to keep up our efforts and also introduce more programs in the future focused on empowering people living in rural areas.

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