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need clarification re: wintergreen tea

by Derek Tombrello
(Shelby, AL )

I have been searching all night and keep coming up with conflicting information regarding using Wintergreen to make tea. Some sources state "To prepare the leaves, pack a jar with them, fill with sterile water, & set the sealed jar in a warm spot for several days, until the water becomes bubbly with fermentation. The first soaking of water makes a strong tea when heated & diluted to taste. The fermented leaves themselves are strained and permitted to dry out. The dried leaves can later be prepared in boiling water like any other tea, making a milder brew than the water from the original fermenting." While other sources simply state "For every cup of boiling water used add 1 tsp. chopped fresh leaves to one cup boiling water. Steep for 5-6 minutes." But then I see on many web sites (including this one) that "Wintergreen oil is not intended for internal use and can result in serious afflictions including death." So I am confused. Is the oil not what is extracted by fermenting the leaves? I need clarification on this, please! Thank you.

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