Wintergreen Wintergreen (Nepal)

Location:
Nepal

2021 Sourcing Impact

People empowered with sourcing jobs:

3,011

Lives supported by sourcing jobs:

12,646

Lives impacted through social impact projects:

21,015

Wintergreen

Wintergreen Gaultheria fragrantissima

Taken from the rural mountains of Nepal, the soothing and stimulating properties of Wintergreen oil provide a fresh, uplifting aroma.

Why Nepal?

Wintergreen grows in the Himalayan foothills, making Nepal and China the sole regions of the world with endemic, wild wintergreen. The altitude in these areas is anywhere between 4,900 and 8,860 feet. Wintergreen thrives in a heavily forested, cool climate. We source our Wintergreen essential oil from Nepal, where we support much-needed income streams for harvesters and distillers.

The Harvesting and Distillation Process

The essential oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of the wintergreen plant, which grows between three and nine feet high. The leaves are hand-collected by harvesters (primarily women), who transport the wintergreen leaves in a large basket held in place on their backs by a strap around the forehead. One basket of wintergreen leaves can weigh up to 110 pounds.

The women sell the raw material to small-scale distillers, located near the wintergreen sourcing forests. The leaves soak in warm water overnight before being steam-distilled for 14 hours or more.

In Nepal, the forests where wintergreen grows are managed by Community Forest User’s Groups (CFUG), which oversee wintergreen collection to prevent overharvesting. Harvesters and distillers work with CFUGs to follow management plans that allow harvesters to collect wild wintergreen leaves in specific areas that rotate each year.

Wintergreen Essential Oil | doTERRA Behind the Bottle: Episode 15

Empowering People: Building Supplier Capacity

Together with our partners in Nepal, we actively facilitated supply chain improvement and sustainability programs for wintergreen. We worked with our partners to develop manuals on proper collection, manufacturing, and testing practices and implement related trainings for harvesters and distillers. We also installed more distillation units in several communities, removing travel barriers and helping more people participate in the industry. Our initiatives optimize essential oil yields to make best use of this beautiful resource and increase income for harvesters.

Impact Stories: Social Impact

It’s been several years since the devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015, yet many people are still working to rebuild their lives and recover. As of 2021, the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation® has donated nearly $2,500,000 for earthquake relief aid and community-benefitting social impact projects.

Wintergreen Essential Oil | Nepal and the doTERRA Difference

Partnering with CHOICE Humanitarian and local governments and communities, the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation has supported numerous projects in Wintergreen (and Spikenard) essential oil–producing communities:

• The construction of Sanskriti Sadan Secondary School (which has 500 students), Sharada Secondary School (which has 700 students), and Gokul Ganga Higher Secondary School (which has 700 students).

• The rebuilding of more than 50 earthquake-damaged homes.

• The expansion of the primary hospital in Palung, Makwanpur (serving over 100,000 people).

• The construction of a new hospital in Rasnalu, Ramechhap.

• The reconstruction of the Agara Health Post.

• The construction of the Veterinary and Agricultural Lab facility as part of the Janakalyan Secondary School in Makwanpur.

• The installation of a water supply system that provides potable water for 325 families and schools in Thaha—one of the country’s poorest communities.

And partnering with Days for Girls, the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation funded the distribution of more than 30,000 feminine hygiene kits and accompanying education to adolescent girls throughout Nepal.

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