Wintergreen, or pipsissewa, Chimaphila umbellata, is a creeping-evergreen vine native to northern latitudes of Europe and Asia, and found in the United States in shady woods, where it prefers loose, sandy soil. The Indians of North America considered chimaphila of importance, using decoctions of it in nephritic, scrofulous, and rheumatic disorders. Mitchell (441), in his Inaugural Address, 1803, (University of Pennsylvania) gave the drug particular attention, whilst in domestic medicine it was in favor as a tea, in the sections of country in which it was native, its use being especially in rheumatic and nephritic affections. In these directions it crept into some favor with the medical profession, and thus anticipated the uses of salicylic acid and the salicylates, which in structural form are constituents of this plant.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.