Menthol is a compound that you can either make chemically or find naturally occurring in substances like mint or peppermint. Menthol crystals themselves resemble clear or white crystalline forms and remain solid at room temperature. As menthol has local anesthetic and anti-irritant properties, manufacturers include it in a variety of products.
A topical analgesic is any drug or substance that relieves pain or numbs sensation over a localised area. As menthol is a mild topical analgesic, it is often used to relieve pain or discomfort caused by mild cuts, muscle pain, cramps, headaches or sprains. Menthol can be used on its on in topical creams or combined with other compounds like camphor and eucalyptus oil.
Bad Breathe Remedy
Menthol is also a mild antiseptic, meaning it is capable of killing some forms of bacteria. For this reason menthol is often included in products designed to reduce or eliminate bad breath, like tooth paste, floss, mouthwash and chewing gum. Furthermore, the analgesic property of menthol numbs scent receptors, thereby masking residual odour left on the breath.
In addition to soothing pain associated with congestion, such as a scratchy or sore throat, menthol has the effect of loosening or thinning mucus. This essentially makes it easy for individuals experiencing congestion to clear their airways and nasal passages. Menthol can be applied topically to the throat or chest and inhaled as the cream melts.
Anti-pruritic substances are used to relieve itchiness. Due to its analgesic qualities, menthol is often a key ingredient in topical creams designed to relieve itching from insect bites, rashes, sunburns, allergies, eczema and psoriasis.