Natural Menthol is an aromatic organic compound extracted from Mint. Known for its cooling sensation, menthol is commonly used in items like toothpaste, mouthwash, cough drops, and herbal salves. This ingredient is also widely used in aromatherapy practices. Here are all the benefits of natural Menthol.
Improves cognitive functioning
A study showed that inhaling Menthol improved their memory. Menthol is rich in antioxidants and can increase glutamate concentration in the neurons to help with memory impairment. This ingredient "stimulates the Hippocampus area of the brain, which controls mental clarity and memory."
Similarly, when topically applied to the head and forehead, menthol can reduce tension headaches and boost alertness - soothing the muscles and relaxing the mind. It is important to note that menthol should be diluted with a carrier oil before contact with skin.
Fights symptoms of the common cold
Menthol crystals are an excellent decongestant agent; it helps open congested airways and clear mucus. Menthol can soothe sore throats and alleviate sinus discomfort from a common cold and other respiratory infections. This ingredient is found in herbal salves and cough drops for this specific purpose.
The peppermint in Menthol is an excellent natural anti-microbial agent, making it an ideal ingredient for addressing throat and other minor infections.
Benefits of Menthol on skin
Menthol has the potential to increase skincare products' effectiveness. It stimulates blood flow to the skin and allows better penetration of various topical creams.
Another cooling effect of menthol is protection from sun damage. Over-exposure to the sun can cause skin tissue to be inflamed and irritated. Menthol's cooling and anti-inflammatory properties will help alleviate such pain.
Lastly, there are also significant benefits of menthol for hair. It can soothe an irritated scalp, remove build-up caused by dandruff and encourage new hair growth.
Fights indigestion and gut problems
Peppermint oil and menthol drops have been shown to improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including gas, diarrhea, upset stomach, and bloating. According to research, menthol in peppermint oil soothes and relaxes muscles (i.e., it is anti-spasmodic) lining the gastrointestinal tract. This, in turn, alleviates constipation and painful gas. Moreover, clinical studies compared placebos with peppermint oil in people with IBS. The studies showed that the peppermint oil pill had significantly helped with IBS symptoms.
Mosquito repellant and counterirritant
Paired with camphor, menthol can alleviate itching caused by skin conditions such as eczema and poison ivy rashes. Menthol is a tremendous natural counterirritant that works by causing the surface of the skin to feel calm. This ingredient can interact with TRP channels, so itching stops following menthol application. What's more, the scent of menthol acts as an excellent mosquito repellent as mosquitos find the scent of menthol unpleasant and tend to steer away from it.
Menthol is an excellent solution to many of the common problems we face every day. With its antioxidant, anti-spasmodic, and skin-friendly properties, menthol can be effectively used to enhance breathing, protect the skin, and provide relief from stomach aches. The best part is that it causes you no harm!
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- Alammar, N., Wang, L., Saberi, B., Nanavati, J., Holtmann, G., Shinohara, R. T., & Mullin, G. E. (2019). The impact of peppermint oil on the irritable bowel syndrome: a meta-analysis of the pooled clinical data. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 19(1), 1-10.
- Bhadania, M., Joshi, H., Patel, P., & Kulkarni, V. H. (2012). Protective effect of menthol on β-amyloid peptide induced cognitive deficits in mice. European journal of pharmacology, 681(1-3), 50-54.
- Craighead, D. H., & Alexander, L. M. (2016). Topical menthol increases cutaneous blood flow. Microvascular research, 107, 39-45.
- Nagai, N., Ogata, F., Yamaguchi, M., Fukuoka, Y., Otake, H., Nakazawa, Y., & Kawasaki, N. (2019). Combination with l-menthol enhances transdermal penetration of indomethacin solid nanoparticles. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(15), 3644.
- Singh, R., Shushni, M. A., & Belkheir, A. (2015). Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Mentha piperita L. Arabian Journal of Chemistry, 8(3), 322-328.