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white crystalline substance with a characteristic pungent odor. It is derived from the oil of the peppermint plant, Mentha piperita (see mintmint,
in botany, common name for members of the Labiatae, a large family of chiefly annual or perennial herbs. Several species are shrubby or climbing forms or, rarely, small trees.
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), or prepared synthetically from coal tar. An alcohol, menthol is freely soluble in ethyl alcohol, ether, and chloroform. It is a local anesthetic and helps relieve itching, and because it imparts a tingling sensation to the skin, it is used in after shave lotions and skin fresheners. It is also used in throat lozenges, inhalers, and as a flavoring.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



3-methyl-6-isopropylcyclohexanol; colorless crystals with a peppermint odor and a slightly bitter taste.

Menthol is readily soluble in organic solvents and slightly soluble in water. It has a strong cooling effect on the skin. There are 12 known stereoisomers, the most widely occurring in nature being the levorotatory ( — )-menthol (melting point, 43°C; boiling point, 216°C). This form is the principal constituent of peppermint oil (to 50 percent) and Japanese mint oil (to 90 percent); the congelation process is used to extract it. Menthol is usually synthesized by the hydrogenation of thymol.

Menthol is a mild analgesic and disinfectant. It is used externally in alcohol, ether-alcohol, and oil-based solutions to relieve itching, neuralgia, and migraine. Menthol ointments, inhalants, and nose drops are prescribed for inflammations of the upper respiratory tract (common cold, tracheitis). Menthol is prepared in emulsion form for internal use as a sedative in the treatment of certain gastrointestinal diseases. Ingakamf inhalers, Zelenin drops, and Validol are menthol-containing products. Menthol is also used in perfume and cosmetics (in dental-care products), in the food industry (liqueurs, candy), and in flavoring tobacco.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(organic chemistry)
CH3C6H9(C3H7)OH An alcohol-soluble, white crystalline compound that may exist in levo form or a mixture of dextro and levo isomers; used in medicines and perfumes, and as a flavoring agent. Also known as peppermint camphor.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


an optically active organic compound found in peppermint oil and used as an antiseptic, in inhalants, and as an analgesic. Formula: C10H20O
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Using menthol containing products is believed toA be beneficial.
"There are hundreds of menthol oil drums inside the warehouse and they are exploding," Fire Officer Arun Kumar Singh told ANI.
This report focuses on the Menthol Tonka Bean in global market, especially in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, South America, Middle East and Africa.
The 10-milliliter bottle is available in 38 different flavors, ranging from traditional tobacco and menthol to hookah flavored e-liquid such as Cool Lemon, Melon Fusion and Choco-Nana, a chocolate and banana mix.
Most of the second- and third-degree burns were associated with products that contain menthol as the single active ingredient and with products that contain a combination of menthol (concentration greater than 3%) and methyl salicylate (concentration greater than 10%).
Like other Djarum cigar styles, Mild and Menthol Black will be offered in 12-count packs to avoid confusion with cigarettes, the company stated.
The tobacco industry advertises menthol as a substance which alleviates harshness and enhances taste and smoothness, "but menthol may also facilitate nicotine delivery and increase the sensory impact of cigarettes," says the report.
Chief executive Heinz-Juergen Bertram said, 'Symrise is already the global market leader in menthol production.
According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, more than 70% of African American smokers buy menthol cigarettes.
A study exploring tobacco industry manipulation of menthol levels in specific American cigarette brands concluded that there was a deliberate strategy to "recruit and addict young smokers".
Co-author Howard Koh, Professor and Associate Dean for Public Health Practice at the school, said: "For decades, the tobacco industry has carefully manipulated menthol content not only to lure youth but also to lock-in lifelong adult customers."
Pharmacokinetic studies reveal that fractionated urinary recovery of menthol is dependent on the kind of formulation used for the application of PO.