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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.



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.


(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.


an optically active organic compound found in peppermint oil and used as an antiseptic, in inhalants, and as an analgesic. Formula: C10H20O
References in periodicals archive ?
This quickly yields a long lasting array of spicy and warm mentholated flavors.
On the train, the competitive coughing swelled into a mentholated cacophony, as we stood nose-to-armpits along the aisle between the seats, where commuters blessed with sufficient space drew handkerchiefs from their pockets - some discreetly allowing their fellows to see light specklings of blood, decorating the otherwise funeralwhite linen.
On my asking, the sales lady handed me a packet of L & M mentholated cigarettes without a momentAEs notice.
I slathered the mentholated salve over my skin--like rubbing a magic eraser over my torments.
If you simply must enter a store between Thanksgiving and New Yar's I suggest you employ the old medical examiners' trick of the trade and dab a small amount of mentholated rub under your nose.
Two Cambridge professors came up with an idea, given to them by a local butcher, who supplied them with sausage skins, which they filled with mentholated spirit, put them in water tank, buffeted them with "waves" and came up with the idea of massive sausage-shaped containers, filled with crude oil, being towed by ships.
Major Products: Personal care--Imperial Leather, Joy, Foamburst, Carex and Juksja soaps; Cussons Kids toiletries; Sweet Seventeen teen products; Venus creme relaxers; Flourish toothpaste; Robb mentholated rub.
Much the same, but everyone's wearing spandex pedal-pushers and taking mentholated snuff?
The recall includes the mentholated cherry scent and menthol scent product lines, sold over the counter at pharmacies and retail stores nationwide.