Menthol essential oil is created from Menthol, an extract from peppermint, corn mint, or other mints. It can also be created synthetically, but any oil created from the synthetic version would not be a true essential oil. It is best known for giving you that cooling feeling you get from mints and muscle relaxing gels.
Menthol occurs naturally in nature and forms waxy crystals at room temperature. If heated slightly above room temperature, it will take a liquid form and can be molded and shaped.
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While we are just getting to know the uses of menthol essential oil, we have been taking advantage of the crystal form for thousands of years. Menthol is one of the best known natural anesthetics around and can be found in everything from cough drops to pesticide. It is a great tool if you know how to use it because it does something that no other natural substance can.
You probably run into menthol all the time without even realizing it. It provides a cooling feeling that helps relieve pain and provide relief. Menthol is one of the main ingredients in Icy Hot, Vicks VapoRub, and most aftershaves. It can also be found in cough drops, cough syrup, and numerous other cold relief medicines.
Benefits of Menthol Essential Oil
- Reduces stomach aches- Applying a little amount of the oil on the stomach helps ease stomach pain.
- Numbing agent- The oil also relieves pain resulting from soft tissue injuries. However, spplying to open wounds can only worsen the pain.
- It relieves nausea- Inhaling the oil’s fragrance eases out nausea. One can also rub it on the temples to relieve nausea caused by tension.
- Soothes digestive issues- The oil helps with diarrhea, indigestion or stomach upsets.
- Freshens bad breath- The oil’s aroma overpowers odors and you can use it as a breath freshener when there is no chance to brush and floss the teeth.
- Relieves headaches- A topical application of the oil relieves headaches caused by tension and sinuses pressure almost instantly.
- Improves mental focus- The fragrance helps someone concentrate by blocking environmental distractions.
- Boosts energy- A whiff of the oil alleviates problems caused by chronic fatigue. Studies have found that it can significantly improve how long you can exercise before getting exhausted.
- Antispasmodic- The oil is widely used to relieve muscle spasms. Massaging it on affected muscle provides instant pain relief and relaxation of the muscle.
- Cooling the skin surface- Menthol oil has a cooling effect, and you can use it to reduce the perception of heat to the skin in cases of sunburn. It also helps alleviate the burning sensation caused by muscle strain.
- Antimicrobial properties- The oil kills germs and inhibits their growth. It also clears respiratory tract by clearing the respiratory tract as it thins out mucus leading to rapid expulsion once inhaled.
Uses of Menthol Essential Oil
- Joint pain remedy– Applying a mixture of menthol essential oil and lavender oil on achy joints helps relieve the pain.
- Respiratory allergies relief – The oil is effective in relaxing nasal passage muscles and clears out the muck and pollen that causes the allergic symptoms. Diffusing this oil along with eucalyptus oil and clove oil helps reduce allergy symptoms.
- Muscle pain relief- Menthol essential oil is a very effective muscle relaxant. It also doubles up as a pain reliever for muscle injuries, and aches caused by exertion.
- Headache relief- Applying the oil on the temple and the nape of the neck relieves headaches. Menthol essential oil helps improve blood circulation and relax tense muscles.
- Used as an expectorant– Inhaling diffused menthol essential oil can unclog your sinuses and offer relief to scratchy throats with immediate effect. The oil may also provide relief for coughs, colds, sinusitis, bronchitis, and asthma.
- Natural Bug Repellant – Adding the oil in a homemade floor detergent eliminates ants, spiders, cockroaches, and mosquitoes. The oil is quite repulsive to insects.
- Improves hair products- The oil is a natural antiseptic, so adding a few drops of the oil in shampoo and or hair conditioner helps remove and prevent dandruff and lice.
- Relief from itches- Applying this essential oil on itchy skin or scalp offers instant soothing and relief from the itch.
- Fever relief- The oil has a cooling effect, which makes it a useful component in homemade fever rubs, especially for children. Mix menthol oil with coconut oil, and then massage it on the neck and feet. The massage soothes a fever faster than aspirin.
- Acne Treatment- Due to its microbial properties, menthol is an effective cure for acne. It also inhibits the formation of new acne. You can apply the oil topically or include in facial treatments.
- Hair growth- Including this essential oil in hair products help nourish hair. It fosters a thick hair growth and prevents hair loss and thinning.
- Cancer treatment drugs- Menthol protects against cell death and DNA damage caused by chemotherapy. It also relieves nausea after a chemotherapy session. Research indicates that menthol slows down prostate cancer growth.
What To Mix Menthol With
I like to pair up essential oils with others that have similar or complimentary benefits and scents. Therefore, your best bet is to mix it with something else that in minty. Here are a few examples that I would use:
Why Does Menthol Oil Feel Cold When It’s Actually Not?
Have you ever felt like sucking on a menthol mint feels the same as sucking on a frozen ice cube? You aren’t alone! There is actually a scientific reasoning behind it. To keep this article from taking days to read, I am going to keep this short, but if you are interested to learn more, follow this link to a full explanation on why menthol oil makes you feel cold.
Your mouth uses a receptor protein, TRPM8, to sense changes in temperature. When their protein senses something cold it sends an electronic signal to your brain. This tells your brain that something is cold and that you may need to react.
Menthol, the main ingredient in menthol essential oil or any other menthol oil, is somehow able to bind itself to those TRPM8 proteins and activate them as well. Studies have not been able to discover how that works yet, scientist just know that it does. Eucalyptol and icilin are other “cooling chemicals” that act in the same way. In other words, the effects of menthol oil are all mental!
When menthol activates the proteins, it tends to keep them responding even after the menthol has been removed. A simple flush of water will typically solve the problem if you find it too strong!
While essential oils are known to be generally safe, we still don’t suggest that you take any risks. You shouldn’t be consuming this product with first consulting a medical professional.
Woman who are pregnant, are looking to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding should not use any essential oils without consulting a medical professional. As with any product that smells great, you should keep this oil away from children to ensure their safety.
Having menthol essential oil at home will give you a basic relief for respiratory problems, stomach disorders, soft tissue pain, scalp problems and skin problems. The oil will also be your healthy bugs repellent once you include it in your homemade detergent. You can find out how effective this oil is by trying any over-the-counter drug that contains menthol.