The compound Menthol is not mentioned in many history textbooks and historical papers as it is not yet developed in the ancient times but its plant sources, such as peppermint, have long been in existence in many cultures all over the world as it is found to be very useful in the enhancement of health and the prevention of illnesses. The leaves of peppermint have long been used in the prevention of upper and lower respiratory tract conditions. It is also beneficial in the prevention of bad breath. Today, with the development of modern medical research, experts have extracted the organic compound Menthol from several members of the mint family, making it a prime component in many industrial products including toothpastes and soaps. It has also become a very useful health supplement ingredient in many dietary supplement formulations. Menthol is generally safe for use among individual users but it must be taken only within recommended doses.
What is Menthol?
Menthol is classified as a synthetically-made organic compound. It can be isolated and extracted from members of the mint family, primarily, peppermint. It is said to be useful in the enhancement of wellness as it is found to have antimicrobial properties. However, Menthol is only effective against strains of microorganisms that are not too deadly. Experts say that Menthol supplementation may also be beneficial in treating long-term sore throat. Menthol is also included in some topical medications as it works as a local anesthetic and analgesic when applied in skin surfaces. For this purpose, however, Menthol should not be excessively used as it may also irritate skin, especially among persons who are suffering from sensitivity reactions. Menthol in health supplement products must not be used in very high doses. However, within recommended doses, it can be used by pregnant and lactating women, provided that it is with advice of their physicians.
What are the benefits of using Menthol?
The following are some of the benefits of using Menthol:
- It may improve overall gastrointestinal tract function
Studies show that the plant sources of Menthol have a long-established record of being a beneficial digestive aid. It is believed that Menthol supplementation may help cure irritable bowel syndrome and other conditions such as colic. It may also treat bloating.
- It may help relieve headaches
When taken internally, Menthol may also help relieve headaches. This is because it has an analgesic effect, as observed in several health studies. It is not known, however, if Menthol can be used in other pain conditions.
- It relieves itching in contact dermatitis
Although it works best when applied topically to relieve itching in contact dermatitis, experts say that taking Menthol supplements may also provide the benefit among patients who are diagnosed with the condition. It may also be used against hives.
There are many advantages and benefits of using Menthol in the field of alternative medicine but it should not be used in very high doses. Health claims associated with its use are still under confirmatory researches.