What is Menthol?
Menthol is an alcohol.
It is derived from various oils found in mint.
It is white and crystal like.
It is waxy in texture
It is used as a flavouring agent.
Well known for its “cooling” ability.(menthol)
Menthol is also used in medicine.
It has a distinctive pungent.
Pure Menthol is a toxin.(menthol)
Boiling Point: 212 °C
Melting Point: 36-38 °C
Molecular weight: 156.27 g/mol−1
Density: 0.890 g/cm−3 (Egyptian)
History / Discovery of Menthol
In ancient Japan, about 2000 years ago, mint leaves containing menthol were used a herbal medicine for many ailments.
It wasn’t until 1771 that Hieronymous David isolated pure menthol from peppermint oil.
Since then menthol is now isolated from both peppermint oil and in labs.(Egyptian)
Commercial Uses of Menthol
Menthol has many commercial uses. Not only is it used in flavouring foods, candies and cigarettes, but it also used as a medicine. Medicinally, it is used in the following:
Treating: nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, headache and more.(menthol) (What)
Menthol was used as a medicine in ancient Japan. Still, today menthol has a lot of medicinal uses. Since menthol has a cooling ability, it is used as an ointment for aches and pains.
This cooling ability is due to the fact that menthol reacts with certain sensory receptors in our mouths and skin. These receptors detect temperature change, and thus when menthol reacts with them we feel “cooler”. (What)
Pure menthol is toxic.
If ingested it can cause:
Blood in urine
Chemical / Scientific Significance
Menthol has one main chemical structure that it is found naturally in but it also has 7 other isomers.(Egyptian)
The 7 other isomers are synthesized in labs while the main one is isolated from mint leaves.(Egyptian)
The mint flavour and odour of