• In plants of the genus Mentha (main component of the essential oil of peppermint)
  • L-menthol (or levomenthol) = natural menthol

Selected Properties

  • Analgesic
  • Cooling
  • Local anesthetic properties
  • Rubefascient

Mechanism of Action

Tingling and cold sensation3,4

  • Activation of sensory neurons (transient receptor potential channels, TRP) that increase intracellular Ca2+ levels


  • Synergistic excitation of GABA receptors and sodium ion channels
  • Activation of endogenous opioid-dependent analgesic pathways

Local anesthetic properties and rubefascient5,6,7

  • Blocking of valtage-gated sodium channels
  • Increase of cutaneous blood flow


  1. B. Liu et al., TRPM8 is the Principal Mediator of Menthol-induced Analgesia of Acute and Inflammatory Pain. Pain 154, 2169-2177 (2013).
  2. J. A. Farco, O. Grundmann, Menthol—pharmacology of an important naturally medicinal “cool”. Mini Rev Med Chem 13, 124-131 (2013).
  3. N. Galeotti, L. Di Cesare Mannelli, G. Mazzanti, A. Bartolini, C. Ghelardini, Menthol: a natural analgesic compound. Neurosci Lett 322, 145-148 (2002).
  4. LG. Haeseler et al., Voltage-dependent block of neuronal and skeletal muscle sodium channels by thymol and menthol. Eur J Anaesthesiol 19, 571-579 (2002).
  5. D. H. Craighead, L. M. Alexander, Topical menthol increases cutaneous blood flow. Microvascular research 107, 39- 45 (2016).