Famous for its minty cooling sensation, menthol is the tried and true topical ingredient for relieving aches, pain, sprains, and more.
Whether you suffer from ongoing joint pain, an old sports injury, if you twisted your knee doing yard work, or simply slept in an unusual position, you’ve likely tried a topical pain reliever before. These gels, creams, sprays, and patches are applied directly to the skin, and they often include the notoriously minty and cooling ingredient – menthol.
What is menthol?
Menthol, sometimes referred to as “mint camphor,” is a naturally occurring organic compound derived from peppermint or other mint oils, and it has been used for its analgesic properties since ancient times.
Mentha arvensis, also known as wild mint, field mint, Japanese mint, Chinese mint, and corn mint, is the main species of mint used to obtain menthol crystals and menthol flakes, but it can also be produced synthetically. In its natural state, menthol is a waxy substance, white or clear in color, that remains solid at room temperature but begins to melt when slightly above.
With its strong minty scent, a nod to its originating plant, menthol is popularly used as an ingredient in oral care products for its unique cooling sensation, added as a natural fragrance or flavor ingredient in self-care products, or used for its analgesic and counterirritant properties, which make it a popular ingredient in throat lozenges and over-the-counter (OTC) topical pain relief products. Menthol acts as a counterirritant by imparting a cooling effect, and by initially stimulating nociceptors (pain receptors) and then desensitizing them.
The function of menthol in topical pain relievers
Used medicinally, menthol works to ease pain, aches, sprains, muscle cramps, and irritation. While some topical pain relievers are designed to treat the pain associated with an inflamed or injured area – as is the case with the other plant ingredients in the Rightful Relief Cream – menthol works by overpowering the pain.
Upon topical application, menthol’s cooling sensation actually tricks the mind into thinking that our body or skin temperature is dropping which, in turn, interrupts pain signals to the brain and ultimately desensitizes the nerve endings, temporarily. It’s similar to how ice or an ice pack works by decreasing arterial blood flow.
Menthol also exhibits antispasmodic properties that help to relax tense or sore muscles.
Research and data show that menthol is an effective natural pain reliever.
It can be disheartening to try a topical pain reliever and not experience relief. That said, research shows us that menthol is an effective ingredient for pain management. According to findings from a study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, menthol is arguably as effective, if not more so, than ice with regard to pain relief. Furthermore, using menthol to relieve pain is shown to be safe for nearly everyone.
Menthol is a powerful pain-relieving plant, and when used in conjunction with the four other plant-based ingredients in the Rightful Relief Cream, relief is both quick and lasting in a way that’s truly unique to our formula. In fact, no other natural pain relief cream combines the five active plant ingredients used in Rightful Relief Cream, and you can be sure this doctor-formulated cream includes highly therapeutic doses. While many studies on menthol have seen great results with 3.5% menthol in a natural pain cream, we’re giving you a powerful blend of 4% menthol, 4% camphor, 5% arnica, 5% calendula, and 4% hemp – making a cream that is 22% active ingredients. Five nourishing plant oils soothe the skin and help the active ingredients absorb quickly, without feeling greasy.
If you have questions about menthol, or how it’s used in Rightful Relief Cream, reach out to our Customer Care Team or on-staff pharmacist at email@example.com. We’re always happy to hear from you.