Skip to main content

Menthol - Pharmacology of an Important Naturally Medicinal “Cool”

Buy Article:

$68.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

Menthol, a natural product of the peppermint plant Mentha x piperita (Lamiaceae), is a monoterpene which is widely used as a natural product in cosmetics, a flavoring agent, and as an intermediate in the production of other compounds. Various extracts from peppermint contain menthol as a major active constituent and have been used for centuries as traditional medicines for a number of ailments including infections, insomnia, and irritable bowel syndrome as well as an insect repellent. Menthol's characteristic cooling sensation is due, in part, to the activation of sensory neurons generally termed transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, in particular transient receptor potential melastatin family member 8 (TRPM8) and transient receptor potential subfamily A, member 1 (TRPA1). Menthol acts upon TRPM8 receptors by rapidly increasing intracellular calcium and mobilizing calcium flux through the channels to induce cold response signals at the application site. Aside from its cold-inducing sensation capabilities, menthol exhibits cytotoxic effects in cancer cells, induces reduction in malignant cell growth, and engages in synergistic excitation of GABA receptors and sodium ion channels resulting in analgesia. Notwithstanding its plethora of benefits, menthol's coldsensitivity response mechanism has been shown to inhibit mucosal recognition of nicotine and cigarette toxins common in mentholated cigarette brands thus potentially leading to toxic effects. Menthol may prove a valuable lead structure for the synthesis of drugs that target multiple receptors involved with a number of pharmacological effects.

Keywords: CMR1; Mentha x piperita; Menthol; TRPA1; TRPM8; nicotine

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • The aim of Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry is to publish short reviews on the important recent developments in medicinal chemistry and allied disciplines.

    The scope of Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry will cover all areas of medicinal chemistry including developments in rational drug design, synthetic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, high-throughput screening, combinatorial chemistry, drug targets, and natural product research and structure-activity relationship studies.

    Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal and pharmaceutical chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content