This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
A secondary alcohol, obtained from oil of peppermint, closely allied to camphor.
Properties : Menthol occurs as colorless, acicular or prismatic crystals, having a strong and pure odor of peppermint and a warm, aromatic taste, followed by a sensation of cold when air is drawn into the mouth. It is only slightly soluble in water, but freely soluble in alcohol, ether, liquid petrolatum, etc.
Action and Uses: Menthol has been used internally for the relief of gastric pain. Externally, it is applied on the skin as an anesthetic and cooling application. It is frequently used in the solid form known as Menthol pencils. One of these is rubbed over the painful part in neuralgia or headache.
It may also be applied in solution or ointment for the relief of itching, in a strength of from 1 to 2 per cent. It is used, dissolved in liquid petrolatum, as an application to inflamed mucous membranes, especially in the nose and throat. For this purpose a strength of 1 per cent, is suitable.
Dosage: 0.065 gm. or 1 grain.