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04/17/2012 09:36 PM

How MENTHOL works in our Biofreeze, Ben Gay, etc

Posts: 1681
Group Leader


I was curious about what part menthol REALLY plays in my Biofreeze, Cryogel, Stop Pain, Icy Hot, Blue Ice, other OTC products who say cooling effect etc to help alleviate aches and pains

Most people start with Vicks Vabo-rub as a child, when our mothers put on our chest, under our nose when we had the cold or flu or....and you as a mother applied it to our youngsters...

Our first Pain relief OTC medicine was BEN GAY (and for many, STILL using such as it worked THEN, why give up USING a good thing?) for aching muscles, like after we shoveled our driveways or when we twisted our and child's ankle or overextended ourselves when we go to a health club or gym...or maybe you've been out of shape, went with friend to a Zhumba class...

I personally like ease of roll-on Biofreeze or Cryogel with Ilex as both have built in anti-inflammatories with latter also coming in different scents-when I can buy latter cheap enough, I like lavendar scent as it is calming, for sleeping at night.

BOTH Biofreeze which is recommended by MANY doctors, Chiropractors, Physical therapists, SPORTS Medicine, etc PLUS I BELIEVE CRYOGEL have 3 applications of their product: cream, spray and roll on-I prefer the roll on as I don;t like getting this stuff on my hands as eventually from my hands, to parts of my bed/sheets, to whatever I am wearing it works its way to other parts of me, like face, eyes and wow, what a sting!

Many other products OTC-right now, I just WON for .99 on ebay, no less plus just $2.99 shipping and got in mail today, Stop-Pain ROLL-ON which friend of mine who SWEARS by this product works the best-I had to try it, at least-he uses the spray form as he cannot bend over to use it as a roll-on...we shall see

Menthol, I quote, with references below such:

"Menthol for Pain Relief

By admin | Published: March 6, 2010


Menthol for Pain ReliefMenthol, one of nature's most effective natural pain relievers, can already be found in products throughout your medicine cabinet, purse, and even your pocket.

Fully 3,000 tons of menthol are manufactured every year for products like mouthwash, toothpaste, breath-mints, gum, lip balms and on the list goes. Yet menthol really shines when used in pain relief creams.

What is menthol?

Menthol is the powerful organic compound found in the plant family ‘genus Mentha', more commonly known as the mint and peppermint plants. While mint and peppermint are found world-wide, menthol is extracted in crystallized form from the oils of the wild mint or corn mint plant native to India, western and central Asia, the Himalaya, Siberia and North America.

How does menthol help relieve pain?

You may know from experience rubbing on a pain relief cream with menthol instantly brings cool, soothing pain relief to aching muscles. What you may not know is how menthol actually tackles pain in three different ways all at once.

Menthol has a natural analgesic (pain reliever) attribute when used in lotion, gel, or cream form. As the lotion is applied, molecules called ligands attach themselves to receptors in your cell triggering a change. The menthol ligand attaches to the kappa Opioid receptor, which produces a numbing effect.

Another reason menthol works so well when you rub it on those aching muscles is because it triggers a process called vasodilation. Blood vessels in the area widen, increasing blood flow to the area and reducing the skin barrier function. As a result, other medicinal ingredients typically found in that lotion along with the menthol get to work faster while the increased blood flow itself bring nutrients necessary for cellular repair and carry away waste.

Finally, one of the biggest culprits behind muscle aches and pains is inflammation. The Latin word for inflammation is inflammare which means “to set on fire.” Menthol brings a wonderful cooling sensation by stimulating thermoreceptors in the skin cells which help your body recognize temperature changes. Your skin doesn't actually change temperature. Instead, menthol causes a signal to be sent which your brain interprets as cold, relieving the uncomfortable heat of inflammation. That's why many first aid products use menthol for cooling in place of ice.

Clearly the mint plant gives us much more than good flavoring. It provides one of nature's most effective natural pain relievers which even speeds up healing.

Related references:

Leffingwell, J.C. & R.E. Shackelford, Laevo-Menthol – Syntheses and organoleptic properties, Cosmetics and Perfumery, 89(6), 69-89, 1974

Ting, Lillian. Publication on neurons, cellular reaction, medicinal qualities of menthol. Science Creative Quarterly

Galeottia, N., Mannellia, L.D.C., Mazzantib, G., Bartolinia, A., Ghelardini, C. (2002). “Menthol: a natural analgesic compound”. Neuroscience Letters 322 (3): 145–148. doi:10.1016/S0304-3940(01)02527-7.

Braina, K.R., Greena, D.M., Dykesb, P.J., Marksb, R., Bola, T.S., The Role of Menthol in Skin Penetration from Topical Formulations of Ibuprofen 5% in vivo, Skin Pharmacol Physiol, 2006;19:17-21 [1]

PDR for Herbal Medicines, 4th Edition, Thomson Healthcare, page 640. ISBN 978-1563636783"


04/18/2012 10:21 AM
Posts: 7855
VIP Member

Interesting I had no idea. Thanks

04/18/2012 05:57 PM
Posts: 1681
Group Leader

Do you use this? Got any aches and pains?

I also have used DMSO

04/18/2012 07:58 PM
Posts: 7675
VIP Member

I haven't used any of those products for fibro pain. do they work?

04/20/2012 07:30 PM
Posts: 1681
Group Leader

Sure do-I'd guess since some of my pain due to nerves , some due to muscle spasms, some due to DDD. piriformis syndrome, DDD,remarkable hip, advanced osteoarthritis, scoliosis, spondylitis/spondylolisthesis

U I cannot afford both my pain pills AND muscke relaxers so am still in dire agonoy, especially at nighttime

I saw neurologist a few times, he seems to think I have never damage-I tried that nerve conductivity test-NURSE lied about amount of electrical current th9ough-said little like a tens unit-=LIAR -Just 1 shock on my ankle set me off!!! They shocked me, I SCREAMED, sprang up yelling disconnect me, swinging my arms, hair stood on end, shaking everywhere violently like I was having a seizure, could nOT stop shaking, headache, anxiety attack, panic, no, no no n More, she said I am exagerating as children have done this or more-I CANNOT-get it off me, literally like a bat out of hell ran out of examining room through waiting room, apologized am NOT cut out for SHOCK THERAPY, flew down steps, NOT elevator, sat in suv for almost an hour, trying to calm down-NEVER went back, such was courtesy of Vocational rehab-

04/20/2012 07:46 PM
Posts: 1681
Group Leader

I just won/bought StopPain on ebay for .99 plus 2.99 postage, amazing bargain-won it last monday, paid online, got it yesterday...

There's also a product called DMSO a lot of sports athletes use-such was originally, still is liniment for horses, etc as it is absorbed through the skin

Ditto for product called Artharrest (you can find at Walgreen's, Amazon and probably ebay)

which too, was used as liniment for horses but its main ingredient is Capsacin

Capsacin is used in some of those HEAT patches...

I have used SalonSpa ones but their stickiness with Florida humidity don;t stick; also used Thermo Patch-ThermaWrap ones work with instant heating up when item's sticker is taken off, exposed to air but has patchy effect and is bulky

Anyone else try these heat patches?

I have use din public under clothing on hip, lower spine, etc when IN DIRE agony

How embarrassing, HAHJAHA LOL when one comes loose, falls out your shorts or pants leg-lady near me saw such, t whispered to me she had another napkin for me ot use-I explained IT's for ACHES/ pains patch..


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