Menthol crystals are cooling, refreshing, and have a very pleasant strong minty aroma. They are often used in cosmetics, salves, balms, medicated creams, throat lozenges, toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, foot sprays, pain relief or cooling body products, shampoos, conditioners, liniments, shaving creams, oral or throat sprays, compresses, medicated oils, and cooling gels.
Menthol crystals are excellent to help relieve muscular aches and pains, coughing, congestion, the flu, and upper respiratory problems. Since Menthol crystals are so concentrated, only a very small amount is needed within products. When purchasing Menthol crystals remember that a good quality menthol crystal usually contains not less than 99.4% menthol. (as indeed these do)
Menthol crystals are naturally produced through Mint (Mentha arvensis) essential oil extraction. Menthol is the solid constituent of oil of mint, to which its characteristic odour is due, and was formerly known as peppermint camphor.
It is obtained by subjecting the distilled oil of Mentha arvensis oil to a temperature of -22° C, (-7.6° F.) by the aid of a freezing mixture, the menthol crystallizes out in satiny crystals and the mother liquor is removed while the low temperature is maintained. They dissolve readily into alcohol or essential oils, and they can also be dissolved into water or oil at their melting point of 44 deg. C.
Making a Salve:-
To use Menthol crystals in a salve: Melt all ingredients you are using together except for the menthol crystals and any essential oils. Remove from heat, stir in menthol crystals and re-heat gently and slowly until the crystals have melted.
Remove from heat and let cool before stirring in any essential oils or they will evaporate, pour into containers.
If you don’t have experience in using menthol crystals, they are quite powerful, so wear a mask when using them and caution, you don’t want to have your head right over the bowl when mixing this item. Menthol crystals are soluble in alcohol, essential oils and olive oil but slightly more difficult to dissolve in water and glycerin, with a melting point that typically averages 41°C to 44°C (105.8°F to 111.2°F), and boils at 212°C (413.6°F).
Menthol is the chief constituent of mint oil and is responsible for its distinctive odour and taste and the “cooling sensation” it produces when applied to the skin. Mentha piperita contains up to 50% menthol and Mentha arvensis contains 70-80% menthol.
Menthol and its derivatives can also be added to various peppermint type compositions to enhance the cooling and freshening effects. In ointments, liniments, and solutions menthol crystals are employed in strengths ranging from 5 to 20 per cent, and the crystals are commonly applied to cosmetics, salves and balms, which are created to assist in coughs, congestion, upper respiratory problems, and the flu.
Menthol crystals are great inhalants by themselves and are easily combined into recipes. For stand alone applications add several drops to a bowl of hot, steamy water and carefully inhale the soothing vapours through the mouth and nose for stuffiness and bronchitis. Use a few drops on the tiles of the walls surrounding your shower (not on the floor!) and the menthol will be released by the steam created by the hot water.
Externally, it is employed as a local analgesic, but it must be diluted first in an adequate carrier and may be rubbed liberally on the skin. here you will notice that it produces a sensation of immediate cold, followed by numbness and partial anesthesia; it first stimulates the nerves, conveying the sensation of cold, and later penetrates the skin and paralyzes the nerve endings.