Mint, with the scientific name (Mentha x piperita), is a genus of aromatic plants with more than 20 species and hundreds of varieties, among which is Mentha piperita, the most used in phytomedicine, among the best known.
Mint contains phenolic acids, tannins, flavonoids, triterpenes and its essential oil is also applied to the skin or mucous membranes and is rich in menthol, a compound with toning and refreshing properties.
- Antiseptic: Mint extract has a germicidal action and is antiseptic, that is, it works by reducing the formation of bacterial plaque in the mouth without causing irritation, damage or itching.
- Antimicrobial: Mint reduces the formation of bacteria, prevents the proliferation of bacterial colonies, its penetrating aroma refreshes the mouth.
- Purifying: Contributes to deep hygiene of the gums, tongue and oral mucosa.
- Refreshing: the menthol aroma and the compounds it possesses give products with Mint a pleasant feeling of freshness and calm when used, which is also long-lasting.
Menthol, after topical application, causes a sensation of coolness due to the stimulation of “cold” receptors through the inhibition of Ca++ currents in neuronal membranes. Since Ca++ channel blockers are endowed with analgesic properties.
In one study11, it was shown that (-)-menthol produced a dose-dependent increase in pain threshold in the mouse hot plate (3-10 mg kg(-1) p.o.) and abdominal constriction (3-10 mg kg(-1) p.o.; 10 microg per mouse intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.)) tests. The antinociceptive effect of (-)-menthol was antagonized by the nonselective opioid antagonist naloxone and by the selective kappa antagonist nor-NBI. In contrast, CTOP (mu antagonist), 7-benzylidene-trexone (delta(1) antagonist), and naltriben (delta(2) antagonist) did not prevent (-)-menthol antinociception. In both tests, (+)-menthol (10-50 mg kg(-1) p.o.; 10-30 microg per mouse i.c.v.) failed to modify pain threshold. These results indicate that (-)-menthol is endowed with analgesic properties mediated by selective activation of kappa opioid receptors.
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- Barbalho, Sandra. (2017). PROPERTIES OF MENTHA PIPERITA: A BRIEF REVIEW. World Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research.
- Peppermint, (Mentha × piperita): Role in Management of Diseases through Modulating Various Biological Activities Saleh A. Almatroodi1, Mohammed A. Alsahli, Ahmad Almatroudi, Amjad Ali Khan, Arshad Husain Rahmani. DOI : 10.5530/pj.2021.13.104.
- Ghasemi-Pirbaluti M, Motaghi E, Bozorgi H. The effect of menthol on acute experimental colitis in rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 2017 Jun 15;805:101-107.
- Juergens UR, Stöber M, Vetter H. The anti-inflammatory activity of L-menthol compared to mint oil in human monocytes in vitro: a novel perspective for its therapeutic use in inflammatory diseases. Eur J Med Res. 1998 Dec 16;3(12):539-45
- López V, Martín S, Gómez-Serranillos MP, Carretero ME, Jäger AK, Calvo MI. Neuroprotective and neurochemical properties of mint extracts. Phytother Res. 2010 Jun;24(6):869-74
- Kennedy, D., Okello, E., Chazot, P., Howes, M. J., Ohiomokhare, S., Jackson, P., … Wightman, E. (2018). Volatile terpenes and brain function: Investigation of the cognitive and mood effects of Mentha × Piperita L. essential oil with in vitro properties relevant to central nervous system function. Nutrients, 10(8), 1029
- Menthol: a natural analgesic compound. Nicoletta Galeotti a, Lorenzo Di Cesare Mannelli a, Gabriela Mazzanti b, Alessandro Bartolini a, Carla Ghelardini. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3940(01)02527-7