Menthol is recognised as a therapeutic and sensorial treatment therapy that is included in many over the counter medicines that help to soothe common cold and flu
symptoms like cough.1
Found in Vicks® VapoRubTM
and other Vicks products
, menthol is a natural cooling ingredient found in plants such as mint, and is most commonly recognised by its smell.2
The history of menthol
Experiments with menthol were conducted as early as 1885, and it began to be known as a "drug with great usefulness"2
- especially for treating symptoms of the common cold.
How menthol works to treat cold symptoms
Menthol, or menthol cold treatment
such as Vicks VapoRub, can help reduce cough by interacting with cold receptors in the nose and throat. Topical menthol cold treatments
like Vicks VapoRub® can work fast too – a study has found that patients using Vicks® VapoRub™ as directed experienced quick sensation of nasal decongestion relief. [REFERENCES]
1. Morice, A.H. et al. (1994) Effect of inhaled menthol on citric acid induced cough in normal subjects. Thorax. 49: 1024-1026.
2. Eccles, R. (1994) Menthol and Related Cooling Compounds. J Pharm Pharmacol. 46:618-630.
3. Eccles, R., Jawad, M., Ramsey, D.L., Hull, J.D. Efficacy of a Topical Aromatic Rub (Vicks VapoRub®) – Speed of Action of Subjective Nasal Cooling and Relief from Nasal Congestion. Open Journal of Respiratory Diseases (2015). 5: pp. 10-18. Published online in SciRes (February 2015). Available at http://www.dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojrd.2015.51002