Menthol is a white crystalline substance with a characterisitc sharp odor. Menthol is an alcohol derived from the oil of the peppermint plant. Menthol is freely soluble in ethyl alcohol, ether, and chloroform. The substance has been used in Japan for approximately 2000 years although it did not find its way west until many years later. Menthol has been used in throat lozenges, inhalers and as a flavoring agent. Menthol has anethestic effects and helps to relieve itching. Due to the tingling sensation experience when menthol comes into contact with the skin, it is often found in shaving lotions and skin fresheners.
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