Power of Menthol - Inflammation & Pain Relief

Let’s take a minute to talk about inflammation and pain—we all experience it at one point in our lives, whether it be from a temporary injury, chronic illness, intense exercise, or long working hours. All can contribute to your body producing an immune and nerve response for which pain and inflammation are the major symptoms. 

It is always advised that you consult a medical professional for a pain relief treatment that is tailored to your needs and takes into account other treatments or medications you may be taking. That said, there are many solutions for pain and inflammation that have been proven to be beneficial additions to a treatment that don’t require prescription medication. 

The inclusion of menthol with other pain relief agents swiftly delivers a cooling sensation that can reduce certain physical aches and subsequent inflammation.

In short? Topical menthol can indeed serve as an anti-inflammatory! 

What kind of pain is menthol best for mitigating?

Muscle and joint soreness due to overuse - This can be caused by a variety of reasons, chief among them intense workout or athletic activity. It can also include occupations that consistently put strain on muscles and tendons for long periods of time.

Muscle and joint pain due to arthritis, tendonitis, and inflammation - Arthritis is often associated with older people, but it isn’t as uncommon as you may think in people who haven’t yet reached middle age. Different types of tendonitis (like tennis elbow, ulnar tendonitis, or swimmer’s shoulder) occur when sudden sharp or repetitive movements are made. Repetitive strain injuries, like muscle and joint overuse, are common with athletes and various types of occupations. 

Backache - Poor posture, scoliosis and other disabilities, heavy lifting, and inadequate core strength are all causes of back pain. Inflammation is also a frequently cited source of lower back pain. Whether backaches are situational or chronic, they can severely limit your ability to function at your best.

Headaches - The cooling, anti-inflammatory benefits of menthol can also lessen that throbbing headache that may have been plagueing you all day and night. Depending on the type of headache you have, you can dab the menthol-enriched product onto your temples or the back of your neck before massaging it into the skin. 

These are only some examples of common sources of pain and inflammation menthol can help alleviate. By no means does this reflect all possible uses.

How does menthol deliver pain relief? 

Menthol is considered a counterirritant, which means it produces a reaction that counters or “distracts” from an already existing pain or uncomfortable feeling.

Derived from different mint plants, menthol simulates a cooling feeling that sends a signal to nerve and brain receptors, which makes the existing irritation feel lessened. There are also important chemical components in menthol that dilate blood vessels. This enables menthol to decrease inflammation, improve circulation, and help expedite the healing process.

Avoid putting any product containing menthol on open wounds or already abraded skin, as it can cause these to worsen.

Important Notes About Pain Relief & Inflammation Products With Menthol

Menthol will be one of multiple active ingredients to relieve inflammation and pain. 

This is because it mainly works on the surface of the skin to create a reaction that takes the focus off of the pain being felt. In fact, it will usually show as being 1% or less in the active ingredient list on the packaging. Because of this, menthol will often be in combination with other elements that can work internally, or utilize the endocannabinoid system to calm immune and nerve responses. 

Popular pain-relieving ingredients with which menthol will be combined include CBD, arnica, and lidocaine. While menthol provides immediate pain relief, its effects are relatively short-lived. In contrast, ingredients like CBD may take time to show results but offer longer-lasting relief, aiding in inflammation reduction over an extended period.

Steer clear of menthol products that includes alcohol. 

One ingredient that can join menthol in anti-inflammatory and anti-pain products is alcohol. Though not dangerous, the ingredient is infammous for drying out skin and even eliciting an allergic reaction in some circumstances. 

Menthol can come in a variety of different topical pain relief  and anti-inflammatory products. 

Menthol treatments classified as topicals include balms, creams, ointments, serums, lotions, patches, and oils that are applied externally to the skin where the problem originates. Because menthol can be irritating to the skin, you should always test out a product on a small area, before fully using. 

You must also be aware that after using a menthol product, it is vital to wash your hands thoroughly to avoid residue getting in or around your eyes. For on-the-go or travel usage, look for something that has a hands-free application, like a roller.

Are menthol pain relief and anti-inflammatory solutions available OTC?

Yes. As a matter of fact, there’s a plethora of over the counter pain-relief products and anti-inflammatories that includes menthol. Make sure you are purchasing from a reliable source and that the manufacturer offers transparency into the formula. 

Store pain relief products with menthol away from heat and direct sun.

As is true for many pain relief products, menthol is an ingredient that preferably stored at room-temperature. 

How long does the pain relief from menthol products typically last?

The specific timeframe during which you’ll feel the effects of the menthol depends on the potency of the anti-inflammatory product, the other ingredients in the formula, and how much you use. However, you should expect the pain reduction benefits of menthol to dissipate within an hour. For this reason, it’s advantageous to seek products that combine it with other ingredients that last longer, like CBD. 

Can menthol products cause skin dryness with prolonged use?

One potential complaint with menthol is that it can lead to dry skin, especially if used on a regular basis and in large quantities. However, this is fairly avoidable. Seek topical products in which menthol is not the primary ingredient (though still active) and is counterbalanced with other ingredients which nourish the skin. For example, the CBD in our anti-inflammatory products helps hydrate skin, mitigating any drying effects from the menthol.

How much menthol products should be used for pain and inflammation?

Circling back to our earlier talking point, menthol almost never is the sole ingredient in an anti-inflammatory topical. Therefore, how much you should use within a single time frame is largely dependent upon the individual product. Always review usage instructions when using menthol or any other pain solution. 

Botanika Life’s Pain Relief Products - Menthol, CBD & More

It’s not always easy to discern whether you are buying something that will come through on its promises. You don’t have to worry about this with Botanika Life. We publish all third-party lab results to verify all claims, and our ingredients are vegan-friendly, pesticide-free, and grown and harvested using sustainable methods. Botanika Life operates with the mission of providing healthy, clean, and powerful plant-based solutions for your pain, anti-inflammatory, and wellness needs. 

The Botanika Life CBD Pain Relief Collection includes products like:

  • CBD Pain Relief Roller: With 1000mg of full spectrum CBD, lidocaine, and menthol this roller provides relief to aching muscles and joints, and reduces inflammation and prolonged soreness. The menthol acts quickly to cool and soothe, so you feel near instant cessation of pain.
  • Ultra-Relief Pain Rub: This rub has 1500mg of full spectrum CBD, plus lidocaine, menthol, and arnica. Perfect for tired, tense, and achy muscles.
  • Pain Relief Kit Box: Treat yourself to a DIY massage with this kit that pairs the Super Soothing Pain Serum with the Cryo Massage Roller. Cold treatments are important to mitigating inflammation, and the roller can be put in the freezer or refrigerator for workout or injury recovery. The serum adds 500mg of full spectrum CBD, lidocaine, and menthol for further comfort.

Harness the power of menthol to combat inflammation, tackle pain relief, and move with confidence. 

FAQ About Menthol for Inflammation & Pain

Does menthol reduce inflammation?

Menthol has a cooling and soothing effect, which can temporarily ease pain and discomfort related to inflammation. Just keep in mind that this relief is usually short-lived, meaning you may want to pair menthol with another anti-inflammatory that produces more prolonged (such as CBD). 

Does menthol help with muscle pain?

Menthol is celebrated for its near-instant relief, as the cooling sensation should be felt almost right away. However, if used alone, menthol may not be the most effective topical solution for addressing the muscle pain (depending on the nature of the strain and the specific muscle). Therefore, you'll want to combine the swift effects of menthol with other active ingredients that provide muscles with more lasting results. 

Can topical menthol usage lead to a rash? 

It's important to recognize that any topical serum or cream has the potential to lead to a rash, and those with menthol are no exception. However, if the skin does react to the menthol, chances are that the rash will be minor and fairly temporary. While it's incredibly rare that menthol causes side-effects or an allergic reaction, a spot test will reveal whether or not you're reactionary prior to you applying it the serum to a larger area. 

Can pregnant people use topical menthol?

Good news -- there's no studies suggesting that menthol is dangerous to use for pregnant people. 

Is menthol considered illegal anywhere?

As of 2023, topical menthol is legal throuhgout the United States and in most countries. So feel free to take anti-inflammatory topicals enriched with menthol on your travels!