Also known as 3-hydroxy-p-menthane (C10H19OH),
a terpene alcohol
and alicyclic compound. Menthol
is a white, waxy crystalline solid with a pungent odor and mint flavor.
It has a soothing effect on the throat and
nasal passages, and is used in medications, cosmetics, and flavorings. Menthol
is extracted from peppermint oil (Mentha arvensis) or synthesized.
Commercially, the most important form is l-menthol.
|Menthol molecule. The three carbon atoms which are
centers of asymmetry are starred.