Colorless needle-like crystals or granular. Melting point 41-43°C (42-45°C), boiling point 216.5°C, relative density 0.890 (15/15°C), refractive index 1.458. soluble in alcohol; chloroform; ether; glacial acetic acid; liquid paraffin and petroleum ether, slightly soluble in water. Menthol contains three asymmetric carbon atoms and four spatial cis and trans isomers are known, each of which has a dextro-; levorotatory as well as racemic form. L- menthol has a characteristic minty aroma and a cooling effect. Demethylmenthol ([89-78-1]) also has a cooling effect, the other isomers have no cooling effect.
Used as a flavouring agent in toothpaste, perfumes, beverages and confectionery. In medicine, it is used as a stimulant for the skin or mucous membranes to cool and relieve itching; internally it is used for headaches and inflammation of the nose, throat and throat.