I was asked to review this product, as a result of my sports masseuse using it on my shoulders the other week. I asked what it was he had used, as it very much reminded me of another oil I use that I got from a Chinese herbalist quite some years ago that gave me a warm yet cool soothing glow. So here it is: Mint-Ease WHAT IS IN IT?‘Mint-ease contains pure ethereal mint oil extracted from the plant Mentha Arvensis’ my tube tells me. What does that mean!!??Ethereal Mint oil’s main ingredient is menthol, and it is a widely used ingredient. Here are some of its medicinal uses:
is used in Jaundice,
frequently given to stop vomiting.
Apparently this particular kind of oil is favoured for its high menthol content. Read about mint oil cultivation here.
Menthol stimulates the muscle’s cool receptors. That is why it produces a cooling effect when applied to the skin. According to ‘wisegeek’ as well as many other sources, it does not in fact change the skin temperature, just the sensation. Apparently, it also blocks pain receptors. Scientific research shows that Menthol ‘significantly reduced muscle pain’ Menthol (cooling) does not change the skin temperature. Applying it as a topical analgesic alters the pain signals at the spinal cord, and massaging it in ‘stimulates the effects of a counterirritant may increase large diameter afferent nerve input’ (p119) The afferent nerve is a ‘nerve that carries impulses toward the central nervous system’
I have used deep heat in the past, personally I thought that all it did for me was warm my skin and make me smell funny! I have used many different topical applications to try and sort out muscle aches over the years. I found a Chinese herbalist (who has long since gone unfortunately) and he gave me a massage, using wood lock oil. I have a very small amount left of it, and I found it to be great stuff, but can no longer replace it. It gave be a burning cool glow, and really helped ease muscle soreness during a time when I was suffering from whiplash following a car accident. The unfortunate thing with it was that it is not a massage oil, so it soaks in and that is it, making further massage rather tricky.
When I was massaged with Mint-Ease, it reminded me very much of wood lock oil, with the same burning cool soothing nature, but with the benefit of a cream that can be massaged. My sports masseuse used it on very tired shoulders and for me it worked amazingly well. I dragged out my old bottle of wood lock to compare the ingredients:
Methyl salicylate 15g
Turpentine oil 6g
The main difference seems to be that wood lock contains menthol (cooling) and methyl (warming) whereas mint ease contains just menthol.
Comparing the difference between the two main ingredients, it seems that menthol has a deeper benefit, also associated with +aiding osteo arthritis, whereas Menthyl salicylate has more topical effects, warming the skin, and less is mentioned about deeper effects.
Research has simply backed up my initial hunch, and now I understand why it works so well.