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Menthol, also called peppermint camphor, has a very minty, almost chilling odor and taste. It is derived from peppermint, corn mint, and spearmint or is produced artificially. Menthol is a wax like, crystalline solid, translucent or white in color, is solid at room temperature and melts slightly above room temperature. Menthol is also a cyclic terpene alcohol. Menthol is used medicinally in lip balm, cough drops, and nose spray. It is also used in flavoring in foods, cigarettes, liquor, and perfumes.Menthol is largely used in the medical field. Menthol can  prevent and treat gas in the intestines. It also helps relax intestinal muscles and prevents spasms. Menthol works as a pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory inhibitor. Menthol’s potential use in treating respiratory problems comes from its ability to enlarge the bronchioles. Menthol is used in treating common colds, the flu and bronchitis. It is often used in thinning and loosening mucus congestion.Peppermint has a high menthol concentration. The oil in peppermint also contains menthol and menthyl acetate. Dried peppermint typically has 0.4% of volatile oil containing menthol (7–48%), menthone (20–46%), menthyl acetate (3–10%), menthofuran (1–17%) and cineole (3–6%). Peppermint oil also contains miniscule amounts of many additional compounds such as limonene, pulegone, caryophyllene and pinene. It is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows to be about 35 inches tall, with smooth stems, and a square in cross section. Peppermint has wide-spreading, fleshy, and fibrous roots. The leaves of a peppermint plant can be 1.6–3.5 inches long and 0.59–1.57 inches in width. The leaves are dark green with reddish veins, and they have are coarsely teeth like edges. The leaves and stems are usually a little bit fuzzy. The flowers are purple, and about .31 inches long, .20 inches in diameter; they are produced in a spiral around the stem, forming thick, blunt spikes. Flowering season lasts from July- to- September. Peppermint is a fast-growing plant; once it sprouts, it disperses very quickly.Peppermint is a mixed breed mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. Native to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now widespread in cultivation in many regions of the world.It is occasionally found in the wild. Corn mint is a herbaceous perennial plant generally growing to be about 23.6 inches and occasionally up to 39 inches tall. It has a rootstock from which grow semi-widespread square like stems. The leaves are in opposite pairs, about 2.56 inches long and .79 inches wide, very fuzzy, and with coarsely serrated edges. The flowers are pale purple, in spirals on the stem at the bases of the leaves. Each flower is about .16 inches long. Corn mint is a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae. Its geographic distribution, is native to the mild regions of Europe and western and central Asia, Eastern Siberia, and North America.Spearmint  is a herbaceous, plant growing to about 25 inches tall, with either hairy or hair free stems and foliage, and a wide-spread underground root system . The leaves are 3 inches long and about an inch wide, with a serrated edges. The stem is square in shape, a trademark of the herbs in the mint family. Spearmint makes little flowers in thin spikes, each flower is pink or white, and about an inch long, and wide. Spearmint oil’s most abundant compound is carvone, which gives spearmint it’s very noticeable smell. Spearmint oil also contains large amounts of limonene, dihydrocarvone, and cineol. Not like peppermint oil, the oil in spearmint contains small amounts of menthol and menthone.Spearmint is generally used as a flavoring for toothpaste,and is also often added to shampoos and soaps.Spearmint also known as garden mint, is a species of mint often found in Europe and Asia and is the in the wild parts of Africa, North America, and South America, as well as some oceanic islands.Mint has an organic compound called menthol that attaches to TRPM8, making the ion channel open as if the receptor was experiencing cold and signaling this information to your brain. In fact, menthol makes the neurons sensitive so the effect doesn’t wear off as soon as your spit out mint toothpaste or stop chewing a mint. So, If you take a sip of cold water right after having a mint, the cool temperature will feel especially cold.A receptor is a protein molecule that receives chemical signals from outside a cell. When such chemical signals attach to a receptor, they cause some form of cellular/tissue to respond. A receptor is a protein-molecule that recognizes and responds to endogenous chemical signals.  The trigger of the cold-receptor TRPM8 by menthol can stop natural defense reactions such as coughing that usually would become important as a resistance mechanism against the inhalation of toxins. In Europe menthol is only regulated as flavor, but can be used as additive as long as no characteristic mint-like aroma will become noticeable in a tobacco product. The question that needs to be addressed is whether such comparatively minor content of mint would be sufficient to trigger a measurable activation of TRPM8.Our cold and menthol receptor also known as TRPM8, is a protein that is encoded by the TRPM8 gene. The cold and menthol passage is the primary molecular transducer of cold somatosensation in people. The TRPM8 protein is expressed in sensory neurons, and it is activated by cold temperatures and different cooling agents, such as menthol. TRPM8 is an ion channel, meaning it manages the passage of ions between cellular membranes. Cold temperatures permit Na+ and Ca2+ ions to cross the channel and enter the nerve cell, changing its electric potential and causing the neuron to send a message to your brain which it interprets as a sensation of cold.TRPM8 is a voltage gated ion-channel protein. Scientists don’t exactly understand how the cold and menthol channel does what it does. Whenever there is a decrease in temperature, the voltage on TRPM8 changes and its shape changes so that it allows calcium ions to go into the nerve cell. This engages current to pass from the membrane of the nerve cell. This current carrying vital information warns the brain of the temperature drop.In my science project “Does Mint Actually Cool Things Down” I had to take two glasses of warm water and measure their temperatures. One of the glasses I added a mint to and the other I left with just warm water(control). I took measured the temperature of both to see if there was a change. As time past I continued measuring the temperature and adding different quantities of  mints to the glass.

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