Menthone is a constituent of the essential oils of peppermint, Pelargonium geraniums, pennyroyal, Mentha arvensis, and others. It is a monoterpene and a ketone; it is structurally related to menthol and is seen to have carbonyl positioned in the place of secondary alcohol. It is seen occurring naturally, with a molecular formula C10H18O, and is among the most abundant in nature of four possible stereo-isomers.

Used in the field of cosmetics and perfumery, menthone is highly acknowledged for its distinguishing minty fragrance and cooling attribute. In most essential oils, it is a minor compound.

For this reason it was first synthesized by oxidation of menthol in 1881, till it was found in essential oils in 1891. Menthone is extracted from mentha shivalik leaves and used in perfumery compositions of rose, lavender, spice and germanium fragrances.

Therapeutic properties of Menthone:

Menthone has been known for its medicinal properties. Being pure and of best quality, it is used in healing applications, in aromatherapy, in oral care like toothpaste, skin care products, chewing gum and pharmaceuticals.

It blends well with cypress, eucalyptus, Basil, benzoin, geranium, black pepper, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, marjoram, niaouli, lemon, rosemary, pine, Ravensara, tea tree.

Medicinal uses of Menthone:

Menthone, is a major constituent of peppermint oil and it performs its pharmaceutical actions by blocking the calcium channels causing smooth muscle relaxation.

Peppermint oil has been used to treat nausea, sore throat, the common cold, cramps, dyspepsia and to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and tension headaches. It is used primarily as a flavoring and aromatic agent in a wide assortment of products.

It may also be used topically to treat myalgia and neuralgia, and also as an alternative medicine, it has been used as an antispasmodic, an antiseptic, and as an anti-HSV1 and anti-HSV2 antiviral. Overdose of the chemical constituent is rare, but when it occurs it happens due to the actions of menthol.

Antioxidant activity of Menthone:

A study was conducted on ‘In-vitro Antioxidant Activity and GC/MS studies on the Leaves of Mentha piperita (Lamiaceae)’ from Morocco. The study was performed to understand the chemical composition and the vitro antioxidant activity of the essential oil of Mentha piperita.

Of the thirty compounds that were identified, the oil represented 58.61%. Of the yield the major compounds derived was Menthone (29.01%) followed by menthol (5.58%), isomenthone (2.12%), menthyl acetate (3.34%), 1,8-cineole (2.40%),  menthofuran (3.01%), limonene (2.10%), α-pinene (1.56%), germacrene-D (1.50%), β-pinene (1.25%), sabinene (1.13%) and pulegone (1.12%).

The results found indicated that the essential oils of Mentha piperita exhibited an exceptionally high level of antioxidant capacities in comparison with vitamin C.

Anti-microbial activity of Menthone:

A study conducted on the composition, mineral content, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of Mentha piperita (L.) and M. spicata (L.) (Lamiaceae), tested on E. coli, P. aeroginosa, C. albicans, and S. aureus.

On conclusion, it was determined that essential oil of M. spicata and M. piperita was found to contain carvone and menthol as major components, respectively. The oil was found to be effective against S. pyogenes, S. aureus and C. albicans and E. coli, except P. aeruginosa and showed strong antimicrobial activity.

Reference Links:

  1. Menthone by Wikipedia
  2. In-vitro Antioxidant Activity and GC/MS Studies on the Leaves of Mentha piperita (Lamiaceae) from Morocco, published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research