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Menthol Vs Mint, Are These The Same With Different Names?

Menthol Vs Mint, Are These The Same With Different Names?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between menthol and Mint? You may have thought that these two scents were the same thing, just with different names. In reality, they are similar but not alike, and in this article, we will explain how you can set them apart.

Regarding the article’s question, Mint is an herb with a fresh solid smell and taste. On the other hand, menthol is an organic compound whose taste is acquired from mint oils. Basically, in simple words, menthol derives from Mint.

But why do we confuse these terms so often? Is it because they are the same, just different names? First, we have to understand the definition of these words.

menthol word art


Menthol is an organic compound, specifically crystalline terpene alcohol (C10H20O), obtained either from peppermint or mint oils, and it is synthetically produced. This is used for flavoring and contains anesthetic properties. Sometimes this compound is called peppermint camphor and is characterized by its minty, cooling taste and scent.

On the other hand, Mint is a plant or herb whose leaves have a robust fresh taste and smell. This helps you add flavoring to the food, drinks, and candy. Due to its strong scent, it is considered an aromatic herb of the genus Mentha with a square stem and a four-lobed ovary that produces one seed and usually has white, purple, or pink flowers. This plant belongs to the family Lamiaceae or Labiatae, and its famous derivatives are spearmint and peppermint used for cooking.

Usage of the term

The term “mint” is a noun itself and can be used to refer to the herb with great health benefits and distinctive flavor. But it can also be used as an adjective to describe the mint’s flavor which is fresh and clean.

Similar to menthol, it is used to describe the chemical compound often found in medicine and foods as well. It is characterized by its strong odor and cooling or calming effects.

Differences between Menthol and Mint

As stated earlier in the article, both of these terms can be easily confused, but there’s a way to understand how they are different. Mint is an aromatic plant or herb utilized for cooking, but menthol is a crystalline alcohol that has that minty flavor that is often found on peppermint or other natural oils. The main significance between the two is that mint produces menthol, which is responsible for the distinctive sweetness, spiciness, and freshness or mint. A great example of this is peppermint.

Peppermint produces high concentrations of menthol in comparison to spearmint, which is lower. This can be used as an essential oil due to its aromatic properties. It blends sweet and spicy flavors, especially to food. It’s commonly found in medicine and cosmetics as well. This is a perfect example of how similar yet different menthol and mint are.

Similarities between Menthol and Mint

  • Both terms are related to the topic of mint scents and flavors.
  • Enormous contributions in the medical field.
  • Importance found in the culinary and cosmetic industry.
  • Shares characteristics with common herbs such as peppermint and spearmint.
  • Both terms come from the same root or origin, a mix of Old German and Latin.

Are you looking to cook or bake with mint? Be sure to learn the difference between tsp and tbsp.

Examples with sentences

Here are some sentences with the word Mint

  1. Since Jessica graduated from culinary arts, she started experimenting with herbs for flavoring, and one of these was Mint.
  2. She owns a famous candy shop that is popular for her massive variety of minty sweets.
  3. When catching the flu and a sore throat, my grandma would make me some mint tea, and the next day I would wake up feeling much better.
  4. Mint is one of the most common herbs used as a spice for flavoring.
  5. Peppermint and Mint are perfect as aromatherapy because it helps to release stress and has calming properties.
  6. I like adding mint leaves to my salad to emphasize the flavor, and I love it.
  7. When having a bad breath, it is good to buy some gum with mint flavor so it can make your breath fresh instantly.
  8. Some people enjoy when skincare products add Mint to their formula because they like the cooling effect on the skin. But it’s great to test it first to prevent allergic reactions.
  9. It is well known the incredible health benefits of Mint due to its calming properties, and that’s why it is a popular additive in the medical industry because it also can serve as a local analgesic.
  10. I love adding Mint on my diffuser because it helps me calm down after a stressful day at work and leaves my house smelling delicious.

Now, some sentence examples with menthol.

  1. There are many types of camphor, like Borneo camphor, Laurel camphor, coumarin, and menthol, which are derivatives of essential oils but differ in their usage and action.
  2. The best ways to alleviate pain are using Ibuprofen pain relief and a cooling menthol lotion.
  3. When I had headaches as a child, my mom would use a menthol lotion to help calm the pain.
  4. In today’s inorganic chemistry class, we saw how the menthol compound is formed and its classification as crystalline alcohol.
  5. Peppermint contains a high concentration of menthol, which makes the flavor a lot stronger and the scent intense.
  6. Back when he was in elementary school, he experimented with coca-cola and menthol for the science fair, and he won third place.
  7. Menthol is the aromatic organic compound responsible for the spicy and sweet minty flavor, commonly found on Mint, peppermint, and spearmint.
  8. To alleviate itching from a heat rash, you can try calamine or menthol lotions as an anti-itch treatment for calming and soothing the skin.
  9. He smokes around twelve packs of menthol cigarettes a day loaded with nicotine. Even though he knows it is not suitable for his health, just like his doctor said.
  10. When buying shaving creams, verify that the ingredient list doesn’t have alcohol, menthol, and high levels of sodium hydroxide.

mint spelled with leafs

Origin of the word


According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, this word comes from Old German “menthol” and Latin “Mentha mint,” which appears around 1862. It was coined by Alphonse Oppenheim from the Latin term “mentha mint” and “oleum,” which stands for oil. This is because menthol was first obtained from peppermint oil. A fun fact is that the phrase “menthol cigarette” began around 1934 due to its popularity of flavor.


It stems from Middle English – Old English “minte” around the eighth century (also from West Germanic “minta,” Old High German “minza,” and German “minze”). This term was borrowed from Latin “mentha, ” and greek “mínthē.”


We can conclude that even though both terms can be confusing and highly alike concerning flavor and smell, they differ. As explained earlier in the article, menthol is an aromatic herb with soothing properties and a distinctive fresh aroma and flavor commonly used for cooking. Regarding menthol, this is the organic compound found on Mint, peppermint, and other herbs from the same family. This is why both are similar yet distinct from each other because menthol is the derivative of Mint. Now that being said, it is safe to say that technically Mint and menthol aren’t the same things, just with different names because, to extract menthol, we need the herb first, which is Mint. So one comes from the other.