ABOUT SOMBRA GEL
Sombra natural pain relieving gel smells as nice as it feels. It's orange-citrus aroma is certainly unique in the market when it comes to menthol-based topical choices.
There are various application types to choose from, including a roll-on product. The company has two main lines of topical goos: the Warm Therapy (left) and Cool Therapy (right) lines. However, considering their active ingredients and many of their inactive ingredients are very similar, this post will be a write up on both.
SOMBRA GEL ACTIVE INGREDIENTS
This organic compound is made synthetically or obtained from mint oils. It's present in both the Warm Therapy (3%) and Cold Therapy (6%) products.
Menthol stimulates the transient receptor potential channel melastatin 8 (TRPM8). This receptor is responsible for the well-known cooling sensation it provokes when inhaled, eaten, or applied to the skin.
It also has weak analgesic (pain-killing) effects due to its selective activation of our κ-opioid receptor. This protein mediates many effects including changing our perception of pain, consciousness, motor control, and mood.
Camphor is present in Warm Therapy (3%) product. This waxy solid has a strong aromatic odor. It is found in the wood of the evergreen tree Cinnamomum camphora; Dryobalanops aromatica; Ocotea usambarensis; and dried rosemary leaves (Rosmarinus officinalis). It is used primarily for its scent. Additionally, it's easily absorbed through skin and produces a cool-feeling like menthol.
I found an established body of research that may suggest the use of menthol for mild pain relief. Given the very low risk and very limited side effects, it would seem worth a try for individuals seeking a complementary and/or off-the-shelf product for pain relief.