ABOUT MINERAL ICE
Originally for horses and now available for people. Gotta love cross-species promotion.
Mineral Ice is a topical analgesic used to temporarily relieve minor aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with arthritis, strains/sprains, and bruises.
Mineral Ice was developed and is sold by the company, Straight Arrow, Inc, located in Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1970 as a humble rural farm in New Jersey when owners Philip and Bonnie Katzev created the Original Mane 'n Tail Conditioner for horses.
As more equestrian enthusiasts started using the product on not just their horses, but themselves, the Mane n' Tail brand grew a cult-following and some late night comedy show jabs.
Since then they've introduced a whole line of Mane 'n Tail® hair products (for horses and humans), Mineral Ice® (for horses and humans), and Hoofmaker® (I hope that one is just for humans).
A pound tub of this stuff runs about $30 online, but if you reeeally like it, five pound containers is also available for $50.
MINERAL ICE ACTIVE INGREDIENT
This an organic compound is made synthetically or obtained from mint oils. In the case of this product, the menthol makes up 2% of the product.Menthol (along with wintergreen oil, eucalyptus oil, camphor, and turpentine oil) is known as a counter-irritant.Counter-irritants create a feeling of cold or heat that can overpower the painful joint or muscle.
Menthol's ability to enhance cooling sensations via stimulating the cold-sensitive 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.
Menthol also has weak analgesic (pain-killing) effects due to select activation of the κ-opioid receptor. This receptor is a protein that mediates a variety of effects including changing our perception of pain, consciousness, motor control, and mood.
MINERAL ICE SIDE EFFECTS
There are no known major side effects for using Mineral Ice as advised (on the skin, external use only), although one should seek medical attention if a severe allergic reaction occurs. It's also not a good idea to use on broken or damaged skin, and be sure keep it clear of the eyes - ouch.
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.
Where can you buy Mineral Ice? Check your local health food retailer or purchase on Amazon here...