There has been a great deal of research on the use of Menthol and other ligands that have an effect on TRPM8 and TRPA1 receptors and the effects on the sensations of breathing respiratory when inhaled as vapors.

Instead of posting a hundred or more pages we will provide links to the original papers and  brief outlines.


Data sheet from BSAF chemicals on l-menthol, physical characteristics, medical indications, Pharmacology …


Highly technical review of how l-menthol and other ligands activate TRPM8 receptors and new substances that have a higher specificity to TRPM8


1994 Study *Menthol is an effective anti-tussive agent in an evoked cough model.


Respir Res. 2018; 19: 181.

Published online 2018 Sep 20. doi: 10.1186/s12931-018-0886-9

PMCID: PMC6148783

PMID: 30236110

Inhaled furosemide for relief of air hunger versus sense of breathing effort: a randomized controlled trial


The optimal solution for relief of dyspnoea is to treat the underlying pathology but this is not always possible and does not always lead to symptom relief. In chronic conditions, such as heart failure or COPD, symptom control becomes a priority in order to improve quality of life. A newer focus is to alter the perception of dyspnoea via altering the activity of neural signals sent to the brain reporting the prevailing level of breathing.


The active identification and management of chronic refractory breathlessness is a human right.

Currow DC1Abernethy APKo DN.

Author information


Chronic refractory breathlessness is defined as breathlessness at rest or on minimal exertion that will persist chronically despite optimal treatment of the underlying cause(s). At any time, 1% of the population report a modified Medical Research Council dyspnoea score of ≥ 3 chronically. Despite the prevalence, severity and chronicity of this symptom and an evidence base of affordable and safe interventions, chronic refractory breathlessness remains grossly undertreated. Many patients and clinicians accept the presence of the chronic refractory breathlessness as an inevitable part of an illness, with no thought of treating the symptom despite an evidence base for its safe treatment. Consensus statements from major respiratory clinician organisations now endorse such a clinical course. Failure to inquire about, assess and properly treat chronic refractory breathlessness with opioids as outlined in specialist clinical guidelines is now an unacceptable level of care ethically and is, arguably, a breach of people’s human rights. Adequate pain control through access to pain relief is now accepted as a human right and, given its burden across the world, the symptomatic treatment of chronic refractory breathlessness should be seen in exactly the same way.


Effect of the cooling sensation induced by olfactory stimulation by L-menthol on dyspnoea: a pilot study

Masashi Kanezaki, Satoru Ebihara

European Respiratory Journal 2017 49: 1601823; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.01823-2016


In conclusion, these results shed light on the possibility that the cooling sensation from OSM may provide an effective and safe pharmacological therapy that can be applied to relieve sensations of dyspnoea during both the static state and exertion.

Note: OSM  refers to inhalation of menthol vapors from an impregnated patch placed on inside of surgical mask.  Control was a patch containing strawberry scent.

  • Amount of l-menthol applied to patch was not disclosed

PLoS One. 2014; 9(1): e85540.
Published online 2014 Jan 10. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085540
PMCID: PMC3888425
PMID: 24427316

Prevalence and Burden of Breathlessness in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Managed in Primary Care

Hana Müllerová, 1 , * Chao Lu, 2 Hao Li, 2 and Maggie Tabberer 3


Moderate-to-severe dyspnoea was reported by >40% of patients diagnosed with COPD in primary care.

Presence of dyspnoea, including even a perception of mild dyspnoea (MRC = 2), was associated with increased disease severity and a higher risk of COPD exacerbations during follow-up.

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