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What are the Benefits of Menthol Cough Drops?

By Misty Amber Brighton
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Menthol cough drops often soothe and cool sore throats by relieving inflammation. They can also help clear stuffy sinus passages and break up chest congestion. This usually helps a person to cough less and breathe easier. The drops are often an easy treatment that can be given to a person of almost any age. They are generally an inexpensive cough medicine that can be used at home, school, work, or while traveling.

Coughs are sometimes caused by an irritation in the throat. Menthol from these cough drops is typically released when people suck on them, and this ingredient can naturally alleviate swelling and soothe the affected tissue. Many times, the menthol also relieves some of the pain associated with a sore throat, as it can have a somewhat numbing effect. This usually means people using the cough drops have less throat pain than those who do not use them.

As people suck on menthol cough drops, a natural antihistamine may be released. Inhaling this vapor normally allows a congested person to help clear clogged sinus passages, thereby making breathing easier through the nose. Relieving this pressure can sometimes help make the pain of a sinus-related headache more bearable.

In some cases, this medicine may assist in breaking up congestion, which is a build-up of excess fluid, in the lungs. This fluid frequently causes wheezing and shortness of breath, which sometimes leads to excessive coughing. As the fluid is broken up, breathing normally becomes easier. This generally results in people coughing less.

This remedy can usually be used by children as young as four or five years old without causing side effects, although parents who give them to kids should watch the child carefully so that he or she doesn't choke on the cough drop. They are also generally safe for teenagers and adults to use. They are not known to interact dangerously with any other type of medications, so people who are taking prescription drugs do not normally need to be concerned.

This cough medicine is usually very convenient to administer. People often carry a few drops in their pocket to use throughout the day as needed. They can generally be taken while completing everyday tasks and are not likely to disturb other people nearby.

Menthol cough drops are commonly used in many countries to help suppress coughs. Although they are not a cure for colds, they usually help relieve the suffering associated with one. This generally means that sick people can go about their day-to-day activities more comfortably than if they had not used them.

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Discussion Comments
By anon991766 — On Jul 16, 2015

They have a nice fresh taste. They help maybe.

By ddljohn — On Feb 19, 2013

@alisha-- All menthol cough drops are the same so I get the generic brand because that's cheaper. I don't think the herbal cough drops have menthol in it at all, so make sure to check the ingredients for menthol.

I tried herbal cough drops and it did nothing for my sore throat. I think it's the menthol that soothes the throat and acts as a pain reliever. Menthol also lets me breathe more easily.

When I have a sore throat and congestion, I crush one or two cough drops, add hot water to it and drink it. It's like medicine and clears up congestion right away.

By discographer — On Feb 19, 2013

Which brand is best for a sore throat-- Halls, Ludens, Ricola or Vicks cough drops?

By SteamLouis — On Feb 18, 2013

Last year I had a terrible upper respiratory infection. I was coughing nonstop and couldn't even sleep at night because of it. I was sleepless for several days until I bought sugar-free cough drops. I started sucking on these throughout the night to get sleep.

I knew it could be dangerous though because the cough drop can get stuck in the throat while sleeping. But I would lay side ways and put the cough drop under my tongue. I was finally able to get a good night's sleep this way.

By StarJo — On Oct 08, 2012

I use menthol cough drops when I have nasal congestion. They do open up my sinuses.

I suffer from allergies, so I try to control those with antihistamines. However, the congestion is something that you usually take a decongestant for, but since I have a bad reaction to decongestants, I rely on menthol cough drops instead.

By kylee07drg — On Oct 07, 2012

@Kristee – I use fruit and berry flavored menthol cough drops, and they taste so much better than the original kind. I actually find myself craving them at times!

The only thing to keep in mind is that they are not calorie-free. Just one of my favorite drops contains 15 calories!

If you buy the sugar-free kind, then the calorie content goes down. Just be aware that you are exposing your body to sugar substitutes that might have side effects of their own.

By Kristee — On Oct 06, 2012

@feasting – Having to suck on them almost constantly is what bothers me. I do not like the flavor at all, and it leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.

However, if I'm hurting badly enough, I will keep one in my mouth all day. The benefits outweigh the bad taste, but I can't say that I enjoy using them.

Is there such a thing as flavored menthol cough drops? I think that the addition of a fruity flavor might improve the experience.

By feasting — On Oct 05, 2012

Menthol throat lozenges are as precious as gold to me when I have a sore throat with chest congestion. Really, they are the only thing that offers any sort of relief to the pain in my throat.

A sore throat is usually also a dry one, and the lozenges moisturize my throat. I can swallow more easily while sucking on one.

The strong aroma of the menthol goes into my chest and makes it easier to breathe temporarily. I have to use several lozenges throughout the day in order to reap all the benefits, though.

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