Determination of Menthol in Plasma and Urine by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)

  • Judy Peat
  • Clint Frazee
  • Gregory Kearns
  • Uttam GargEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1383)


Menthol, a monoterpene, is a principal component of peppermint oil and is used extensively in consumer products as a flavoring aid. It is also commonly used medicinally as a topical skin coolant; to treat inflammation of the mucous membranes, digestive problems, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); and in preventing spasms during endoscopy and for its spasmolytic effect on the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract. Menthol has a half life of 3–6 h and is rapidly metabolized to menthol glucuronide which is detectable in urine and serum following menthol use. We describe a method for the determination of total menthol in human plasma and urine using liquid/liquid extraction, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) in selected ion monitoring mode and menthol-d4 as the internal standard. Controls are prepared with menthol glucuronide and all samples undergo enzymatic hydrolysis for the quantification of total menthol. The method has a linear range of 5–1000 ng/mL, and coefficient of variation <10 %.

Key words

Menthol GCMS Peppermint oil Irritable bowel syndrome 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judy Peat
    • 1
  • Clint Frazee
    • 1
  • Gregory Kearns
    • 1
    • 2
  • Uttam Garg
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineChildren’s Mercy Hospitals and ClinicsKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsChildren’s Mercy Hospitals and ClinicsKansas CityUSA

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