Why does eating strong mint chewing gum clear a blocked nose?

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Why does eating strong mint chewing gum clear a blocked nose?

In: Biology
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Basically, menthol (naturally found in mint plants such as peppermint or spearmint), activates the TRPM8 receptor (a protein that in humans is encoded by the TRPM8 gene) and is also the primary molecular transducer of cold somatosensation (touch, position and movement). This nerve cell signals the sensation of coldness. Unlike the actual change in temperature described for sugar substitutes, coolness is merely a perceived phenomenon, so when you breathe in, the nerves signal that ”cold” sensation stronger than it generally would.

Similarly, capsaicin (the active component in peppers), activates receptors that signal ”hot”.

Menthol stimulates cold receptors. As a result, you get the sensation of airflow, which leads to you to think your nasal congestion has actually cleared up. It’s just a sensation, however; menthol has no real effect on clearing nasal congestion.

And why does strong mints / menthols cause some people to sneeze?