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Camphor oil is the oil extracted from the wood of the Camphor tree Cinnamomum Camphora. Camphor oil[rx] has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and is used for its aromatic properties, as an insect repellant, in embalming fluids, and in various topical skin preparations.
Camphor is a waxy, flammable, transparent solid with a strong aroma.[rx]It is found in the wood of the camphor laurel and also of the unrelated Kapur tree, a tall timber tree from the same region. It also occurs in some other related trees in the laurel family, notably Ocotea usambarensis. The oil in rosemary leaves (Rosmarinus officinalis), in the mint family, contains 10 to 20% camphor,[rx] while camphorweed (Heterotheca) only contains some 5%.[rx] Camphor can also be synthetically produced from oil of turpentine. It is used for its scent, as an ingredient in cooking (mainly in India), as an embalming fluid, for medicinal purposes, and in religious ceremonies
Camphor, scientifically known as Cinnamomum Camphor, is a combustible, translucent white solid which has a piquant smell and sour taste, though some people quite like its menthol-like, nose tingling fragrance.
Uses / Indications of Camphor Oil
- Cough - Camphor is FDA-approved as a chest rub in concentrations less than 11%.
- Pain - Camphor is FDA-approved for use on the skin as a painkiller in concentrations of 3% to 11%. It is in many rub-on products for cold sores, insect stings and bites, minor burns, and hemorrhoids.
- Skin itching or irritation - Camphor is FDA-approved for use on the skin to help itching or irritation in concentrations of 3% to 11%.
- Osteoarthritis - A rub-on cream containing camphor, glucosamine sulfate, and chondroitin sulfate seems to reduce the severity of symptoms of osteoarthritis by about half. Researchers believe it is probably the camphor, not the other ingredients, that relieves the symptoms.
- Relieves Pain and Swelling - On the skin, it acts as a counter-irritant and is therefore used topically to relieve pain and swelling. It causes numbness of sensory nerve endings of skin, thereby relieving pain and inflammation, and preventing skin redness.
- Alleviates Skin Rashes - Another skin problem faced by many people is rashes that cause redness. Camphor can help in getting rid of rashes and redness when used as topical itch relieving gels. Just dissolve the camphor oil in water and apply it on the affected area for a few days.
- Treatment of Nail Fungus - Nail fungus or onychomycosis may require treatment by oral anti-fungal, but topical preparations like Vaporub containing camphor oil can be added for faster clearing of the fungus. However, it is effective against onychomycosis caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Candida parapsilosis, which are species of fungi.
- Used to Treat Eczema - Camphor can be used to treat irritated symptoms of eczema in kids and adults. Camphor helps in relieving the pain and inflammation, which is a symptom of eczema. Camphor is also found in many lotions and ointment treatments of eczema.
- Helps Induce Sleep - The fragrance of camphor oil has a calming effect on the mind and brings a good night’s sleep. Few drops of the oil can be rubbed on the pillow to induce sleep.
- Treats Cold and Cough - Camphor helps in treating cold and cough and relieves throat congestion. Camphor oil is an ingredient of many vaporub and decongestants. Rub some on your chest and back and let it work its magic.
- Promotes Hair Growth - Less hair on the scalp is a nightmare. This could result due to a number of factors, such as improper hair care routine and spending lots and lots of money on chemical loaded hair care products. So, here’s a solution to the problem - use camphor oil. Application of camphor oil on the hair makes it soft and boosts hair growth. Mix camphor oil to your regular oil and apply it on the scalp. This will stimulate blood flow to the applied area and promote hair growth.
- Home Remedy for Head Lice - Camphor oil mixed in bathing water is used for the treatment of Pediculosis capitis or head lice. Mix powdered camphor tablet in coconut oil and apply it evenly on scalp and hair before going to bed. Wash your hair with shampoo and say goodbye to lice. This is because camphor powder suffocates the lice and hence kills them.
- Insect bite - Early research shows that applying camphor along with menthol and eucalyptus oil might help reduce the size of mosquito bites.
- Low blood pressure after standing up - Early research suggests that taking a product containing camphor and Hawthorn by mouth helps prevent drops in blood pressure upon standing. However, it is not clear if taking camphor alone provides the same benefits. Also, this product is not available in the US.
A Dosage of Camphor Oil
- Itching and pain - 3-11% ointment applied three to four times daily
- Cough - Thick layer of 4.7-5.3% ointment applied to throat and chest
- Osteoarthritis - Topical combo product containing camphor (32 mg/g), glucosamine sulfate (30 mg/g), and chondroitin sulfate (50 mg/g) applied as needed for 8 weeks