Camphor is a natural substance, a natural essential oil derived by distilling the bark and wood of the camphor tree, most often used for medical purposes. It has a pronounced antiseptic effect and is also very good for your skin, body, and overall health.
Used in products such as Vicks VapoRub, today camphor is typically used to relieve pain and reduce itching. It has also been used to treat fungal infections of the toenail, cold sores, and osteoarthritis, however, it should only be used in limited doses*.
The following are the 10 Uses of Camphor and its essential oil:
10. Relieves Congestion
The strong, penetrating aroma of camphor oil is a powerful decongestant. It immediately relieves congestion of the bronchi, larynx, pharynx, nasal tracts, and lungs. It is, therefore, used in many decongestant balms and cold rubs. According to a 2010 study, vapor rub was most effective in relieving night cough, congestion, and sleep difficulty in children with upper respiratory tract infections.
Camphor is FDA-approved for use on the skin as a painkiller and can be used as rub-on products for cold sores, insect stings and bites, minor burns, and hemorrhoids.
8. Relieves Skin Itching or Irritation
Camphor is FDA-approved for use on the skin to help itching or irritation. Lotions and creams containing camphor can be used to relieve skin irritation and itchiness and may help to improve the overall appearance of skin.
7. Treats Osteoarthritis (Arthritis)
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time and may affect joints in your hands, knees, hips, and spine. A rub-on cream containing camphor seems to reduce the severity of symptoms of osteoarthritis by about half. Researchers believe it is probably the camphor properties, that relieves the symptoms.
6. Treats Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis, is a common fungal infection of your toenail. The most noticeable symptom is a white, brown, or yellow discoloration of one or more of your toenails. A 2011 research study suggests applying chest rub products containing camphor such as Vicks VapoRub to affected toenails at least once a day until the infected nail grows out appears to clear fungal nail infections in some people.
5. Improves Circulation and Digestion
Camphor induces cold and warm sensations with increases in skin and muscle blood flow in human. Camphor essential oil is an effective stimulant, and its properties help in treating problems and ailments associated with improper circulation, digestion, sluggish or overactive metabolic rates, and a wide variety of uncommon conditions.
4. Eliminates Gas
Camphor essential oil can be used to help relieve pain caused by excess gas and very helpful in giving relief for gas trouble. The oil works to eliminate gas by naturally removing and expelling it from the body. It does that by not letting gas form in the intestines and effectively removes the gases and expels them in a healthy way.
3. Fights Anxiety and helps with Pregnancy Cramps
Traditionally used in aromatherapy, camphor is known for its therapeutic properties that fight anxiety and reduce stress. While it is unsafe to ingest camphor if you’re pregnant, its topical application can actually help you through pregnancy. Warm camphor oil can be applied on the stomach and the abdominal region to reduce the intensity of cramps.
2. Heal Burns
Camphor balms and creams can be used to heal burn wounds. A 2018 animal study found that an ointment containing camphor, sesame oil, and honey decreased the healing time for second-degree burn wounds and was found to be more beneficial than using Vaseline. To use, apply an ointment to the affected area once a day.
Camphor products may also be used as a muscle rub. It may help to relieve muscle cramps, spasms, and stiffness. A 2004 study found that camphor has antispasmodic and relaxant properties. To use, massage a muscle rub such as Bengay (pain relief product) onto your sore muscles a few times a day.