Camphor is a waxy, white crystalline strong substance, acquired from the tree Cinnamomum camphora with a strong fragrance. Its terpenoid is originally obtained by distillation of bark from camphor tree. Camphor has been utilized for numerous centuries as an antiseptic, an aphrodisiac, a culinary spice, and a component of incense and for cold treatment and other medical purposes. Camphor is understood to modulate sexual activity, birth control, cause abortion, and lower milk production in breast feeding ladies.

It can pass the placental barrier and impacts embryo development. Just recently, examinations have actually shown that camphor-containing compounds have uterotrophic, antitussive, anticonvulsant, nicotinic receptor blocking, antiimplantation, antiestrogenic, along with estrogenic activities, and minimized serum triglyceride and thyroid hormonal agent. Camphor has actually shown a dose-dependent decrease in human sperm motility and practicality, which counts for reducing effectiveness for fertilization and hence functions as a contraceptive. [2]

Origin of Camphor

Camphor tree (Dryobalanops fragrant) is in your area referred to as ‘kapur peringgi’. The wood of camphor tree likewise referred to as Cinnamomum camphora. Dryobalanops fragrant is a genus tree from Dipterocarpaceae that consist of seven types which are widely distributed in Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo. There are 4 species found in Brunei Darussalam, Dryobalanops aromatic Gaertn, D. beccari Dyeri, D. lanceolatax Burck and D. rappa Becc. Camphor tree likewise grew natively in the valley sand and mountain slopes of Japan, China, Taiwan and Vietnam. Camphor tree can be discovered in almost all tropical forest around the globe. It is a large tree that nearly rising to 65 m in height and it was important timber tree. The tree has actually camphor smell and was looked for medical purposes. Camphor leaf is a herb plant which is family of Lauraceae.

Folk from China use it for treatment such as inflammation-related illness which are rheumatic, arthritis, muscular stress, abdominal discomfort, rheumatism, cough and bronchitis. Usually, camphor appropriates for establishing new anti- inflammatory drugs and to explore more potential drugs. According to Chinese custom, camphor leaves can be used as medicine for mentally problem such as hysteria, nervousness, neuralgia and stomach problem such as diarrhea [3]


The camphor tree– also know as camphor laurel– was introduced to Florida in the 1870s as an ornamental shade tree. It was likewise planted for camphor production and after that planted across many areas of the Gulf Coast. The environment in south Alabama is highly ideal for this evergreen types, so it started to spread out– prospering on all but the most saturated websites. Camphor trees are currently discovered in some southern counties of Alabama and in other states throughout the Gulf Coast and the Carolinas. The trees can also be locally abundant in some regions. [4]


Camphor, an organic compound of penetrating, somewhat musty scent, used for many centuries as a component of incense and as a medical. Modern uses of camphor have actually been as a plasticizer for cellulose nitrate and as a bug spray, especially for moths. The molecular formula is C10H16O.

Camphor happens in the camphor laurel, Cinnamomum camphora, typical in China, Taiwan, and Japan. It is separated by passing steam through the crushed wood and condensing the vapours; camphor takes shape from the oily part of the distillate and is cleansed by pressing and sublimation. Since the early 1930s camphor has actually been made by several procedures from the substance α-pinene.

Camphor belongs to a group of natural substances specified as terpenoid ketones. The structure and the reactions peculiar to it were important issues of 19th-century natural chemistry. The pure compound is a white, waxy solid that melts at about 178 °– 179 ° C( 352 °– 354 ° F). [5]

Biosynthesis and Chemical Synthesis of Camphor

The biosynthesis of camphor was extensively investigated.After a number of stylish experiments they determined the standard biosynthesis of camphor and the enzymes involved to be as follows: Camphor is biosynthetically produced in plants by way of the biotransformation of the starting product geranyl diphosphate (GPP) which is the preferred substrate. Cyclisation of geranyl diphosphate, by the enzyme (+)- bornyl diphosphate synthase yields (+)- bornyl diphosphate. (+)- Bornyl diphosphate is then hydrolysed to (+)- borneol through the action of bornyl-diphosphate diphosphatase. The last step is catalysed by (+)- borneol dehydrogenase as it oxidises (+)- borneol to (+)- camphor. The artificial production of camphor involves using turpentine oil as a starting material. Turpentine is used as the source of α-pinene through a distillation procedure; α-pinene is converted into camphene through the catalysis of a strong acid with acetic acid as the solvent; the camphene then goes through Wagner-Meerwein rearrangement into the isobornyl cation, which is recorded by acetate; the isobornyl acetate consequently formed is hydrolysed to isoborneol, which is finally transformed to camphor through dehydrogenation. The artificial path from α-pinene produces a racemic mixture, i.e., a 1:1 ratio of (−) and (+)- camphor. [6]


Camphor has a variety of topical usages due to its anti-bacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory homes. It can be utilized to treat skin conditions, improve respiratory function, and eliminate discomfort. Continue reading to learn more about the different usages for camphor and its supporting scientific evidence.

Camphor for skin

Creams and creams containing camphor can be used to ease skin inflammation and itching and might help to enhance the overall appearance of skin. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it helpful in recovery infections. A 2015Trusted Source animal study discovered camphor to be effective in treating injuries and ultraviolet light-induced wrinkles, making it a potential component in anti-aging cosmetics. This might be due to its capability to increase elastin and collagen production. Use a camphor cream on the location you wish to deal with at least once each day.

Eases pain

Using camphor to the skin helps to ease pain and swelling. A little 2015Trusted Source research study found that a spray consisting of natural components such as camphor, menthol, and essential oils of clove and eucalyptus was effective in relieving moderate to moderate pain. The spray was applied to the joints, shoulders, and lower back for a duration of 2 week. You may feel a tingling, warming, or cooling feeling when you utilize camphor products. Apply a camphor spray or lotion to the afflicted location several times daily.

Heals burns

Camphor balms and creams can be utilized to heal burn wounds. A 2018Trusted Source animal study found that an ointment containing camphor, sesame oil, and honey reduced the recovery time for second-degree burn injuries and was found to be more beneficial than utilizing Vaseline. To use, apply a lotion to the afflicted area once a day.

Treats arthritis

Camphor products such as Icy Hot and Biofreeze may work in relieving discomfort, swelling, and swelling due to arthritis. The hot or cold experiences that emerge after application of these creams may distract you from the discomfort. Camphor has also been shownTrusted Source to have anti-inflammatory results in animal designs that work in dealing with arthritis. To use, use the camphor cream to any affected locations a number of times daily.

Deals with toe nail fungi

The antifungal homes of camphor make it useful in dealing with toe nail fungus. Research study from 2011 found that using Vicks VapoRub, which consists of camphor in addition to menthol and eucalyptus oil, was effective in treating toenail fungus. In the study, 15 of 18 people revealed favorable outcomes after using the lotion for 48 weeks. To utilize, apply Vicks VapoRub to the affected toenails a couple of times per day.

Relieves congestion and coughing

Camphor oil works as a decongestant and cough suppressant. According to a 2010 study, vapor rub was most efficient in alleviating night cough, blockage, and sleep problem in kids with upper respiratory tract infections.

To use, place 2 teaspoons of Vicks VapoRub in a bowl of hot water. Hold your head over the bowl and cover your head with a towel as you inhale the vapors. You can likewise apply the balm to your chest or feet and then cover them with socks. Avoid putting it in or around your nostrils.


Camphor items may likewise be utilized as a muscle rub. It might help to eliminate muscle cramps, spasms, and tightness. A 2004 research study found that camphor has antispasmodic and relaxant residential or commercial properties. To utilize, massage a muscle rub such as Bengay onto your sore muscles a few times a day.

Other uses

Scientific research study is limited for a few of the supposed usages for camphor and the proof is largely anecdotal. Camphor oil might also be used to deal with:.

  • loss of hair
  • acne
  • warts
  • earaches
  • cold sores
  • piles
  • cardiovascular disease symptoms
  • poor blood flow
  • flatulence
  • anxiety
  • anxiety
  • muscle spasms
  • low libido [7]


1. May Relieve Skin Itching And Irritation

Camphor has antifungal and anti-bacterial homes that might assist in easing some skin-related problems like itching and irritation. One animal study likewise discovered camphor to be a powerful wound-healing agent. Camphor can increase collagen and elastin production in dermal fibroblasts to aid injury recovery. It is also an efficient anti-wrinkle active ingredient in numerous cosmetics. However, more research study is required to understand this benefit of camphor on humans.

2. May Alleviate Pain

Camphor can be utilized to ease discomfort and swelling. A study conducted at Hamdard University (Pakistan) discovered that a spray consisting of menthol, eucalyptus, clove, and camphor has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and can decrease pain.

3. May Soothe Burns

Camphor can be used to alleviate pain and swelling. It can be utilized to eliminate the burn scars also. In one study carried out on rats, it was observed that an organic lotion consisting of camphor, sesame oil, and honey minimized the healing time of burns. Liquify a small quantity of camphor in water and apply on the burn. This needs to be done on a daily basis until the scars disappear.

4. May Reward Acne

Camphor has the potential to deal with acne. It is said to bring down the discomfort and swelling triggered by the inflammation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands. The antibacterial activity of the bioactive substances in camphor, such as 1,8-cineole, α-pinene, and camphene, is effective in acne treatment.

5. May Treat Eczema

Camphor is likewise used to alleviate eczema and control itching. It is a reliable treatment for when eczema flares, and you require to manage the inflammation and itching.

6. May Treatment Nail Fungus

Fungus on toenails can be undesirable and unpleasant, but using camphor paste can help prevent its development. Camphor has been discovered to be effective in treating nail fungi because of its antibacterial and antifungal residential or commercial properties.

7. May Benefit Broken Heels

Anecdotal evidence suggests that camphor can soften your cracked heels. Nevertheless, there is no clinical proof to prove the same. For remedy for broken heels, you require to soak your feet in an option of camphor and water and scrub your feet. Following this, you might use moisturizer or petroleum jelly on them. This will keep your skin moist and avoid fractures from occurring.

8. May Soothe Skin Rashes

Camphor contains particular anti-inflammatory compounds that might help offer remedy for rashes (2 ). It is stated to be especially helpful for skin rashes that take place due to extreme heat and sweating. Camphor, when dissolved in water and applied on skin rashes, is declared to make them vanish after a couple of days of duplicated use.

9. May Reward Fungal And Bacterial Infections

Cool and calm camphor is used in lots of skin ointments that are used to treat an entire variety of fungal and bacterial infections. The antifungal and antibacterial homes of camphor have made it a must-use active ingredient in the cosmetic industry. Note: It is necessary to determine whether you dislike camphor prior to using it to treat skin issues. If it does not suit you, it might aggravate the skin condition. Further, it should not be applied to damaged skin. It can get in the body through the broken skin and cause poisoning, particularly if the concentration of camphor in the body increases.

10. May Strengthen Hair Roots

Limited research study is offered to support this claim, but anecdotal evidence recommends that the use of camphor reinforces hair roots. Combining egg or yogurt with camphor oil can provide your hair with much-needed nutrients.

11. May Boost Hair Growth

When camphor oil is integrated with particular necessary oils, it is stated to enhance hair growth. You can also mix camphor oil with a regular provider oil (like coconut or olive) and use it to your scalp. This is stated to promote blood circulation and promote hair growth. However, there is no scientific proof to prove the very same.

12. May Improve Hair Texture And Fight Loss Of Hair

Anecdotal evidence suggests that camphor oil might improve your hair texture to give you smooth and soft hair. It is claimes that camphor oil can reduce hair loss and boost hair development. However, there is limited research to support either of these claims.

13. Eliminates Lice

Camphor acts as an excellent cleaning and sanitizing representative. It can also eliminate lice. Camphor oil mixed in bathing water is gets rid of head lice successfully. Mix camphor oil with coconut oil and use it to your scalp to suffocate the lice.

14. May Relieve Muscle Discomfort

Camphor oil, in mix with menthol, can be utilized for discomfort relief, particularly for back pain. This mixture also alleviates muscle tension with the help of its anti-inflammatory residential or commercial properties. Massage the painful muscles with camphor oil to increase the blood circulation because location and reduce the pain and stiffness.

15. May Treat Arthritis

A study performed by the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences on rats found that the anti-inflammatory result of camphor may help in dealing with arthritis. However, more studies are required to understand this benefit of camphor in people.

16. May Treat Spasmodic Problems

The antispasmodic residential or commercial properties of camphor may assist in relaxing the nerves The fragrant camphor oil vapors are believed to promote a sense of calm by lowering tension. Massaging with this oil might provide you some relief from spasms.

17. May Assist Cause Sleep

Camphor oil might help unwind the mind and body and induce sleep as it consists of P-cymene. Nevertheless, limited research study is available to support this claim.

18. May Treat Cold and Cough

Camphor is found to be extremely efficient versus cold and cough. It is an active ingredient in lots of decongestants and vaporubs. There are many ways to use camphor to deal with cough and blockage, consisting of inhaling, rubbing, and using it as steam vaporization. Dissolving camphor in hot water for ten minutes and inhaling it by means of the steam can work marvels. It even relieves throat irritation and treats bronchitis.

19. May Help Weight Loss

Camphor tree seed kernel oil (CKO) may help in decreasing body fat. A research study carried out on rats discovered that using CKO reduces body weight and fat deposition. Nevertheless, more research study is needed to confirm this advantage for people.

20. May Assist Treat Cardiovascular Problems

A study performed on 190 patients with practical cardiovascular disorders discovered that a mix of camphor and crataegus might offer relief from signs of cardiovascular conditions.

21. May Promote Blood Circulation

Unusual blood circulation in your body leads to many illness, but breathing in camphor may assist fix that problem. Camphor improves blood circulation. Enhancement in blood flow can ease the symptoms of rheumatic illness, gout, and arthritis. Research study is incredibly restricted on some uses of camphor. Nevertheless, anecdotal proof recommends that camphor might benefit in treating the following conditions:.

  • Warts
  • Low libido
  • Cold sores
  • Earaches
  • Flatulence
  • Stress and anxiety and anxiety
  • Hemorrhoids [8]

Camphor tree Realities

Camphor tree, likewise referred to as camphor laurel, is an evergreen plant that belongs to the laurel household. It grows natively in the valleys and mountain slopes of Japan, China, Taiwan and Vietnam. Camphor tree grows in the open, dry, bright areas with sandy, fertile soil. Thanks to its decorative morphology and minty fragrance, camphor tree can be found in tropical areas all over the world today. Due to ability to easily occupy brand-new areas and avoid growth of native species of trees, camphor tree is frequently classified as intrusive outside its house range.

Fascinating Camphor tree Facts:

  • Camphor tree can reach 25 to 100 feet in height and 6 feet in diameter (of trunk).
  • Camphor tree has reddish brown, scaly or irregularly furrowed bark that alters color to light grey, that is normally seen in mature trees.
  • Camphor tree has oval or elliptical leaves with wavy margins. Leaves are at the same time organized on the twigs. Young leaves are pinkish bronze, while old leaves are dark green and glossy.
  • Crushed leaves, twigs and root of camphor tree give off camphor aroma.
  • Camphor tree produces fragrant, greenish-white or pale yellow flowers arranged in 3-inches-long panicles at the ideas of the branches. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (hermaphroditic flowers).
  • Camphor tree blooms late in the spring. Flowers attract different types of insect from the order Diptera, which are accountable for the pollination of this plant.
  • Fruit of camphor tree are dark blue or black, round, fleshy drupes that can be seen on the tree throughout the fall.
  • Lots of birds and animals consume fruit of camphor tree and play crucial role in dispersal of the seed in the wild.
  • Boiled young leaves and shoots of camphor tree can be used in human diet plan. Old leaves are used as spice, while root can be consumed in the form of tea.
  • Beverages and meals made of camphor tree need to be taken in reasonably due to the fact that all parts of this plant contain compounds that can cause over-stimulation of main nervous system and result in convulsions.
  • Camphor tree was incredibly popular in Europe before the duration of renaissance. Wood, leaves and branches were utilized for cigarette smoking of meat, while camphor oil was utilized as a component of candies, puddings and beverages (such as root beer).
  • Camphor tree is the main tree of Hiroshima.
  • Camphor tree has yellow-red wood that is used for the manufacture of chests, caskets, instruments and sculptures. Products made of camphor tree repel bugs thanks to the strong aroma of the wood.
  • Camphor oil (acquired from the wood and branches) has antibacterial homes and it produces cooling result on the skin. It can be utilized in treatment of diarrhea, swelling, itch and tooth pain.
  • Camphor tree is seasonal plant with an average life-span of 50 to 150 years. [9]

Side Effects

Camphor is LIKELY SAFE for many adults when applied to the skin in a cream or cream in low concentrations. Camphor can cause some small negative effects such as skin redness and irritation. Do not use pure camphor products or products containing more than 11% camphor. These can be irritating and risky. Camphor is likewise LIKELY SAFE for many adults when breathed in as vapor in percentages as a part of aromatherapy. Don’t utilize more than 1 tablespoon camphor solution per quart of water. Do not heat camphor-containing products (Vicks VapoRub, BenGay, Heet, numerous others) in the microwave. The product can take off and cause serious burns. Camphor-containing products are LIKELY UNSAFE when applied to damaged or hurt skin. Camphor is quickly absorbed through broken skin and can reach hazardous levels in the body. Camphor is UNSAFE when taken by mouth by adults. Ingesting camphor can cause serious negative effects, including death. The very first symptoms of camphor toxicity occur quickly (within 5 to 90 minutes), and can consist of burning of the mouth and throat, nausea, and throwing up. Other symptoms impact the nervous system, such as seizures, confusion, and muscular contractions, along with impacts on vision. [10]

Preventative measures to Take With Camphor

Preventative measures ought to be taken when using Camphor in:.


Intake of Camphor might lead to abortion as it has the ability to cross the placental barrier.


There is not enough details to understand if Camphor can be utilized during breastfeeding.


Camphor may not be safe for usage in kids. Kids should not take Camphor by mouth, as consumption of Camphor by kids can cause neurotoxicity and hepatoxicity. There have been reports of seizures in children following ingestion of Camphor.

Interactions With Other Drugs

It is essential to keep in mind not to use Camphor with hepatotoxic drugs (medications that can damage the liver) as this can increase the danger of liver damage.9 For that reason, your Ayurvedic physician’s guidance is to be followed completely, as their prescription is based upon keeping your health condition in mind. Please guarantee to disclose all medications prescribed and presently being used to your doctor at the time of consultation. [11]


Camphor has actually been utilized traditionally for several years, entirely or in combination with other treatments for the relief of discomfort, swelling and irritation in body and skin. It can likewise be extremely effective in treating and preventing some major, life threatening diseases. Considering the growing number of cancer patients, Cinnamomum camphora and its components should be investigated even more as a practical choice in the treatment of various types of cancer. In addition, more studies on the application of camphor for patients with memory conditions and brain dysfunctions such as in Alzheimer’s and autism are required. [12]


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