Camphor can be obtained by distilling the wood of select trees that are at least 50 years old. These include the camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora), a large evergreen tree that grows in Asia, and the kapur tree, a tall timber tree from the same region. Camphor can even be found in concentrations of up to 20% in dried rosemary and mints.
The healing and pain reducing properties of this ingredient are widely recognized. When camphor is used topically in concentrations of 3%-11%, it has proven useful for the treatment of pain, itching, hemorrhoids, coughs, insect stings, and minor burns. Some people take camphor oil by mouth to help them cough up phlegm, treat respiratory tract infections, and intestinal gas, however, this practice is generally considered unsafe by experts as it can have serious side effects, and may even cause death.
How It Works
Stimulant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anesthetic, antineuralgic, anti-inflammatory, and disinfectant; these are just some of the many beneficial health properties of camphor.
Applied topically, camphor can help stimulate the nerve endings and increase blood circulation, which helps to relieve symptoms such as pain and itching. When ointments containing camphor are rubbed directly into the skin, its anesthetic and antineuralgic properties help to relieve pain from sore muscles and joints, and the anti-inflammatory properties work to release tension and pressure in the muscles to reduce overall pain. These same properties also make it ideal for relieving skin itch and irritation.
Rubbed into the chest, camphor ointments can help reduce the symptoms of a cough or cold.
In high concentrations (greater than 30%) camphor can cause contact dermatitis, a skin reaction from contact with the ingredient, and can be toxic when absorbed into the skin. Although all Nature’s Aid products and other camphor containing products on the market today contain far less than this amount, products containing camphor should never be digested.
Binomial Name: Camphor
Common Name: Camphor
Source: Camphor trees (eg. Cinnamomum camphora)
EWG Score: 1
Proven and Possible Benefits
Skin infections Pain relief Inflammation Insect bites Cold sores Cough
Information contained in this website is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for diagnosis. The Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada have not evaluated this information. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For health problems, please refer to a qualified health practitioner.