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Camphor is a waxy, white crystalline solid compound, obtained from the tree Cinnamomum camphora with a strong fragrance. Its terpenoid is initially obtained by distillation of bark from camphor tree. Camphor has been used for many centuries as an antibacterial, an aphrodisiac, a cooking spice, and a component of incense and for cold solution and other medical functions. Camphor is understood to modulate sex, birth control, cause abortion, and minimize milk production in breast feeding women.

It can pass the placental barrier and impacts embryo advancement. Just recently, investigations have actually shown that camphor-containing substances have uterotrophic, antitussive, anticonvulsant, nicotinic receptor blocking, antiimplantation, antiestrogenic, as well as estrogenic activities, and reduced serum triglyceride and thyroid hormone. Camphor has actually demonstrated a dose-dependent decrease in human sperm motility and practicality, which counts for reducing efficiency for fertilization and therefore serves as a contraceptive. [2]

Origin of Camphor

Camphor tree (Dryobalanops aromatic) is in your area called ‘kapur peringgi’. The wood of camphor tree also called Cinnamomum camphora. Dryobalanops aromatic is a genus tree from Dipterocarpaceae that include seven species which are commonly distributed in Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo. There are 4 types found in Brunei Darussalam, Dryobalanops aromatic Gaertn, D. beccari Dyeri, D. lanceolatax Burck and D. rappa Becc. Camphor tree also grew natively in the valley sand and mountain slopes of Japan, China, Taiwan and Vietnam. Camphor tree can be found in almost all tropical forest around the globe. It is a big tree that almost rising to 65 m in height and it was valuable lumber tree. The tree has camphor odour and was sought out for medical functions. Camphor leaf is a herb plant which is family of Lauraceae.

Folk from China use it for treatment such as inflammation-related diseases which are rheumatic, arthritis, muscular pressures, abdominal pain, rheumatism, cough and bronchitis. Normally, camphor appropriates for establishing brand-new anti- inflammatory drugs and to explore more possible drugs. According to Chinese custom, camphor leaves can be utilized as medication for psychologically problem such as hysteria, anxiety, neuralgia and stomach problem such as diarrhea [3]


The camphor tree– also called 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 numerous locations of the Gulf Coast. The environment in south Alabama is extremely suitable for this evergreen types, so it started to spread out– flourishing on all but the most saturated sites. Camphor trees are currently found in some southern counties of Alabama and in other states across the Gulf Coast and the Carolinas. The trees can likewise be locally abundant in some areas. [4]


Camphor, a natural compound of permeating, somewhat moldy scent, utilized for many centuries as a part of incense and as a medicinal. Modern uses of camphor have actually been as a plasticizer for cellulose nitrate and as an insect repellent, especially for moths. The molecular formula is C10H16O.

Camphor occurs in the camphor laurel, Cinnamomum camphora, typical in China, Taiwan, and Japan. It is isolated by passing steam through the crushed wood and condensing the vapours; camphor crystallizes from the oily part of the extract and is purified by pressing and sublimation. Because the early 1930s camphor has been made by a number of procedures from the substance α-pinene.

Camphor comes from a group of organic substances specified as terpenoid ketones. The structure and the responses peculiar to it was necessary issues of 19th-century organic chemistry. The pure substance 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 material 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 action is catalysed by (+)- borneol dehydrogenase as it oxidises (+)- borneol to (+)- camphor. The synthetic production of camphor involves using turpentine oil as a starting product. Turpentine is utilized as the source of α-pinene through a distillation process; 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 caught by acetate; the isobornyl acetate subsequently formed is hydrolysed to isoborneol, which is lastly converted to camphor through dehydrogenation. The artificial path from α-pinene produces a racemic mix, i.e., a 1:1 ratio of (−) and (+)- camphor. [6]


Camphor has a variety of topical uses due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory homes. It can be utilized to deal with skin problem, enhance respiratory function, and eliminate pain. Continue reading to get more information about the different uses for camphor and its supporting scientific evidence.

Camphor for skin

Creams and creams including camphor can be utilized to eliminate skin irritation and itchiness and might help to enhance the overall appearance of skin. It has anti-bacterial and antifungal properties that make it beneficial in healing infections. A 2015Trusted Source animal study discovered camphor to be reliable in treating injuries and ultraviolet light-induced wrinkles, making it a possible ingredient in anti-aging cosmetics. This may be due to its ability to increase elastin and collagen production. Use a camphor cream on the area you want to deal with at least as soon as daily.

Eases discomfort

Applying camphor to the skin assists to relieve pain and swelling. A little 2015Trusted Source study found that a spray including natural ingredients such as camphor, menthol, and important oils of clove and eucalyptus was effective in eliminating moderate to moderate pain. The spray was applied to the joints, shoulders, and lower back for a period of 14 days. You might feel a tingling, warming, or cooling experience when you utilize camphor items. Apply a camphor spray or ointment to the afflicted location numerous times each day.

Heals burns

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

Treats arthritis

Camphor items such as Icy Hot and Biofreeze may work in alleviating pain, inflammation, and swelling due to arthritis. The hot or cold experiences that occur after application of these creams may sidetrack you from the discomfort. Camphor has actually likewise been shownTrusted Source to have anti-inflammatory results in animal designs that work in dealing with arthritis. To utilize, apply the camphor cream to any impacted areas several times per day.

Treats toe nail fungus

The antifungal homes of camphor make it advantageous in treating toenail fungus. Research from 2011 discovered that using Vicks VapoRub, which consists of camphor in addition to menthol and eucalyptus oil, worked in treating toe nail fungi. In the study, 15 of 18 individuals showed favorable results after utilizing the lotion for 48 weeks. To utilize, apply Vicks VapoRub to the affected toenails a couple of times per day.

Eases congestion and coughing

Camphor oil works as a decongestant and cough suppressant. According to a 2010 research study, vapor rub was most reliable in alleviating night cough, congestion, and sleep trouble in children with upper breathing tract infections.

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


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

Other usages

Scientific research is limited for a few of the purported uses for camphor and the evidence is largely anecdotal. Camphor oil might also be used to deal with:.

  • loss of hair
  • acne
  • warts
  • earaches
  • fever blisters
  • piles
  • heart problem symptoms
  • bad blood flow
  • flatulence
  • stress and anxiety
  • depression
  • muscle spasms
  • low libido [7]


1. May Relieve Skin Itching And Inflammation

Camphor has antifungal and antibacterial homes that may assist in minimizing some skin-related concerns like itching and irritation. One animal study also discovered camphor to be a powerful wound-healing agent. Camphor can increase collagen and elastin production in dermal fibroblasts to assist wound healing. It is likewise a reliable anti-wrinkle active ingredient in many cosmetics. Nevertheless, more research study is required to comprehend this benefit of camphor on humans.

2. May Alleviate Pain

Camphor can be used to eliminate pain and swelling. A research study carried out at Hamdard University (Pakistan) discovered that a spray including menthol, eucalyptus, clove, and camphor has analgesic and anti-inflammatory residential or commercial properties and can lower pain.

3. May Soothe Burns

Camphor can be utilized to alleviate pain and swelling. It can be utilized to eliminate the burn scars too. In one research study conducted on rats, it was discovered that a natural ointment consisting of camphor, sesame oil, and honey reduced the recovery time of burns. Dissolve a small quantity of camphor in water and apply on the burn. This requires to be done on a daily basis until the scars vanish.

4. May Treat Acne

Camphor has the prospective to treat acne. It is stated to reduce the pain and swelling caused by the inflammation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands. The antibacterial activity of the bioactive compounds in camphor, such as 1,8-cineole, α-pinene, and camphene, is effective in acne treatment.

5. May Treat Eczema

Camphor is also used to alleviate eczema and control itching. It is an efficient solution for when eczema flares up, and you need to manage the swelling and itching.

6. May Cure Nail Fungi

Fungi on toenails can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, but using camphor paste can help inhibit its growth. Camphor has actually been discovered to be efficient in treating nail fungi because of its antibacterial and antifungal residential or commercial properties.

7. May Benefit Cracked Heels

Anecdotal proof suggests that camphor can soften your split heels. Nevertheless, there is no scientific evidence to prove the very same. For relief from split heels, you need to soak your feet in an option of camphor and water and scrub your feet. Following this, you might apply moisturizer or petroleum jelly on them. This will keep your skin moist and prevent fractures from taking place.

8. May Soothe Skin Rashes

Camphor includes particular anti-inflammatory substances that could assist offer relief from rashes (2 ). It is stated to be particularly helpful for skin rashes that occur due to excessive heat and sweating. Camphor, when liquified in water and applied on skin rashes, is declared to make them disappear after a couple of days of duplicated usage.

9. May Reward Fungal And Bacterial Infections

Cool and calm camphor is utilized in many skin lotions that are used to treat a whole range of fungal and bacterial infections. The antifungal and antibacterial residential or commercial properties of camphor have actually made it a must-use component in the cosmetic market. Keep in mind: It is important to ascertain whether you are allergic to camphor prior to utilizing it to treat skin problems. If it does not fit you, it may intensify the skin problem. Even more, it needs to not be applied to broken skin. It can get in the body through the damaged skin and trigger poisoning, specifically if the concentration of camphor in the body goes up.

10. May Strengthen Hair Roots

Restricted research is available to support this claim, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the use of camphor reinforces hair roots. Integrating egg or yogurt with camphor oil can provide your hair with much-needed nutrients.

11. May Increase Hair Growth

When camphor oil is integrated with specific necessary oils, it is stated to boost hair growth. You can likewise blend camphor oil with a regular provider oil (like coconut or olive) and apply it to your scalp. This is stated to stimulate blood flow and promote hair development. However, there is no clinical evidence to show the exact same.

12. May Improve Hair Texture And Battle Hair Loss

Anecdotal proof recommends that camphor oil may improve your hair texture to offer you smooth and soft hair. It is claimes that camphor oil can minimize loss of hair and increase hair growth. Nevertheless, there is minimal research to support either of these claims.

13. Kills Lice

Camphor functions as an outstanding cleaning and decontaminating agent. It can likewise kill lice. Camphor oil mixed in bathing water is gets rid of head lice efficiently. Mix camphor oil with coconut oil and use it to your scalp to suffocate the lice.

14. May Relieve Muscle Discomfort

Camphor oil, in combination with menthol, can be used for discomfort relief, especially for back pain. This mix also eases muscle tension with the help of its anti-inflammatory homes. Massage the uncomfortable muscles with camphor oil to increase the blood circulation because location and decrease the discomfort and tightness.

15. May Treat Arthritis

A study performed by the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences on rats discovered that the anti-inflammatory result of camphor might assist in dealing with arthritis. However, more studies are needed to comprehend this advantage of camphor in people.

16. May Treat Spasmodic Problems

The antispasmodic homes of camphor might assist in soothing the nerves The fragrant camphor oil vapors are believed to promote a sense of calm by reducing stress. Massaging with this oil may give you some remedy for spasms.

17. May Assist Induce Sleep

Camphor oil might assist relax the body and mind and cause sleep as it contains P-cymene. However, minimal research study is offered to support this claim.

18. May Reward Cold and Cough

Camphor is discovered to be very effective against cold and cough. It is an active component in many decongestants and vaporubs. There are lots of ways to utilize camphor to deal with cough and congestion, including inhaling, rubbing, and utilizing it as steam vaporization. Dissolving camphor in hot water for 10 minutes and inhaling it via the steam can work wonders. It even relieves throat irritation and treats bronchitis.

19. May Help Weight-loss

Camphor tree seed kernel oil (CKO) might help in reducing body fat. A study performed on rats discovered that using CKO reduces body weight and fat deposition. However, more research is required to validate this benefit for human beings.

20. May Help Treat Cardiovascular Issues

A study conducted on 190 patients with functional cardiovascular disorders found that a combination of camphor and crataegus may offer remedy for signs of cardiovascular disorders.

21. May Promote Blood Circulation

Abnormal blood flow in your body results in numerous health issue, however inhaling camphor may assist correct that problem. Camphor improves blood flow. Enhancement in blood flow can alleviate the symptoms of rheumatic diseases, gout, and arthritis. Research study is exceptionally limited on some uses of camphor. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence recommends that camphor may benefit in treating the list below conditions:.

  • Warts
  • Low sex drive
  • Fever blister
  • Earaches
  • Flatulence
  • Stress and anxiety and anxiety
  • Hemorrhoids [8]

Camphor tree Realities

Camphor tree, likewise called camphor laurel, is an evergreen plant that belongs to the laurel family. It grows natively in the valleys and mountain slopes of Japan, China, Taiwan and Vietnam. Camphor tree prospers in the open, dry, warm areas with sandy, fertile soil. Thanks to its ornamental morphology and minty scent, camphor tree can be discovered in tropical areas around the globe today. Due to capability to quickly inhabit brand-new areas and prevent development of native species of trees, camphor tree is often classified as intrusive outside its home variety.

Interesting 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 changes color to light grey, that is generally seen in fully grown trees.
  • Camphor tree has oval or elliptical leaves with wavy margins. Leaves are at the same time arranged on the twigs. Young leaves are pinkish bronze, while old leaves are dark green and shiny.
  • Crushed leaves, twigs and root of camphor tree give off camphor fragrance.
  • Camphor tree produces aromatic, greenish-white or pale yellow flowers arranged in 3-inches-long panicles at the tips of the branches. Flowers contain both kinds of reproductive organs (hermaphroditic flowers).
  • Camphor tree blooms late in the spring. Flowers attract different types of pest 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 during the fall.
  • Lots of birds and animals consume fruit of camphor tree and play important function in dispersal of the seed in the wild.
  • Boiled young leaves and shoots of camphor tree can be utilized in human diet. Old leaves are utilized as spice, while root can be consumed in the form of tea.
  • Beverages and meals made of camphor tree should be taken in moderately because all parts of this plant include compounds that can cause over-stimulation of central nerve system and cause convulsions.
  • Camphor tree was very popular in Europe prior to the period of renaissance. Wood, leaves and twigs were used for smoking of meat, while camphor oil was utilized as an active ingredient of sweets, puddings and beverages (such as root beer).
  • Camphor tree is the main tree of Hiroshima.
  • Camphor tree has yellow-red wood that is utilized for the manufacture of chests, caskets, instruments and sculptures. Items made of camphor tree fend off pests thanks to the strong aroma of the wood.
  • Camphor oil (obtained from the wood and branches) has antiseptic residential or commercial properties and it produces cooling impact on the skin. It can be used 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]

Adverse effects

Camphor is LIKELY SAFE for the majority of grownups when applied to the skin in a cream or lotion in low concentrations. Camphor can cause some minor adverse effects such as skin inflammation and inflammation. Do not use pure camphor products or items consisting of more than 11% camphor. These can be irritating and unsafe. Camphor is likewise most likely SAFE for the majority of grownups when inhaled as vapor in percentages as a part of aromatherapy. Do not use more than 1 tablespoon camphor option per quart of water. Do not heat camphor-containing products (Vicks VapoRub, BenGay, Heet, lots of others) in the microwave. The item can blow up and trigger extreme burns. Camphor-containing items are LIKELY UNSAFE when applied to damaged or hurt skin. Camphor is easily soaked up through broken skin and can reach harmful levels in the body. Camphor is UNSAFE when taken by mouth by grownups. Consuming camphor can cause serious side effects, consisting of death. The very first symptoms of camphor toxicity happen rapidly (within 5 to 90 minutes), and can include burning of the mouth and throat, nausea, and throwing up. Other symptoms affect the nerve system, such as seizures, confusion, and muscular contractions, in addition to results on vision. [10]

Precautions to Take With Camphor

Safety measures must be taken when using Camphor in:.


Intake of Camphor may result in abortion as it has the ability to cross the placental barrier.


There is not enough info to know if Camphor can be used during breastfeeding.


Camphor may not be safe for use in kids. Children must not take Camphor by mouth, as ingestion of Camphor by children can lead to neurotoxicity and hepatoxicity. There have actually been reports of seizures in kids following consumption of Camphor.

Interactions With Other Drugs

It is essential to bear in mind not to utilize 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 suggestions is to be followed thoroughly, as their prescription is based upon keeping your health condition in mind. Please guarantee to reveal all medications recommended and currently being utilized to your medical professional at the time of consultation. [11]


Camphor has actually been utilized generally for many years, entirely or in mix with other treatments for the relief of discomfort, inflammation and irritation in body and skin. It can also be very efficient in treating and preventing some severe, life threatening illness. Thinking about the growing number of cancer patients, Cinnamomum camphora and its elements ought to be investigated even more as a viable alternative in the treatment of various kinds of cancer. In addition, more research studies on the application of camphor for clients with memory conditions and brain dysfunctions such as in Alzheimer’s and autism are required. [12]


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