Information on Camphor

Latin NameCinnamomum camphora
Other NamesCamphora
Part UsedPlant Oil
Herb FormsEssential oil.
CautionsAvoid during pregnancy, Not for internal use. Do not apply to the face or nose of infants or small children.
Botanical InfoA tall tree which grows up to forty feet high with shiny camphor-scented leaves. A relative of cinammon and avocado.
DescriptionCamphor oil is used externally in moderate amounts for bronchitis, eczema, and as a steam inhalant for colds and lung congestion. It is a common ingredient in balms, ointments, and lotions. Camphor is also indicated for muscle pain, chills, fainting (use as a smelling salt), and sunstroke. Internally, camphor is used in Ayurveda, the ancient East Indian system of healing, and Traditional Chinese Medicine to strengthen and activate the nervous system and stimulate digestion. However, internal doses over 2 grams have caused convulsions, delirium, hallucinations, and death.

Camphor has a taste of SPICY, BITTER and a temperature of WARM.


OilExternal use

Ailments Treated by Camphor

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Faintingnervous system stimulantoil as an inhalant
Itchinganalgesic, antisepticsalves, creams for external use
Scabiescounterirritantoil externally
Muscles, soreanalgesic, counterirritantoil, externally


Blumenthal, Mark et al. 1998. The Complete Commission E Monographs. Austin: American Botanical Council.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Felter, H.W. and J.U. Lloyd. 1983. (1898). King's Dispensatory. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Weiss, R. 1988. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield Publishers.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.
Wehrbach, M. 1987. Nutritional Influences on Illness. Tarzana, CA: Third Line Press.