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Camphor: properties, use and contraindications


Camphor is a substance much appreciated by many for its use in medicinal applications; it is extracted from a plant and is usually used to treat ailments such as colds, inflammation of the respiratory tract and a stuffy nose.

Camphor, characteristics

The scientific name of the plant derives from Laurus Camphora, a tree on the island of Borneo, in the Asian continent. Known throughout Europe since ancient times, camphor is widely used not only to treat certain diseases but also as an insecticide, antiseptic and deodorant. It is highly appreciated especially in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine.

The fresh and characteristic smell is immediately recognizable. Pure camphor is not available on the market, but we find it in different forms:

  • Camphor essential oil: used to practice fumigations, relieve stomach pain and reduce colitis
  • Camphor extract cream: used in massages to dissolve contractures.
  • Camphor preparations: for different uses.
  • Camphor tablets: as an anti-moth and deodorant for the rooms

Camphor, properties

Camphor cream is a powerful mucolytic: it can be applied on the chest to expectorate phlegm and help the cough disappear. However, it should be used with caution as some people may be allergic to it and develop irritation immediately after its application.

Another use is in the form of essential oil. For a deep cleansing of the pores of the facial skin we can take advantage of the antiseptic and vasodilating properties of camphor: just dilute 6 drops of essential oil in 50 grams of any natural face cream and spread on the face before going to bed and in the morning before wash. This compound is particularly suitable for acne-prone and oily skin. Camphor ointment, on the other hand, is excellent when applied to insect bites, due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Camphor essential oil, where to buy it

You can buy the essential oil in the most well-stocked health food stores or through online purchases. For the sake of completeness, we would like to point out a product with an excellent value for money, it is a 10 ml bottle of 100% pure camphor essential oil from Naissance, offered on Amazon at a cost of € 6.49 with free shipping. The manufacturer is British and is popular for using only natural raw materials.

Regardless of where you will buy thecamphor oil and its price, make sure you choose a 100% pure and unadulterated product. In aromatherapy, the effectiveness of a treatment depends entirely on the quality of the product used.

Contraindications to the use of camphor

In general, commercially available tablets are not dangerous, given the low concentration of this substance is so low. But if camphor is ingested, it is very toxic, it can even be lethal. Inhaling camphor can also be very dangerous, but only if done in large doses. Symptoms of poisoning are: vomiting, nausea, palpitations, excessive agitation, convulsions, hallucinations, collapse.

It is preferable to use it for short periods and in moderation to avoid unpleasant effects. Its use is not recommended for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people suffering from epilepsy or Parkinson's.

Camphor should absolutely not be applied to:

  • Open wounds
  • Scratches
  • Sensitive skin
  • Nostrils
  • Facial skin

Camphor does not help lose weight!

On the internet, many blogs write that taking camphor helps lose weight by reducing appetite and eliminating water through urine and perspiration. There are no serious medical studies that confirm the use of camphor in weight loss diets and, above all, the doses needed to achieve this effect are dangerous.

How is camphor used?

We have already specified that camphor should be used in small quantities, in any case it is good to always follow the directions recommended by the package. It can be used in many ways:

  • Diluted in olive oil to relieve rheumatic pains
  • Diluted in mild soap against arthritis.
  • In hot water to make fumigations.
  • Dissolved in the cream against muscle pain

Camphor in household cleaning

Camphor essential oil can be used to disinfect the floor: just add a few drops of oil to the water and it can also be used to disinfect curtains, carpets and blankets, just pour a few drops into a sprayer full of water. It is also a valid natural remedy against moths in closets.

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Video: Camphor - Cleanse your Home and Yourself (October 2021).