What Is Camphor Good For?

May. 12, 2021

Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) is a terpene (organic compound) that’s commonly used in creams, ointments, and lotions. Camphor oil is an oil extracted from the wood of the camphor tree and processed by steam distillation. It can be applied topically to relieve pain, irritation, and itching. Camphor is also used to relieve chest congestion and inflammation.

Products containing camphor

Most camphor products come in the form of creams, ointments, or balms that can be applied to the skin. You can find sprays and liquid bath soaks. Some anti-itch and shaving creams contain camphor. Some beauty products such as facial cleansers and nail polishes contain camphor.  It is also a common ingredient in mosquito repellents. 

Camphor

Camphor

What does camphor do?

Camphor has a wide range of topical uses due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to treat skin conditions, improve respiratory function and relieve pain. Read on to learn more about the different uses of camphor and the scientific evidence of its uses.

Camphor Bark

Lotions and creams containing camphor are used to relieve skin irritation and itching and may help improve the overall appearance of the skin. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties and may be used to heal infections. 2015 trusted source animal study found camphor to be effective in treating wounds and UV-induced wrinkles, making it a potential ingredient in anti-aging cosmetics. This may be due to its ability to increase elastin and collagen production. Use camphor cream on areas you want to treat at least once a day.

Reduce coughing

Used in aromatherapy applications, Camphor Oil can be added to an electric diffuser to promote decongestion. To provide soothing relief to the nose and throat to diminish the discomforts of coughs and colds, simply diffuse 2-3 drops of Camphor Essential Oil.

Relieves pain

Applying camphor to the skin helps relieve pain and inflammation. A small 2015 Trusted Source study found that sprays containing camphor, menthol, and natural ingredients such as clove and eucalyptus essential oils were effective in relieving mild to moderate pain. Spray the spray onto joints, shoulders, and lower back for 14 days. You may feel a tingling, warm or cool sensation when using camphor products. Apply camphor spray or ointment to the affected area several times a day.

Healing burns

Camphor balsam and cream can be used to heal burn wounds. A 2018 trusted source animal study found that creams containing camphor, sesame oil, and honey reduced healing time in second-degree burn wounds and were found to be more beneficial than using petroleum jelly. To use, apply the ointment to the affected area once a day.

Antispasmodic

Camphor products may also be used as a muscle rub. It may help relieve muscle spasms, cramps, and stiffness. A 2004 study found that camphor has antispasmodic and relaxing properties. Use several times a day to massage muscle rubs on your sore muscles.


Camphor has the potential to bring many benefits to your health if it’s used properly. Make sure you always follow Camphor manufacturers’ instructions and use exactly as directed. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns regarding the use of camphor. You can also discuss any health issues you are intending to treat with camphor.