What Is Camphor Oil and How Does It Work?

Help – It’s 2 am, and you’re still awake. You’ve been coughing all night and are now online, desperately seeking a solution.

You can calm your angry cough in several ways, each with its own benefits. Over-the-counter cough medication is a commonly chosen solution, but if you don’t want the side effects of cough syrup, then an alternative option is the natural route. If you want to go the natural way, this is where camphor oil shines.

So lie back and keep reading because we will tell you the solution you’ve been looking for. Here’s what to know about how camphor oil can help you.

What Is Camphor Oil?

Camphor is an organic compound derived from the Camphor Tree (Cinnamomum camphora). It’s native to Japanese and Taiwanese forests, and as its popularity has increased globally, it’s now growing in several more countries—for example, South Africa, Egypt, Sri Lanka, and India.

People use camphor for several reasons, such:

  • Relieving congestion
  • Irritation
  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Inflammatory conditions

Camphor oil is safe if you use it according to product directions. Excessive use can lead to adverse side effects, so using camphor responsibly is vital. This oil is typically used as an ingredient in lotions, vapour rubs, ointments, and creams, making it convenient and easy to use.

It’s an aromatic oil derived from many parts of the Camphor Tree, such as the branches, chipped wood, and root stumps. This process is done via steam distillation before being vacuum rectified and filter pressed. This process produces four different types of camphor essential oil.

Camphor Oil Grades

Camphor is produced in several grades and colours; however, only one is approved for therapeutic and medicinal use. The four grades are:

  • White
  • Brown
  • Yellow
  • Blue

The brown, yellow, and blue grades are toxic, and only white camphor oil that ranges from colourless to pale should be bought and used.

Brown and yellow grade camphor oil contains high levels of safrole. This is a natural plant constituent, and it’s this component that causes these grades to be toxic. Blue camphor is the fourth and final toxic grade of camphor oil and should also be avoided.

Camphor Oil Benefits and Uses

People have used camphor oil for decades, and several studies suggest that camphor oil has both therapeutic and medicinal benefits. You can use camphor oil for many reasons, which we will review in more detail below.

Congestion and Coughs

One of the most popular reasons to use camphor oil is for congestion and coughs. Camphor essential oil is a great way to clear your sinuses and help you breathe easier.

To help with congestion, you can use a camphor essential oil in an aromatherapy application inhaled into your respiratory system. In the case of coughs, you can apply camphor oil to the chest via a vapour rub which helps ease chest irritations. This relief can be beneficial at night when you need rest.

Pain Relief

Not everyone knows you can use camphor oil to relieve pain, but it can help. Camphor oil is an ingredient commonly used in medications that aid in muscle pain relief and, when used, provides a cold feeling to the applied area.

This is because when applied to the skin, camphor oil has a heating and cooling effect that interact with your nerve endings and can help with joint and muscle pain. This heating and cooling increase circulation to the affected area. This increased circulation promotes healing.


You might find relief using camphor oil as an acne treatment or if you have itchy skin or problems like eczema or dermatitis. This is because of the anti-bacterial properties that camphor oil has.

However, there are a few things you need to know before applying camphor oil to your skin. For example, you shouldn’t apply to broken skin and only use skincare camphor oil products with no more than an 11% concentration.


Relieving headaches is still a new benefit that is still currently being researched. Studies in mice have shown that camphor essential oil affects the pain-signalling pathways of the brain and weakens neurogenic inflammation. Speaking to a medical professional before using camphor oil to relieve your headache is recommended.

Soothes Burns

Another benefit of using camphor oil is how well it soothes burns. You would use a balm or a cream and apply gently to the affected area once a day. If irritation occurs, then stop and consult your medical practitioner.

Camphor Oil FAQ

We’ve put together our best camphor oil questions and answers. If you still have questions about camphor oil, this FAQ should help.

How Do I Use Camphor Oil?

It’s most commonly applied as a topical product, like a cream, 3 – 4 times daily. You can also rub it on your chest at night as a vapour rub.

Can I Use Camphor Oil While Pregnant?

No. While there are no definite studies, medical professionals don’t recommend using products containing camphor while pregnant.

Is Camphor Safe for Infants?

Unfortunately not. You want to keep all camphor products strictly for persons over 2.

Does Camphor Oil Have Side Effects?

Yes. It can be fatal if ingested into your system, and symptoms can begin within 5 minutes. You also should consult your health provider before using camphor oil if you’re already on medication.

Harness the Power of Camphor

Camphor oil has been around for centuries and is proven to aid in specific ailments. You can use it in your skincare routine as an acne treatment or for itchy skin, use it as a vapour rub and apply it to your chest at night to help calm a harsh cough and a good night’s rest. Camphor oil can be toxic if ingested, so ensure you buy white camphor oil and use it responsibly.

If you want premium natural essential oils, visit our online shop today. Using only the finest ingredients and harnessing the magic power of plants, we create luxury products for you to indulge in.