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Guide To White Camphor Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

White camphor essential oil (Cinnamomum camphora) is a fragrance of warrior angels, states aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. She writes, "With the might of the angelic realms and the heavens behind it, camphor brings cleansing and purification." She goes on to say that emotionally the oil is uplifting, stimulating, and liberating.

Aromatherapy supplies with the words Guide To White Camphor Essential Oil Benefits and Uses and photo of camphor leaves.

Camphor is not only the name of an essential oil but also the name of a chemical component found in a number of essential oils. However, white camphor oil contains only a small amount of the constituent camphor.

Confusion also arises because the Cinnamomum camphora tree has three chemotypes that provide different essential oils:

  • Hon-sho (camphor chemotype) produces camphor oil
  • Ho-sho (linalool chemotype) produces ho wood oil, ho leaf oil, and shiu oil
  • Yu-sho (cineole chemotype) produces ravintsara oil

Sources: Robert Tisserand and The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1

Basic Camphor Facts

Plant family: Lauraceae

Production: A crude camphor oil is steam distilled from the wood, root stumps, and branches of the tree. The crude oil is then rectified (repeatedly distilled) and fractionated (divided) into four oils: white, yellow, brown, and blue oils. Only white camphor is safe for aromatherapy.
Aroma: Fresh, intense, woody.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Base to Middle.

Is white camphor safe to use during pregnancy? No.

Is white camphor essential oil safe for children? Some sources recommend not using the oil with children under age 10.

Cautions: If the oil becomes oxidized, it may cause skin sensitization

Main components:

  • (+)-limonene 44.2%
  • p-cymene     24.2%
  • alpha-pinene  8.9%
  • 1,8-cineole    6.5%
  • camphor       2.4%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

White Camphor Aromatherapy Benefits

Aromatherapy for Dummies: Camphor can help repel ants, fleas, and moths. Spray blends containing camphor essential oil on carpets and anywhere you may find these insects.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: White camphor may help relieve muscle injuries, aches, and pains; rheumatism; and colds and sinus problems. The oil also acts as an insect repellent.

375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols
: Camphor essential oil is a tonic and general stimulant. Its two primary uses are in a massage oil blend and for inhalation to support the respiratory system.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Use white camphor in skin care to reduce acne, oily skin, and spots and to repel insects. Also use the oil to relieve conditions of the muscles and joints, such as aches and pain, arthritis, strains, and sprains. This essential oil also supports the respiratory system.

Plant Therapy: This oil can help with a variety of skin concerns. You can use it as a spot treatment for everything from acne to bumps and bruises. The high 1,8 cineole content makes camphor excellent for helping support a healthy respiratory system. Camphor can also help relieve sore muscles and stiff and achy joints.

Therapeutic Blending With Essential Oil: Use white camphor in detergents, soaps, other cleaning products, and moth and insect repellents. The oil is clarifying, energizing, and purifying. This essential oil may also help relieve arthritis pain, muscle aches and pains, coughs, and colds.

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1: To help relieve arthritis and muscle aches and pains, consider blending white camphor with essential oils such as black pepper, eucalyptus, fir, ginger, kunzea, spiked lavender, peppermint, pine, rosemary, or tea tree.

To help relieve cold and flu symptoms and congestion, consider blending camphor with oils such as cajeput, atlas cedarwood, eucalyptus, peppermint, pine, rosemary, tea tree, or thyme.

White Camphor Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Blends to help relieve coughs, colds, or flu:

  • For a general boost when you feel a cold coming on, diffuse 1 drop white camphor, 4 drops lemon, and 2 drops clove in an aromatherapy diffuser.

  • For respiratory congestion, use a steam inhalation. Add 1 drop white camphor, 3 drops eucalyptus, and 2 drops lavender to a bowl of hot water. Place a towel over your head, close your eyes, lean over the bowl, and inhale the steam for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Place 1 drop white camphor and 1 drop eucalyptus into an aromatherapy inhaler and use throughout the day.

  • Use camphor in decongestant balms and cold rubs.

To help relieve the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) diffuse this blend of essential oils:

  • 2 drops white camphor
  • 2 drops bergamot
  • 2 drops geranium

Pain-Relief Bath

To help relieve aches and pains, mix 2 drops each of white camphor, rosemary and lavender essential oil with 1 tablespoon bath oil. Stir the blend into a warm bath for a relaxing soak.

Source: Base Formula

Circulation-Promoting Massage Oil

  • 8 drops camphor essential oil
  • 8 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 4 drops cumin essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamanu carrier oil

Source: New Directions Aromatics

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Photo Credit: KENPEI, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons