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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.
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:
Sources: Robert Tisserand and The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1
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
Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition
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.
Blends to help relieve coughs, colds, or flu:
To help relieve the winter blues or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) diffuse this blend of essential oils:
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
Source: New Directions Aromatics
Photo Credit: KENPEI, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons