Camphor essential oil. cinnamonum camphora. is often used for depression, insomnia, shock, respiratory problems, oily skin and pains. Apply it immediately in a cold compress to reduce swelling of bruises and sprains. Camphor has a strong, penetrating, fragrant odour, and is slightly cold to the touch like menthol leaves; locally it is an irritant, numbs the peripheral sensory nerves, and is slightly antiseptic; it is not readily absorbed by the mucous membrane, but is easily absorbed by the subcutaneous tissue. It combines in the body with glucuronic acid, and in this condition is voided by the urine. Authorities vary as to its effect on blood pressure; some think it raises it, others take an opposite view; but it has been proved valuable as an excitant in cases of heart failure, whether due to diseases or as a result of infectious fevers, such as typhoid and pneumonia, not only in the latter case as a stimulant to circulation, but as preventing the growth of pneumococci.
Camphor comes from a tall, handsome, evergreen tree growing up to 30 meters high, in China, with many branches bearing clusters of small white flowers followed by red berries. The crude camphor oil is collected from trees in crystalline form. The essential oil is produced by steam distillation from the wood, root stumps, and branches and then rectified under vacuum and filter pressed to produce three fractions, known as white, brown and yellow camphor, with white camphor being the one used for aromatherapy.
Camphor essential oil. cinnamonum camphora. blends well with the following essential oils: frankincense and neroli (orange blossom).
Camphor oil cautions - Brown and yellow camphor (containing safrol) are toxic and carcinogenic. White camphor does not contain safrol and is relatively nontoxic, nonsentizing, and nonirritant. Always dilute with a carrier oil before use. Do not use if pregnant.
Camphor essential oil properties - Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, counterirritant, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, rubefacient, vermifuge.