Camphor oil is truly unique. It can ease stress, inhibit cancer cells (in vitro), and kill microbes. See what else it is good for.
Camphor Oil Properties
The botanical name of camphor is Cinnamomum camphora.
It is really close to the botanical name of cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), so be sure to check the name before buying the oil.
Color and smell
Camphor oil is clear to pale yellow and has a strong, mint-like smell. I find it smells like medicine and a little like eucalyptus oil.
What’s in the oil?
The composition of the oil really depends on the part of the plant used. If leaves are used, you’ll find camphor, which makes up 80% of the oil, eucalyptol, camphene, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, alpha-terpineol, alpha-phellandrene and borneol.
Camphor Oil Benefits
Camphor oil can ease stress, inhibit cancer cells, kill microbes and repel and kill insects.
It may ease stress
This 2014 study tested the sedative-like benefits of the oil on mental stress. It found the oil helped participants to recover faster from stress.
You can use lavender and sweet orange essential oils for stress too. See how to use them and ways to relieve stress here.
It may be anticancer
A 2013 study briefly mentioned that camphor essential oil was toxic to human breast cancer cells. But this is related to a lab study and not a clinical trial. So we don’t know for certain if the oil can help fight cancer cells in our body.
It is antifungal
Camphor oil has excellent antifungal benefits. Actually, this 2008 study proves these benefits and recommends the oil to treat fungal problems.
Camphor oil is insecticidal
You probably use camphor balls to keep moths and bugs out of your cupboards. Well, this oil has high levels of camphor in it. So you can definitely use it to repel insects.
These benefits are verified in this 2013 study. It showed the oil had excellent insecticidal activity against flies, ants, butterfly larvae, mosquitoes and midge.
A 2017 study also found it was effective for flour beetles.
Camphor Oil Uses
Camphor oil has traces of safrole, which is a known carcinogen. But the commercial oil is distilled to remove the compound. Check the GCMS test results to make sure your oil does not contain it.
Be sure to patch test the oil before using it on your skin.
Also keep the oil out of the reach of children and away from pets. It is toxic when ingested. Just a little can cause vomiting.
Finally, talk to your doctor before using the oil, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking special medication.
Where to buy camphor essential oil