Camphor is a chemical that used to be made by distilling the bark and wood of the camphor tree. Today, camphor is usually made from turpentine oil.

Camphor has a very distinct smell. It seems to stimulate nerves and help with symptoms such as pain and itching. In the nose, camphor seems to create a cold sensation so that breathing feels easier. It's used in products such as Vicks VapoRub.

People use camphor for cough, pain, and itching. It is also used for insect bites, acne, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

Taking camphor by mouth is unsafe. Camphor products include camphorated oil or camphorated spirits. Camphorated oil was removed from the US market in the 1980s due to accidental poisonings.

View References

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.