Uses of Camphor Oil

Camphor oil is derived the wood of the camphor tree.

Medicinal Uses

It is extracted from the wood by distilling it and separating it from the wood pulp. The tree grows mainly in China and other subtropical Asian countries and southern Europe. In the United States, it can be found in Florida and California. The strongly scented oil can be toxic: care should be taken to use it safely.

As an essential oil, camphor oil is used to treat many common medical conditions, including acne and respiratory illnesses, such as colds or bronchitis.

Skin Care

Camphor oil is often recommended as a home remedy for oily skin. Many high-end skin care products include it among their ingredients.

Cooling Agent

Some over-the-counter cooling creams and anti-itch products include camphor oil among their active ingredients because it cools the skin.

Religious Uses

Hindus use camphor oil in many of their religious ceremonies and rituals. For many centuries, it was used for indoor ceremonies, but more recently its use has been mainly restricted to outdoor ceremonies because of carbon deposits the oil leaves behind.

Repellent

Because camphor oil has such a strong odor, it is sometimes used as an insect and moth repellent. It is also thought to deter snakes.

About the Author

Anna Aronson began working as a journalist in 2000 and spent six years at suburban Chicago newspapers before pursuing freelance work. She enjoys writing about health care topics, in particular obstetrics, pediatrics and nutrition. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and is now studying for a Master of Science in medicine degree to become a physician's assistant.