Latin name: Cinnamomum camphora
Other name: Cemphire
A Remedy For
Blood pressure problems
In Asia, Camphor is also used for
asthma, indigestion, inflammations, and
What It Is; Why It Works
Camphor is an active ingredient in
such familiar over-the-counter remedies
as Vicks VapoRub and Mentholatum
ointment. Rubbed on the skin,
Camphor stimulates circulation. Its
inhaled vapors reduce bronchial
secretions. When taken internally,
it combats bronchial spasms, improves
breathing, and promotes circulation.
In years past, cakes of Camphor were
used as a moth-repellent. It was
once popular as a remedy for stomach
and bowel complaints, but fell out
of favor due to the danger of
overdose, which can easily prove fatal. It was once believed to prevent infectious
disease, a fallacy that probably sprang
from its strong odor.
Camphor is an import from Japan and
Taiwan, where it's distilled from the
wood of the camphor tree, a large
There are no medical conditions that
preclude the use of Camphor by
adults, but Camphor salves should
not be used on infants.
External application of Camphor can
cause skin irritation and even lead to
poisoning through inhalation. Eczema
(a skin inflammation) occasionally
appears after application of oily
salves containing camphor.
Possible Drug Interactions
No interactions have been reported.
Special Information If You Are
Pregnant or Breastfeeding
No harmful effects are known.
How To Prepare
Camphor is used primarily in salves.
However, solid and liquid preparations
can be used for inhalation or taken
For external use, concentrations of
Camphor in salves should not exceed
25% for adults and 5% for children.
When taken internally, the usual daily
dosage is 30 to 300 milligrams.
As little as 1 gram can be lethal
for a child. In adults, a dose of 20 grams can prove fatal. Symptoms of
overdose, particularly in children, include intoxication, delirium, spasms, and
breathing disturbances. If you suspect
an overdose, seek medical attention