Camphor Essential Oil

CamphorType of plant: Evergreen broadleaf tree growing to 100 feet with rough bark, glossy fragrant leaves, a profusion of white flowers, and black berries

Part used: Chipped wood and roots

Method of extraction: Steam distillation

Data: This plant is sometimes called camphor laurel. Camphor has been in use for many centuries in Asian medicinal systems, especially in China. In India and elsewhere, lumps of crude camphor used to be worn around the neck to ward off infection and parasites.

Principal places of production: China, Indonesia, Japan

When buying look for: A colorless liquid with a characteristic camphor aroma. Only the white camphor essential oil is used in aromatherapy; yellow camphor or brown camphor should never be used.

Therapeutic properties: Anthelmintic, antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, expectorant, stimulant

Therapeutic uses: Muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, muscular injury, chesty cough, bronchitis, colds, sinus problems, acne, rashes, parasitic skin infections, contusions, bruises; stimulating, insect repellent

Blends well with: Basil linalol, birch (silver), black pepper, cedarwood, chamomile german, cinnamon leaf, clove bud, elemi, eucalyptus radiata, frankincense, ginger, immortelle, lavender, manuka, marjoram (sweet), niaouli, peppermint, pine, ravensara, rosemary, tea tree, thyme linalol, yarrow

Precautionary advice: Avoid during pregnancy and while breast-feeding. White camphor should not be confused with brown or yellow camphors, both of which are toxic.