(also known as Hon Sho)
Plant Origin: China
Method: Steam distilled wood and branches
Cultivation: Unsprayed (organically grown but not certified)
Chemical Family: Oxide
Aroma: Medicinal, camphorous, mothball-like
Key Constituents from GC/MS Analysis: Lot# CMP-102
"Camphor is the name of a tree, an essential oil and the name of essential oil constituents found in this and other essential oils. The crude extract from the tree contains about 50% of camphor. The crude camphor crystals are removed by filtration and then it is separated into four distinct 'essential oils' by fractional distillation. These fractions are known as white, brown, yellow and blue fractions. Because of the fractionation process, none of these can be classed as true essential oils. White Camphor is the most widely used therapeutically" (Tisserand/Young).
Children? Camphor preparations should be avoided on the facial regions of infants and small children, especially around the nasal area.
Pregnancy/Breastfeeding? No known hazards or contraindications (Tisserand/Young).
A drop or two on a cloth in a sealed container of food grains will keep the grain safe from insects. It is used in balms and rubs. It's cooling properties make it useful for internal and external inflammation and relieves aches and pain associated with arthritis and rheumatism.
White Camphor essential oil may support, aid, ease, soothe, reduce, calm, relax, promote and/or maintain healthy function of the following:
Aches and pains
Joint aches and pains
Muscle aches and pains
Skin inflammation, acne, oily skin
Blends well with:
(See Essential Oil Usage
for more information and a dilution chart
Dilute with a carrier oil
, unscented lotion
or unscented cream
and apply on area of concern or as desired. Consider using a roll-on applicator
for ease of application of prediluted oil. Camphor preparations should be avoided on the facial regions of infants and small children, especially around the nasal area. White Camphor does not contain safrole, so it is considered relatively non-toxic, non-sensitizing and non-irritating (Battaglia).
(usually combined with other suitable essential oils) or use a personal Nasal Inhaler
Not recommended unless advised by health care provider. One mL was lethal to a 16-month and a 19-month-old child.
Camphor preparations should be avoided on the facial regions of infants and small children, especially around the nasal area.
Because of Camphor's high limonene and a-pinene content, it is recommended that oxidation be avoided by storage in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Avoid contact with the eyes and other sensitive areas. Essential oils are both lipophilic and hydrophobic. Lipophilic means they are attracted to fat— like the membranes of your eyes and skin. They are also hydrophobic, meaning they do not like water. Applying a carrier oil will create another fat for the essential oil to be attracted to other than the membranes of the eyes or skin. Tisserand suggests: "With essential oils, fatty oil has been suggested as an appropriate first aid treatment, though the advantage of saline [eyewash] is that the eyes can be continually flushed, and this is less easy with fatty oil.” We are not aware of a case where essential oil in the eyes caused permanent injury or long-term discomfort, but if you feel concerned, please call your health care provider.
Julia Lawless writes in the Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (p.69) that White camphor is relatively non-toxic, non-sensitizing and non-irritating.
Robert Tisserand notes in Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Professionals 2nd edition that the only “hazard” with White Camphor is skin sensitization if oxidized.
Battaglia, Salvatore, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2002, pages 318-319.
Price, Shirley and Len, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, Third Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2008.
Tisserand, Robert; Young, Rodney, Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, Elsevier Health Sciences UK 2nd Edition 2014, page 228.
Worwood, Valerie Ann, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, New World Library, 2016, page 573.