Oil Of The Month: White Camphor

by Penny Price September 29, 2022 7 min read

Oil Of The Month: White Camphor

Camphor Essential Oil is distilled from the Cinnamomum camphora tree and is also known as White Camphor or Laurus Camphor. Camphor Essential Oil is native to Japan and Taiwan, and it is also known as Japanese Camphor and Hon-Sho oil. Camphor is also cultivated in China on a massive scale. Introduced to Florida in the late 1800s, vast quantities of White Camphor Essential Oil is still distilled there. When the benefits and applications of White Camphor Essential Oil grew in popularity, the cultivation eventually spread to more countries with tropical climates that are favourable to the rapid but healthy growth of the trees, including Egypt, South Africa, India, and Sri Lanka. Early varieties of Camphor Oil were extracted from the wood and bark of Camphor trees, but producers eventually became aware of the benefits of avoiding cutting down of the trees, as they realised that the leaves were far better for extracting a good amount of oil on a yearly basis, and that they had a quicker rate of regeneration (although today it is distilled from the branches and root stumps).

White Camphor Essential Oil TraditionalUses

For centuries, Camphor Essential Oil has been used by the Chinese and the Indians for both religious and medicinal purposes, using the vapours, which were believed to have healing effects on the mind and body. In China, the sturdy and fragrant wood of the Camphor tree was also used in the construction of ships and temples. When used in Ayurvedic treatments, it was an ingredient for medicine for colds, coughs, vomiting, and diarrhoea. It was found that White Camphor Essential Oil was beneficial for everything from skin ailments such as eczema, to problems associated with flatulence, to stress-related concerns, including low libido. Historically, White Camphor Essential Oil was also used in medicine to treat speech impediments and psychological disorders. In 14th century Europe and in Persia, Camphor was used as a disinfectant ingredient in fumigations at the time of the plague as well as in embalming procedures.

The Camphor tree is a tall evergreen tree, growing up to 30 meters high, not unlike the linden. It has many branches bearing clusters of small white flowers followed by red berries. It produces a white crystalline substance, the crude camphor, in the wood of mature trees.

Obtaining White Camphor Essential Oil

Camphor Essential Oil is steam distilled from the branches, root stumps, and chipped wood of the Camphor Tree, then it is vacuum rectified. Next, it is filter pressed and fractionally distilled, during which process the 4 fractions of Camphor Oil – White, Yellow, Brown, and Blue – are produced. Of course, this does mean that White Camphor Essential Oil is not a whole oil, but in this case, better that, than have a toxic oil that is unusable – and White Camphor Essential Oil does have many benefits, including helping to prevent flu.

White Camphor Oil is the only safe colour grade that can be used in therapeutic applications, both aromatic and medicinal. This is because Brown Camphor and Yellow Camphor both contain high levels of Safrole content, a constituent that has toxic effects when found in amounts as high as those present in these two varieties. Blue Camphor is also considered to be toxic.

The scent of Camphor Oil is described as clean, intense, and penetrating, and the aroma itself is ideal for getting rid of insects such as moths, midges and mosquitoes, hence the reason it has traditionally been used in mothballs to keep pests out of fabrics.

About White Camphor Essential Oil

The Latin name of White Camphor Essential Oil Cinnamomum camphora, is not to be confused with Ho Essential Oil – which is Cinnamomum camphor act linalool, and a very sweet rosewood scent, so do always check the botanical name of both when purchasing.

White Camphor Essential Oil is from the Lauraceae family, which is why it is also known as Laurus camphor oil. The oil itself is a colourless to pale yellow liquid with a sharp, pungent camphoraceous odour, that needs a small dropper on the bottle so it doesn’t flood out.

White Camphor Essential Oil Properties

White Camphor Essential Oil is a long- standing traditional preventative of infectious disease; a lump of camphor would be worn around the neck for protection. It was also used for nervous and respiratory diseases in general, as well as for heart failure! However, in its crude form it can be very poisonous in large doses and has been removed from the British pharmacopoeia for orthodox medication.

White Camphor Essential Oil is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, counter-irritant (soothing on skin for eczema, hives, etc.), diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, rubefacient, and vermifuge. The essential oil can be used for acne, inflammation, oily conditions of the skin, spots and also for insect prevention (flies, moths etc). White Camphor Essential Oil is also really good for arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains, bronchitis, shingles, coughs, colds, fever, flu and infectious diseases.

What Does White Camphor Essential Oil Blend Well With?

White Camphor Essential Oil blends really well with Lavender French, Geranium, Ho leaf/wood and Ylang ylang, and really lightens and lifts a heavy blend. The oil is relatively non-toxic, non-sensitising and non-irritant. The main chemical constituents are cineol (as found in eucalyptus globulus), pinene, terpineol, menthol, thymol and, unlike yellow and brown camphor, no safrole.

White Camphor Essential Oil for the Respiratory System

Used in aromatherapy, White Camphor Essential Oil is known to offer relief to a congested respiratory system by clearing the lungs and addressing symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia. It also boosts circulation, immunity, convalescence, and relaxation. With anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, Camphor Oil is also known to help protect against contagious viruses such as Covid-19 and Flu, alongside the common cold. Especially useful for maintaining health in flu-season, use daily in a vaporiser.

Used in aromatherapy applications, White Camphor Essential Oil’s lasting scent, which is similar to that of menthol and can be described as cool, clean, clear, thin, bright, and piercing, is known to promote fuller and deeper breathing. For this reason, it is commonly used in vapor rubs for its ability to offer relief to a congested respiratory system by clearing the lungs and addressing symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia.

White Camphor Essential Oil for Inflammation

Used topically, the cooling effects of Camphor Essential Oil soothe inflammation, redness, sores, insect bites, itching, irritation, rashes, acne, sprains, and muscular aches and pains. Using White Camphor Essential Oil in a compress topically on sites of pain, arthritis, rheumatism and sprains is extremely beneficial, and will cool the sites, giving long-term pain relief.

White Camphor Essential Oil for General Health and Wellbeing

Used topically, White Camphor Oil stimulates and boosts the circulation, digestion, excretion metabolism, and secretions. It reduces the intensity of physical pain, nervousness, anxiety, convulsions, and spasms. Its refreshing and relaxing scent is also known to stimulate and boost the libido. It boosts immunity and aids in convalescence and relaxation, especially for those who suffer from nervous ailments such as hysteria. Additionally, White Camphor Oil is reputed to address some symptoms of epilepsy. When the oil is combined with any of the following, it is known to contribute to a blend that is aromatically appealing and far-reaching for general health: Sweet Basil, Cajeput, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Melissa, and Rosemary essential oils.

White Camphor Essential Oil for Skin Health

When applied to minor burns, rashes, and scars, White Camphor Oil is known to reduce their appearance, while calming the skin with its cooling sensation. It’s astringent property tightens the pores to leave the complexion looking firmer and clearer. It’s anti-bacterial quality not only promotes the elimination of acne-causing germs, it also protects against harmful microbes that can potentially lead to serious infections upon entering the body through scrapes or cuts.

White Camphor Essential Oil for Hair and Scalp

Used in hair, Camphor Essential Oil is known to reduce hair loss, boost growth, clean and disinfect the scalp, eliminate lice and prevent future infestations of lice, and improve texture by contributing smoothness and softness.

Let’s Make Recipes with Camphor White Essential Oil!
You may like to try some of my recipes as below, and if you do, please do give us feedback on how they worked – we love hearing from you!

The Anti-Flu Body Lotion

To help keep the flu-bug away, or to treat existing flu use the recipe below:

97ml White Lotion
1ml White Camphor Essential Oil
1ml Pine Essential Oil
1ml Pimento Essential Oil

Blend all the oils well into the lotion and put into a 100ml wide-neck bottle with pump. Apply to the body once a day after a warm shower, and to the chest area another twice a day.

The Anti-Flu Vaporiser Oil

Use the following in a 10ml bottle with dropper, then add 5-10 drops to a vaporiser to run through the day and night.

3ml White Camphor Essential Oil
3ml Lavender French Essential Oil
2ml Geranium Essential Oil
2ml Pine Essential Oil

Sprains, Aches and Pains Blend

For an effective pain-relieving body lotion for arthritis, rheumatism, aches and pains, sciatica and for helping sprains, use the recipe below. In a 100ml jar with cap use:

80ml Blending Cream Base
12ml Aloe Vera Gel
5ml Arnica Carrier Oil
1ml White Camphor Essential Oil
1ml Roman Chamomile essential oil
1ml Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil
1ml Plai Essential Oil

Put the Blending Cream, Aloe Vera Gel and Arnica in a small basin and whisk together. Add the essential oils and stir well, then transfer to the jar, clean the edges and put the lid on. Use during the day whenever needed on painful areas of the body. Also use in compresses over sprains, and painful areas of the body

Antiseptic Shower Gel for Keeping Bugs Away

This is a really good way to keep flu away and for helping insect bites!
In a 100ml bottle with pump top blend the following recipe:

99ml Bath Foam Base
15 drops White Camphor Essential Oil
8 drops Pine Essential Oil
7 drops Geranium Essential Oil

Put the bath foam into a small bowl and add the essential oils. Stir well and then, using a funnel, put the blend into the bottle and apply the lid. This can take some time so be patient! Use first thing in your morning shower.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog. We love to hear from you so do give us feedback on the blog and the recipes, and how they have worked for you or your clients. All the products mentioned are available from www.penny-price.com or you can phone your order through or get advice on 01455 251020. If you are interested in training with us, please call, or email Lizzie on courses@penny-price.com. Thank

Penny Price
Penny Price

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