Camphor Essential Oil

Cinnamomum camphora (the camphor tree) is a large evergreen that is native to China, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea. It yields blackberries but it is the wood and the leaves of the tree which are used to distill essential oil. I have heard that the tree must be over 50 years old to produce the oil.

Distillation and pressing produce three types of camphor oil: brown, yellow and white. Only the white camphor oil is used in aromatherapy.

Camphor can be quite toxic so it is especially important that it is used and stored carefully. 

Years ago, people swore by the use of camphor for coughs and colds and for keeping flies out of the house. 

The oil is extremely good for clearing the lungs and although some say that it can be good for the skin, we would urge you to take great care.

Other uses for camphor which you are hopefully unlikely to need to know are as a remedy against the plague and as an embalming oil!

Great care should be taken if using this oil, it is very strong. 

People who should avoid it all together are pregnant and nursing women, children and people who suffer from epilepsy and asthma.

For the beginner in aromatherapy, I would say use only in an oil burner or vaporiser and in very small amounts.

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