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White Camphor Essential Oil
The term camphor can apply to Camphor Essential Oil, but it can also apply to the tree that the wood is distilled from. It can also apply to the specific constituent known as camphor. When discussing or reading about camphor, it's important to understand whether it's the whole essential oil that is being discussed or if it's the constituent.
The chemical constituent known as camphor is a ketone. Interestingly, White Camphor Essential Oil contains only a trace to a small percentage of the constituent camphor.
White Camphor Essential Oil is a rectified oil. To produce the oil, crude camphor is collected from the trees and is steam distilled into fractions, namely white camphor, brown camphor, yellow camphor and blue camphor. [Sources: Maria Lis-Balchin, BSc, PhD, Aromatherapy Science (United Kingdom: Pharmaceutical Press, 2006), 135. Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 111.]
When sourcing White Camphor Essential Oil, it is crucial that you purchase it from a highly reputable source, and be certain that you are obtaining White Camphor Essential Oil. Brown Camphor Oil and Yellow Camphor Oil contain significant quantities of the toxic constituent safrole and are not safe for use.
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Strength of Initial Aroma
Fresh, intense, woody. Its aroma is somewhat eucalyptus-like due to its high cineole content.
Camphor Essential Oil Uses
Muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, cough, bronchitis, colds, acne, rashes, parasitic skin infections, contusions, bruises, insect repellent. [Valerie Ann Worwod, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016, 573.]
[Private Communication: Burfield, 2003. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 228.]
Due to its 1,8 cineole content, it is best not to use Camphor Essential Oil around young children.
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The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.
General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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