Alcanfor, Camphora, Camphre, Camphre de Laurier, Camphre Gomme, Camphrier, Cemphire, dl-Camphor, dl-Camphre, Formosa Camphor, Gum Camphor, Kampfer, Karpoora, Karpuram, Laurel Camphor, Spirit of Camphor, 2-Bornanone, 2-Camphanone, 1,7,7-Trimethylbicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-one.
Camphor products can be rubbed on the skin (topical application) or inhaled. Be sure to read the label to find out how the product should be administered.
People apply camphor to the skin to relieve pain and reduce itching. It has also been used to treat toenail fungus, warts, insect bites, cold sores, hemorrhoids, and osteoarthritis.
Camphor is applied to the skin to increase local blood flow and as a "counterirritant," which reduces pain and swelling by causing irritation. Some people apply camphor to the skin to treat diseases of the airway and to treat heart symptoms. Camphor is also applied as an eardrop and for treating minor burns.
It is important not to apply camphor to broken skin, because it can enter the body quickly and reach concentrations that are high enough to cause poisoning.
Some people inhale camphor to reduce the urge to cough.
Although it is an UNSAFE practice, some people take camphor by mouth to help them cough up phlegm, for treating infections of the airway, for treating low blood pressure that occurs when standing up, and for intestinal gas (flatulence). Experts warn against doing this because, when ingested, camphor can cause serious side effects, even death.
Camphor is a well-established folk remedy, and is commonly used. Camphorated oil (20% camphor in cottonseed oil) was removed from the U.S. market in the 1980s because of safety concerns associated with accidental intake by mouth. It continues to be available without a prescription in Canada.
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