More of us who are in pain or physical discomfort are looking for topical, plant-based solutions to manage our daily needs, as these products can be applied daily to offer a targeted response without any known internal harm. One of the unsung heroes of the plant-based world until recently is camphor oil, which is making its way into more and more topicals on the market, and is especially popular as a supporting player, so to speak, in pain relief topicals.
Camphor oil uses are quite impressive and diverse, and many of us underestimate just how effective and helpful this plant derivative can be. Knowing what makes camphor oil unique from other herbs and botanicals can help us zero in on our particular issues and find what’s going to help us feel our very best in a holistic way.
What Is Camphor Oil?
Camphor oil is the essential oil extracted from camphor, which is a waxy, white flammable terpenoid found in the wood and bark of the camphor laurel, an evergreen tree that grows in East Asia. The oil comes in various grades, and anything other than white grade, which is a clear to milky-looking product, must be avoided due to its high presence of toxic compounds. That being said, companies that create camphor products work with white grade camphor to ensure that the product is safe.
Camphor oil has been used for thousands of years because of its many properties that apply to wellness, including an increase in circulation, help with inflammation and pain, and the potential to stimulate the senses as an aromatherapeutic.
What Are The Known Camphor Benefits?
There are many camphor oil uses, with camphor’s pain relief properties perhaps being the best known. If you’re wondering what camphor can offer to you, consider these known benefits.
Benefit #1: Anti-Inflammatory/Pain Relief Properties
Camphor is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and this is its most common use. The properties may relieve inflammation of the skin as well as inflammation within the deep tissue of the body when applied in the form of a topical, such as a camphor cream or balm. Studies have found that daily application of camphor helped those with osteoarthritis address their pain and mobility issues.
Benefit #2: Help with Spasms
Camphor has also been studied for its antispasmodic properties which could aid in muscle spasms by relaxing the muscular tissue of the body, again when applied topically. Applying it multiple times a day can reduce instances of spasming and the accompanying discomfort.
Benefit #3: Circulation, Warming, and Cooling
Camphor oil is, in fact, the active ingredient in many popular topicals, as it can increase circulation to painful areas to promote faster relief. Besides that, it offers a balance of cooling and warming sensations which can be felt deep within the muscular tissue, which can feel extremely soothing to those in pain while actually promoting a reduction of inflammation. Many topicals labeled as “cooling” or “warming” contain camphor oil.
Benefit #4: Skin Healing and Antimicrobial Activity
Camphor may offer the ability to help the skin heal itself faster following wounds. Studies found that applying camphor to the skin increased healing from second degree burns and minimized resulting scarring. This has yet to be tested on other types of wounds, but we do know that the properties of camphor are antimicrobial, which is why it may be useful in an effort to prevent infections. These same microbial properties could be useful among those who are looking for a natural solution for acne. Plus, camphor seems to have a role in addressing toenail fungus.
Benefit #5: Expectorant Properties
Camphor oil is a leading ingredient in a popular topical expectorant aimed at addressing congestion. It has expectorant properties that can loosen up mucus so that a person’s airways become clearer, enabling easier breathing.
Using Camphor For Pain: What To Know
Camphor’s most common use is pain relief, as we said earlier. So, how can you best derive this effect in particular out of camphor oil? We recommend choosing a topical product that contains active levels of camphor, which can be applied directly to troublesome areas of the body, where its properties will quickly absorb into the deep tissue below. Topicals are ideal firstly because consuming camphor orally can be dangerous, but also because it allows for the person to receive localized effects that target painful areas of the body in a concentrated manner.
Camphor topicals may or may not contain additional active ingredients that can further offer relieving effects, such as menthol, arnica, or essential oils known for analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s best to apply a topical at least once a day if you’re actively trying to relieve yourself of localized pain.
Finding The Best Camphor Oil Products For Pain Relief
Anyone out there seeking out camphor for pain relief, here are some key things to look for when shopping for a particular topical product. This will also ensure that the formula selected as likely to be effective as possible.
- Amount of Camphor: The list of ingredients on a product’s label is ordered according to the amount, meaning that the most abundant ingredients will be at the top of the list. Look to see where camphor oil is on a list of ingredients. If it’s all the way at the bottom, there’s a good chance that the product does not contain enough camphor for you to receive any camphor benefits.
- Other Ingredients: Pay attention to the other ingredients in a topical formula to avoid products that are loaded with fillers which ultimately dilute the potency of the camphor. Avoid harsh ingredients like alcohol, and ingredients that you have a known sensitivity to, as these ingredients can cause skin irritation or an unwanted reaction.
- Additional Actives: Many topicals that contain camphor oil also contain additional plant-based active ingredients, like menthol and arnica. All of these ingredients can work together to offer even stronger relief, so don’t be afraid to try a topical that contains multiple plant-based pain relievers.
- The Brand’s Reputation: Check carefully to make sure that a camphor product is produced by a brand that has a good reputation for their formulas. Look at reviews to see what customers have to say about their products, and make sure that the company is good at being transparent with customers when it comes to how they make their topicals.
Camphor Oil For Pain Relief: A Natural Option Worth Trying
Camphor is a powerful plant-based derivative that can offer all kinds of useful properties that relate to how we feel each day. But, perhaps camphor’s best benefit is that of pain relief, which can be quite profound and soothing. It can offer anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties while delivering a distinctive cooling and heating effect that works quickly to ease up tension in the muscles and joints.
At mx naturals, you can find numerous topicals that combine 100% natural ingredients with camphor, as well as other useful active ingredients.
- Camphor is an active ingredient in our activate heated body balm, along with peppermint oil and arnica, to offer fast-acting natural relief to aching muscles and joints.
- Our restore targeted healing lotion contains hyaluronic acid, arnica and colloidal silver along with peppermint and camphor to soothe the skin and sink deep into the deep tissue in just minutes.