Camphor plantCamphor has been used as a culinary spice, an ingredient in gunpowder, an insect repellent, a flea killing substance, a component of incense, and – most important for our purposes – a medicine.

Medicinally, it is typically used in topical creams, lotions, and oils. Camphor works to relieve pain and reduce itching, and does so in an interesting way: it acts as a “counterirritant”, mildly irritating the skin in order to draw blood to the area of application. By increasing blood flow to an injured area, pain and irritation are reduced, and injuries are healed more quickly.

Topical applications of camphor are used to treat muscle aches, osteoarthritis, cold sores, insect bites and stings, coughs, skin irritation, osteoarthritis, and even fungal infections. While some people take small amounts orally to treat coughs, clear congestion, and reduce intestinal gas, camphor is toxic to ingest, and health care professionals warn against this practice.

Camphor is abundantly available. It can be found in the leaves or bark of several trees in the laurel family, but is most commonly extracted from the wood of the camphor laurel – a large evergreen that grows in many parts of Asia. Camphor laurels are huge trees with long life spans; they can grow to be 100 feet tall, and some still alive today are estimated to be over 1,000 years old!

Camphor is a natural, effective substance that we’re proud to include in KhaliliTM Natural Pain Relief Cream.