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Derived from the wood of camphor trees, which are scientifically known as Cinnamomum camphora, camphor oil is an aromatic substance that is used topically – meaning absorbed through the skin – for several health benefits. 

Before we get into these incredible benefits, however, let’s learn a bit more about camphor oil. Specifically, we want to discuss the precautions that should be taken with camphor oil and how to get the most out of it.

Camphor oil – what do the colors mean?

When it comes to this oil, you may have only heard of it as white camphor oil. This is because there are four grades and colors of camphor oil. These include white, brown, yellow, and blue. All but white camphor oil are toxic due to the fact that they contain a natural plant compound known as safrole. 

As such, you should only seek out white camphor oil. 

Other camphor oil precautions

Now that you know which type of camphor oil you should be using, how should you be using it? 

White camphor oil should only be applied to the skin, as ingesting it can cause sickness. It’s also best to only use white camphor oil that’s been diluted (not pure camphor oil), such as SomaLeaf Soothe, which contains water along with a wide range of other beneficial ingredients – click here to see the entire list! 

One last precaution is that it’s advised women who are pregnant or breastfeeding don’t use white camphor oil, as some research has indicated that it can cause birth defects. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding and interested in using white camphor oil for any of the benefits listed below, please consult with your doctor prior to use.

6 uses of white camphor oil

You’ll commonly find white camphor oil in vapor rubs, liniments, and balms. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties, allowing it to ease irritation, itching, pain, and inflammatory conditions. [1]

Let’s take a look at the research surrounding its many uses.

1. Eases eczema

More than 31 million Americans are affected by the skin condition eczema. Also known as “atopic dermatitis,” eczema is a noncontagious, inflammatory skin condition that is characterized by severe itching, redness, oozing, and scaly rashes. These symptoms can be painful and can cause changes in skin color and blisters. Allergies may also play a role in some patients’ eczema.

Thankfully, white camphor oil has been shown to help. One study found that the leaves of Cinnamomum camphora showed “remarkable improvement” in eczema symptoms, working as well as a common steroid medicine often prescribed for eczema. [2]

2. Reduces pain

You’ll often find white camphor oil in mixtures meant to alleviate pain, and for good reason. 

White camphor oil has been shown to reduce chronic muscle and joint pain. For example, one study from 2016 showed that white camphor oil helped relieve lower back pain. [3]

It works by stimulating circulation, interacting with receptors, and numbing, cooling, and then warming nerve endings. [4]

3. Calms headaches

Similarly, there’s some interesting research into white camphor oil’s ability to alleviate headaches. 

Like many essential oils, white camphor oil may help treat headaches – including migraines – by contributing to a calming atmosphere and promoting relaxation. [5]

One study found that white camphor oil specifically may work in alleviating migraines by suppressing pain-signaling pathways and weakening neurogenic inflammation. [6]

4. Relieves coughs and congestion

White camphor oil is quite popular in aromatherapy – a treatment option in which the aroma from oils like white camphor is inhaled – especially when it comes to relieving respiratory congestion. 

White camphor oil is known to have antitussive properties – meaning that it helps ease a cough caused by infection. [7]

As such, you’ll find the oil in many chest rubs meant to help with cold symptoms. 

5. Cares for first-degree (superficial) burns

In 2015, researchers analyzed the data from 2,000 people over 14 years who were involved in using white camphor oil to care for their superficial burns. 

The results indicated that the white camphor oil significantly helped with the treatment of the burns. Patients experienced a higher quality of life, less pain, and spent less time in the hospital than those with similar burns who did not receive the white camphor oil treatment. [8]

6. May help prevent or treat chronic disease

While all of the above already sounds incredible enough, there is also ongoing research into white camphor oil helping to lower the risk of disease or to help treat those already suffering from a condition. 

For example, a study from 2018 tested white camphor oil’s anti-tumor activity. They found that the oil helped the immune system eliminate skin tumors. [9]

Additionally, a 2013 review of white camphor research concluded that white camphor oil could help or prevent “serious life-threatening diseases.” They displayed optimism in future research into the oil being able to discover treatment options for several diseases, such as dementia. [10

The bottom line

All in all, white camphor oil is an amazing natural compound that can help reduce pain and skin issues by calming the nerves, bolstering immune cells, reducing inflammation, and more. 

This is why we put white camphor oil in our SomaLeaf Soothe roll-on stick. 

Our topical formula is designed to give you fast-acting pain relief using only the finest natural compounds known to science. Simply apply it to where you’re experiencing discomfort, and allow these compounds to penetrate the skin and bring you the relief you’ve been waiting for.

You can try SomaLeaf Soothe for 6 months RISK-FREE.

Click Here To Start Your 6 Month Trial Of All-Natural Pain Relief


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6629446/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6629446/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4968782/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25451841/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23196150/
  6. https://www.ijpsonline.com/articles/analgesic-effects-of-the-essential-oil-from-emcinnamomumcamphoraem-against-nitroglycerininduced-migraine-inmice-3831.html?view=mobile
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9568346/
  8. https://statperson.com/Journal/ScienceAndTechnology/Article/Volume14Issue2/14_2_13.pdf
  9. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/386789v1.full
  10. http://www.ijcasereportsandimages.com/archive/2013/002-2013-ijcri/001-02-2013-hamidpour/ijcri-00102201311-hamidpour-full-text.php