Health Benefits of

camphor

Cinnamomum camphora, commonly known as camphor, refers to a white waxy substance obtained from the bark evergreen camphor tree. Camphor is widely used for neurologic conditions and numerous other health ailments. [1] Camphor trees originated from the tropical regions of Eastern Asia and can be found in areas with dry and humid climates. [2] The Health benefits of camphor are listed down below.

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Anti-Inflammatory Property of Camphor

Camphor proves to be beneficial for different inflammatory disorders including inflammatory muscle pain and rheumatism involving inflammation of joints. Hexane, methanol, and ethyl acetate extracts of camphor inhibit the production and release of inflammatory mediators that include IL-1, IL-6, NO, INF-gamma, and PGE2. [3]

Antioxidant Property of Camphor

Ethyl acetate extract of camphor exhibits scavenging effects against free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Therefore, camphor is beneficial for modulating oxidative stress to the tissues. [3]

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Figure 2 demonstrates the radical scavenging activity of different. camphor extracts https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16182479/

Camphor for the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis

Camphor alleviates the severity of allergic skin reactions by acting on inflammatory signaling pathways. The outcomes of camphor treatment include reduction in the levels of IgE and alleviating the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Camphor treatment also reduces cellular infiltration of inflamed tissues and improves edema. This also improves the thickness of lymph nodes indicating restoration of lymphatic drainage. [4]

Analgesic Activity of Camphor

Camphor is commonly used as a topical analgesic along with menthol for the treatment of muscle and joint pain.  The analgesic activity is attributed to cineole and limonene. These chemicals inhibit leukocyte infiltration, production, and release of inflammatory mediators and cytokines, and suppress the activity of enzymes involved in the inflammatory pathways. Camphor alleviates pain in different health conditions including arthritis and bruising. [5]

Camphor for Pulmonary Conditions

Upper respiratory tract infections manifest as symptoms including cough, rhinorrhea, chest congestion, and difficulty during sleep. Application of camphor ointment on the chest and vapor therapy stimulate thermally sensitive receptors that improve airflow through nasal passages. People suffering from bronchitis experienced improved clearance of mucus and reduce rate of respiration. Improvement of respiratory rate and restlessness results in improvement of quality of sleep. [6]

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Figure 3 demonstrates the adverse effects of camphor vapor and petroleum https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3600823/