Camphor is a terpene with a fairly strong aroma that is found in many different lotions, ointments, and creams. It is quite flammable and appears to be waxy. It has a number of beneficial uses such as pain relief, irritation, chest congestion, inflammatory conditions, and itchy skin. It is produced by steam distilling the wood of a camphor tree.
The anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties of camphor make it so widely used in so many products today. Skin infections are said to heal faster with its use. There was a study conducted in 2015 that revealed camphor to be an effective agent in treating people with wrinkles caused by UV rays, and this study is what lead researchers to believe it can be an effective agent in many anti-aging products. It is said to increase the production of collagen and elastin.
Another study in 2015 found that using a topical spray that contained camphor in it was useful for the relief of pain. Spraying the areas of the body that are in pain for up to 14 days is the recommended dosing and can be sprayed numerous times per day. Burns to the skin are also said to heal faster with products that contain camphor.
Many people in India use camphor for its scent in cooking and as an embalming agent. Using camphor on the skin may product a cool, yet tingly sensation. During the middle ages, camphor was widely used as a fumigant during the huge issues caused by the bubonic plague. One of the main uses of camphor today is as a cough suppressant and decongestant. Vicks VapoRub is an example of one of these products. It is even used in veterinary medicine as a respiratory stimulant that helps horses who are struggling to breathe properly.