Camphor tree for camphor oil as a natural pain reliever

Camphor For Pain: Therapeutic Uses and Health Benefits

From aromatherapy to topical pain relief, camphor is a botanical that we can all use in our lives.

While you may not have heard of camphor before, chances are, you probably have it stored somewhere in your medicine cabinet. Popular items like Vicks VapoRub and many soothing topical creams include camphor as an ingredient. In fact, camphor oil and the camphor terpene (a diverse, typically fragrant class of compounds produced by plants) have been used for centuries for a variety of purposes, but today, it is celebrated for its ability to soothe aches and pains and provide natural pain relief.

When applied to the skin, camphor initially causes a cooling sensation, which soothes inflammation, redness, irritation, and muscular aches and pains. The cooling effect is then followed by a localized heating sensation which helps to promote healthy and healing blood flow to the site of application.

This is what you need to know about the therapeutic uses and health benefits of camphor:

What is camphor?

Camphor, or camphor oil, comes from the aromatic camphor tree, or cinnamomum camphora. It is distilled from the tree’s branches, chipped wood, and root stumps,. There are four classes of camphor essential oil – white, brown, yellow, and blue – but only white camphor oil can be used in medicinal and aromatic applications. It is a transparent white solid with a distinctive, menthol-like smell.

Camphor is classified as a terpene, which is a vast class of naturally occurring compounds that give plants their distinguishing flavors and fragrances. Before its introduction to Florida in the late 1800s, camphor already had a long history of use, primarily in China, Japan, and India for both religious and medicinal purposes. Today, camphor is used in holistic medicine, beauty and healthcare products, and as a fragrance and flavoring agent.

What are the uses for camphor?

1. Aromatherapy

Camphor’s lasting aroma, which is likened to that of menthol, can be described as cool, bright, and piercing. It is these scent characteristics that make it a popular choice for aromatherapy, particularly in instances where easier and deeper breathing is desired. Camphor is often used in vapor rubs for its unique ability to offer relief to both head and chest congestion.

2. Antispasmodic and pain reliever

Camphor is often found as an ingredient in natural muscle rubs because of its antispasmodic and relaxing properties. It is known to be effective at soothing muscle cramps, stiffness, and spasms.

Applying camphor topically is also an effective way to relieve pain and inflammation. It is also known to promote relaxation, reduce stress, boost immunity, and quicken recovery times.

3. Alleviate joint pain

Camphor and products containing camphor as an ingredient are shown to be successful in relieving the pain, inflammation, and swelling associated with joint pain. Applied to the skin, camphor initially causes a cooling sensation, followed by a localized heating sensation which helps to promote healthy and healing blood flow to the site of application.

4. Soothing agent for skin

Creams and lotions that include camphor are commonly used to lessen itchiness, reduce skin irritation, and improve the radiance and overall look of skin. A 2015 study showed that camphor was effective at reducing sun and ultraviolet light-induced wrinkles, so many anti-aging products include camphor as an ingredient. It is also known to increase elastin and increase collagen production.

To wrap it up, camphor offers many different health benefits when used properly, especially when used in combination with the four other active plant ingredients in Rightful Relief Cream. We’re giving you a powerful combination of 4% camphor, 4% menthol, 5% arnica, 5% calendula, and 4% hemp – making a cream that is 22% active ingredients. Five nourishing plant oils soothe the skin and help the active ingredients absorb quickly, without feeling greasy.

It’s important to remember, however, that camphor should never be ingested internally, as it can cause serious and unwanted side effects. As always, speak to your healthcare provider, herbal medicine doctor, or our on-staff pharmacist at if you have questions regarding the use of camphor.

If you have questions about camphor, or how it’s used in Rightful Relief Cream, reach out to our Customer Care Team or on-staff pharmacist at We’re always happy to hear from you.