May 4, 2016

Camphor

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How does Camphor work?

Camphor seems to stimulate nerve endings that relieve symptoms such as pain and itching when applied to the skin. Camphor is also active against fungi that cause infections in the toenails.

Are there safety concerns?

Camphor is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when applied to the skin in a cream or lotion in low concentrations. Camphor can cause some minor side effects such as skin redness and irritation. Do not use undiluted camphor products or products containing more than 11% camphor. These can be irritating and unsafe. Camphor is also LIKELY SAFE for most adults when inhaled as vapor in small amounts as a part of aromatherapy. Don't use more than 1 tablespoon camphor solution per quart of water.

Do not heat camphor-containing products (Vicks VapoRub, BenGay, Heet, many others) in the microwave. The product can explode and cause severe burns.

Camphor is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin in higher concentrations for a short time.

Camphor-containing products are LIKELY UNSAFE when applied to broken or injured skin. Camphor is easily absorbed through broken skin and can reach toxic levels in the body.

Camphor is UNSAFE when taken by mouth by adults. Ingesting camphor can cause severe side effects, including death. The first symptoms of camphor toxicity occur quickly (within 5 to 90 minutes), and can include burning of the mouth and throat, nausea, and vomiting.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking camphor by mouth is UNSAFE during pregnancy or breast-feeding. The safety of applying camphor to the skin during pregnancy or breast-feeding is unknown. Do not risk your health or your baby's. Avoid using camphor during pregnancy.

Children: Camphor is POSSIBLY UNSAFE in children when applied to the skin. Children tend to be more sensitive to the side effects. Camphor is definitely UNSAFE when taken by mouth. Seizures and death can occur if these products are eaten. Keep camphor-containing products away from children.

Liver disease: Taking camphor by mouth or applying it to the skin have been linked to potential liver damage. In theory, using camphor might make liver disease worse.


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

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