How safe is camphor?
Camphor is likely safe for most adults when applied on the skin in diluted forms such as in ointments, creams, or lotions. Camphor can cause some minor side effects such as skin redness and irritation. Do not rub the camphor-containing cream or lotion but apply it gently. Camphor in more than 11% concentration can be irritating. Keep camphor products away from sensitive areas such as around the eye or mouth. Do not apply camphor-containing products to broken or injured skin. Camphor gets easily absorbed through broken skin causing toxicity.
Do not eat camphor in any form. It is unsafe and can produce severe side effects such as:
- Burning of the mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vision disturbances
Taking camphor by the mouth can even turn deadly.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid any form of camphor. There isn't enough reliable information about its safety in this group of population.
Keep camphor-containing products away from children. If they consume them accidentally, it can lead to seizures and even turn life-threatening. Avoid using them for application on the child’s skin as well. Children tend to be more sensitive to camphor than adults.
Do not apply camphor-containing products if you have liver disease. It can make the condition worse.