3 Historical Uses of Camphor That Could Work Even Today

History has borne witness in proving the multifaceted qualities of camphor. Right from Ayurveda to modern medicine camphor has proved its usefulness greatly. Let's explore some historical applications of camphor that can be used even today. 


Camphor has posed as one of the most common ritual ingredients throughout time. Here are a couple of its uses:

  • Camphor or kapoor has been burnt as an offering to the deities of the Hindu religion, a practice that is common even today by burning camphor tablets.
  • Camphor has immense astrological significance too. It is believed that burning camphor can bring prosperity to your home and ward off evil energy. An imbalance of Pitta and Kapha doshas arising out of wrongly positioned stars is also said to be balanced with the help of camphor.

Physical uses

Here are a few of the many physical uses of camphor:

  • Camphor trees were known to keep exotic termites away in Indonesia. Today, camphor sticks and liquid vaporizers are commonly used as mosquito, cockroach and even rat repellents at home.
  • The Chinese referred to camphor perfume as "dragon's brain perfume" due to its pungent and portentous aroma. Also, camphor was a common ingredient in perfumes in the ancient Arab period. Now, bhimseni camphor is widely used in aromatherapy to freshen up surroundings by slowly vaporizing it on an electric kapoor daani or ceramic diffuser.

Medicinal uses

The many medicinal uses of camphor are still prevalent today. Let’s explore some of them below.

  • Camphor was used as a fumigant during the Black Death, a deadly plague across Europe in the 14th century. It was also used during the outbreaks of chickenpox and cholera. Today, camphor sticks are placed in kitchen cabinets, wooden storages and shoe racks so the belongings stay fresh and the pests stay away.
  • Throughout history, camphor has been used as a balm and liniment and such usage can also be seen today in camphor-based creams.
  • For centuries, camphor was used as a stimulant to enhance the heart and peripheral circulation. During a cardiac failure, the subcutaneous injection of camphor in sterile oil caused the surface of the skin to become flushed, dilated the peripheral blood vessels and improved the whole circulation. Today, camphor essential oil serves a variety of purposes.
  • Over the centuries, camphor has been used in traditional medicines, most commonly as a decongestant. Camphor essential oil is still used to unblock nasal passages for relief from cough and cold.
  • In ancient Sumatra, camphor was used to treat sprains, swellings, and inflammation. Camphor also was used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for various purposes. While camphor creams are used for similar purposes today, a camphor handwash and camphor sanitizer also combats bacterial infections and eliminates viruses.
  • Since ancient times, Ayurveda has been a prominent part of the world and camphor is one of the many elements that have contributed to medicines throughout history, which is even practiced today.

Camphor has rarely seen such steep popularity. In fact, it is encouraged to keep camphor at home for its many uses. Get your own set of camphor products from House of Mangalam. We serve the purest of camphor with varied products for your own health and comfort. Place your order today!