I've got camphor! What can I do with it?

I recently came into possession of a small vial of pure camphor. There’s about five grams, most of it in a single crystalline lump.

It smells nice. What else can I do with it besides smelling it? Can I put it in my bath? (If so, how much?) Can I grind it up and mix it with mineral oil to make a balm? (If so, what ratio of camphor to oil should I use?) I’ve also heard that it can be burned as an incense; anyone have experience with this?

Is possessing camphor a rarity where you are? Is it hard to buy? When I was a teenager and an amateur chemist, I was able to buy a nice sized package at my local pharmacy. It came sealed in cellophane but I transferred it to a glass jar.

It was absolutely useless. I think I randomly added a bit to other more interesting substances (possibly hydrochloric acid, but my memory fails me) to see what would happen. I got bored. The stuff remained in that jar until my mother threw away my chemistry set when I was away at college. I didn’t notice for two years.

And what happened ? I’m not a chemist…

Nope. I got it from the pharmacy for a little more than a euro. It was one of those spur-of-the-moment things. Now that I’ve got it I have no idea what to do with it. But I am keen to try something.

You could do s’mores, canoeing on the lake and ghost stories.

That’s what we always used camphor…

Well, it smells nice, at least to some people.

It repels insects, if you want to, you can put it with your clothes.

Its an active ingredient in those cold and flu home remedies, vaporized in a vaporizer or rubbed on the skin to give you the vapors.

You can, in fact, even eat it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camphor#Culinary_uses

Bravo :slight_smile:

I have heard of it, but I don’t know it is or what it’s used for.

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38 amazing benefits of camphor

Camphor is also used in Hindu and Buddhist religious rituals. Grandma’s remedy: mix camphor with coconut oil and rub around the nose for relief from symptoms of cold. Mix camphor with coconut oil and apply to hair for various supposed benefits.

From that site (emphasis mine):

I’m so glad to learn that camphor is one of the main chemical components of camphor. :smiley:

The site also recommends camphor as an aphrodisiac, with a citation to a medical journal article that is actually about using camphor as an anti-flatulence treatment. I guess it’s true that farting in bed can be a real turn-off, so if you’re prone to doing that excessively then I can see how camphor could help your sex life.

To be fair, the journal article does mention the aphrodisiac use, but only in passing as background material. The same passage mentions that camphor is also an abortifacient; I can’t imagine why the authors of “38 Amazing Benefits Of Camphor” did not see fit to include this in their list.

Like I said, it was so unremarkable that I do not remember.

Get yourself some phenique (whatever the hell that is) and make your own ointment.

Is this some cultural reference I’m not getting? Like maybe a pun on a product name that isn’t marketed where I live?


This is what the packaging looks like.

Fantastic! Now all I need to do is get me some cold sores and I’m all set. :smiley:

Infuse it into some oil and rub it on John Brown’s baby’s chest - the poor tyke has been ailing a bit lately.