Question:

Does camphorated oil burn fat?

– Margaret

Answer:

Camphor is an insoluble, waxy, flammable, white or transparent solid with a strong aroma (typically from Asian evergreen trees or basil) that is used in skin balms and liniments.

You may get a different answer from a company or person promoting sales of it, but nutritionally camphor oil has NO proven effect on weight status, metabolism or body fat. Oral intake is not recommended as side effects include mouth and throat burning, nausea and vomiting. Ingestion of camphor can lead to coma and death.

Note that in the 1980s, “camphorated oil” (20% camphor in cottonseed oil) was removed from the US market because of safety concerns. Use of products containing more than 11% camphor is not recommended.  Diluted camphorated oils are only for topical or aromatic use in the treatment of infections, cold/cough, and respiratory disorders, sleeplessness, skin conditions, pain and swelling.

Resources:

  1. CAMPHOR WebMD 8/24/2018 https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-709/camphor
  2. CAMPHOR PubChem Open Chemistry Database 8/24/2018 https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/d-camphor#section=Top

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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