zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Camphor & Pregnancy

by
author image Andrea Sigust
Andrea Sigust began writing professionally in 1994, authoring user-friendly manuals, reference guides and information sheets while working at a hospital. After years of working in industries ranging from health care to telecommunications, Sigust became a writer. She specializes in the sciences and holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Camphor & Pregnancy
Pregnant Photo Credit Sergey Borisov/iStock/Getty Images

Camphor is a substance that can be created in a lab or found naturally in the wood of the tree, Cinnamomum camphora -- also called a camphor tree. Camphor has a characteristically strong odor and is used in a wide range of products, from industrial lacquer to medical stimulants. It has chemical properties and side effects that may be a concern if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Where Do You Find It

According to Acupuncture Today, camphor is native to Asia, and was traditionally used as an insect repellent. While still used in repellents and moth balls, camphor is also commonly found in inhalants used to treat asthma, congestion and other respiratory conditions, as well as in topical pain relievers for muscle and joint discomfort. In addition to products available in herb stores, camphor is found in widely known over-the-counter products.

Cause for Concern

As NIH’s Toxicology Data Network reports, camphor is not classified as a human carcinogen, but it does have mild levels of toxicity, which primarily affects the body’s central nervous system and kidneys. In a study conducted by Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia, pregnant lab rats that were given camphor experienced varied degrees of bleeding and significant structural changes in ther uterus. While there haven’t been extensive studies on human subjects, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that camphor has been shown to cross the placenta, and therefore presents a potential danger to the fetus. Acupuncture Today.com points out that it’s recommended that those who are pregnant or breast-feeding avoid using camphor.

Excessive Dosing

According to Acupuncture Today, even for the general population, large doses can irritate the lining of the stomach, which can cause nausea and vomiting. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that overdosing or swallowing camphor can cause other symptoms such as slow breathing, skin irritation, excessive thirst and burning of the throat or mouth. In some cases, convulsions, muscle spasms, rapid pulse, and even unconsciousness may occur.

Treatment

In cases of overdosing, the University of Maryland Medical Center advises seeking immediate medical attention rather than using a home remedy. The center says that overdose patients may be given activated charcoal, undergo gastric lavage (washing out of the stomach) and receive breathing support, with monitoring of vital signs and treatment of each symptom as appropriate.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.