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Camphor is one of several essential oils (volatile oils) derived from natural plant products that have been used for centuries as topical rubefacients for analgesic and antipruritic purposes (Table II–19). Camphor and other essential oils are found in over-the-counter remedies such as BenGay, Vicks VapoRub, and Campho-Phenique. In addition, camphor is used for religious, spiritual, aromatic, folk medicinal, and insecticidal purposes, often in powder or cube form. Toxic effects have occurred primarily when essential oils have been intentionally administered orally for purported therapeutic effects and in accidental pediatric ingestions.


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