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Essential Oils

Ho Wood Essential Oil – A Familiar Scent with a Range of Health Benefits

Ho Wood essential oil comes from Cinnamomum camphora, otherwise known as the camphor laurel. This is also known as true camphor or the camphor tree and is native to eastern Asia. Today, the tree is found in many other parts of the world, including Australia, the southern United States, southern Europe, southern and eastern Africa, and some oceanic islands with warm climates. 1

The camphor laurel is a large and sprawling sort tree and can grow to be very tall. It is covered with rough bark that is often scaly and gives off a strong odor. Though it produces leaves, flowers, and fruit, it is the bark and twigs of the tree that is needed to make the essential oil. 2

Its woody and floral scent, marked by hints of camphor, makes this one of the most actively-harvested plants. Though many are unfamiliar with the name “ho wood,” it is one of the most recognizable scents because of its relationship to camphor.

camphor tree

Chemical Properties

The wide range of benefits that ho wood essential oil provides comes from its chemical constituents, some of which include. 3

Ho wood grown in Japan and Taiwan is particularly high in linalool, constituting about 80 to 85 percent. Linalool is a chemical intermediate, meaning that it allows for reactions with other substances. This makes it particularly effective for stimulating skin cell growth and acting as an antibacterial and pest-repellant. 4

Camphor is another key player in the chemical makeup of ho wood essential oil and provides antispasmodic, antiseptic, decongestant, and sedative properties. 5

Nerolidol, a sesquiterpene alcohol that provides many plants with its floral odor also is also known for its antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. 6

Uses for Ho Wood Essential Oil

Naturally, Ho Wood essential oil does much more than simply smell nice and can provide a range of health benefits as part of your daily routine. 7

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Improves circulation

  • Acts as a natural disinfectant, germicide, and insecticide

  • Improves digestion

  • Eliminates gas in the digestive tract

  • Increases libido

  • Relieves muscle spasms

  • Detoxifies the body

  • Reduces arthritis pain and symptoms

  • Alleviates stress and anxiety

  • Relieves congestion

Ho Wood Infographic

How To Use Ho Wood Essential Oil

Because Ho Wood is a thin and watery oil, it is very easy to use.

To use the oil, you can simply mix up to 15 drops in a bath with some Epsom or Himalayan salts, which can help clear the sinuses and support improved circulation.

Putting it into a diffuser is also a good way to enjoy its aromatic qualities. When using this oil in aromatherapy, the scent of ho wood essential oil pairs well with bergamot, basil, cedarwood, frankincense, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, rosemary, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang essential oils.

Be aware that when using this oil for aromatherapy, proper ventilation is always necessary because of the potency of this oil.

Additionally, the oil can be used topically by mixing to 15 drops of essential per ounce of carrier oil and applying with gentle massage movements. 8

A good skin and neck formula using this essential oil includes:

  • 8 drops of ho wood essential oil

  • 1/2 ounce rosehip seed oil

  • 1/2 ounce argan oil

Blend together and dab along the face and neckline to enjoy the anti-aging properties this blend provides, which has the added benefit of being suitable for all skin types. Alternatively, add a few drops of ho wood essential oil to your preferred massage oil.

Safety and Precautions

Because of the potency of ho wood essential oil, it is important to be mindful to use this essential oil sparingly. Also, keep in mind that it is important to dilute it with a carrier oil if using it topically and diffuse it a properly-ventilated room if using it aromatically.

To avoid adverse skin reactions, conduct a patch skin test before using the oil topically on larger areas of the body.

As with all essential oils, use of ho wood essential oil is discouraged if you are pregnant or nursing.


A wonderful resource for those who appreciate natural remedies and the benefits of aromatherapy, Ho Wood essential oil should be among your most trusted oils.

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