While it may not be the first essential oil that comes to mind, ho wood has been used in Asian medicines for centuries as a treatment for respiratory disorders. This is due to the high camphor content, which also makes it suitable for many other applications. With a chemical content similar to rosewood, there are several proven benefits and uses of ho wood essential oil.

Looking for the Best Ho Wood Essential Oils?

What does Ho Wood essential oil smell like?

Ho wood shares many similarities with oils like rosewood without being an endangered resource. This includes the benefits to skin and overall health but also that of the scent. It can be described as woody since it is distilled from the twigs and leaves of a tree. There are some light floral notes as well, making it an excellent base to mix with other light florals.

There is a significant chemical presence of camphor, the same chemical found in mothballs or chest rubs for colds. This makes ho wood the right choice for using with respiratory problems; however, it is not overpowering and can be hidden behind other scents such as bergamot.

6 Major Benefits and Uses of Ho Wood Essential Oil

1. Treat Rheumatic Disorders

There are many different kinds of rheumatic disorders, but they can all be characterized by the onset of inflammation, usually in the joints, ligaments, or tendons of the body. This is accompanied by swelling, redness, and pain, and may become progressively worse as time goes on. These diseases often interfere with your quality of life and sometimes require the use of medicines with their own undesired side effects. Using oils like ho wood can help reduce the inflammation that forms in and around the joints, allowing for reduced pain and swelling, allowing for more freedom of movement. Ho wood may also ease any pain left by swollen joints. (1)

Use ho wood with a carrier oil to create an oil that can be rubbed directly onto areas of inflammation or pain, such as hands and feet. It has a cooling sensation followed by a warmth that can soothe inflamed joints.

2. Repel Insects

Insect infestations are one of the universal problems of the world, whether it be in the home or food productions areas such as farms. One of the main constituent chemicals found in ho wood essential oil is camphor, which has been used in native cultures and commercial production for repelling insects. Camphor is the main ingredient found in mothballs, keeping old wool blankets and clothing from being eaten while in storage. This oil has also been shown to keep away other pests that might get into your food without poisoning the food itself. (2)

Use 1-2 drops of ho wood oil on cotton balls and place around your house where you are likely to find pests, including inside chests and drawers.

3. Prevent Fungal Contamination

Plant products go into almost every product we use, including essential oils. When plants are harvested to be made into other products, such as medicines or herbal remedies, there is a time during storage when they are vulnerable to being infected by different types of fungi. At times this fungus can still be present even after processing, which can cause illness after you use the end product. Ho wood essential oil has anti-fungal properties that have been shown to prevent the growth of this fungus without causing the side effects that may accompany a commercial fungicide. (3)

4. Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress, with most people able to cope easily with little outside help. However, anxiety can sometimes become overwhelming, and the body does not process the hormones that cause this reaction. The hormones remain long after they are required for the situation. Certain chemicals found in essential oils like ho wood have a sedative effect. One large constituent is linalool and has been shown to cause relaxation after stressful situations. (4)

Diffuse ho wood oil during times of stress, including sickness. It has properties to ease coughing, and having an anxiety-free environment can promote faster healing.

5. Increase Libido

Any number of factors can act against your libido, including stress or even medical issues. Ho wood has been shown to act in multiple ways that may increase your libido. It has a warming sensation on the skin, as it increases blood flow. This may impact any physical limitations. The scent has also been shown to induce a relaxed state of mind, so any nervousness regarding intimate situations can be reduced. It can also be a pain reliever if chronic pain is interfering with your arousal. (5)

Ho wood pairs with other oils that can help increase arousals such as lavender and ylang-ylang. Add 1-2 drops to a bath before initiating intimate acts to enjoy a relaxing scent as well as increased blood flow.

6. Ease Respiratory Distress

Respiratory distress can be caused by chronic medical issues or just temporary illness. Either way, a symptom such as coughing, and congestion can be painful and distressing. Ho wood is comprised of the chemical camphor which has long been used to ease breathing issues. Many over the counter medicines contain camphor as well. Ho wood has been shown to help increase blood flow throughout the body and reduce inflammation found in the lungs. Applied topically, it can also relax muscles that are sore due to coughing. It also helps to release phlegm and clear congestion. (6)

Add 1-2 drops to a warm shower, so enjoy a sinus-clearing shower and ease coughing.

What is the Best Ho Wood Essential Oil?

When looking for an oil that has the best properties of ho wood, you would be presented with a lengthy list of candidates. To help narrow down the choices, we searched and tested several varieties for several applications. These are our top three picks recommended below.

Plant Therapy Ho Wood Essential Oil

Chemical, GMO, and synthetic dye-free, this oil has the KidSafe seal given by the company for oils that are appropriate for use with the entire family. This makes it ideal for use with your children when they need relief from the sniffles or coughs. You may want to use this only in your diffuser, as it may not be safe to apply directly to a child’s skin.

Best for: Kids and Families



Plantlife Ho Wood Essential Oil

When looking for essential oils to be used in and around your house, you want oils that are chemical-free and have been made from a material that has been grown in the best possible environment. This oil meets that criteria and would be suitable for diffusing during times of illness or mixed with other floral scents to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Best for: Diffusing Throughout the House


Mountain Rose Herbs Ho Wood Essential Oil

This company has worked with local farms to produce oils made from organic plants. This makes an essential oil that is free from harmful pesticides that may carry over. This oil is recommended for use in making products such as skincare or even perfumes.

Best for: Topical Products


My Favorite Uses For Ho Wood Essential Oil

Ho wood essential oil is one of the scents that has a high level of nostalgia for me. Its scent is a subtle mix of a floral and camphor. This always reminds me of the old chests my grandmother would keep her quilts in. She would only pull them out for us when we came to stay the night. Any other time they remained safely ensconced in mothballs and cedar lavender sachets to help combat the slightly medicinal smell of the camphor.

As much as I dread allergy season, I look forward to using products like ho wood around my house as I try to combat the sneezing and coughing that comes with plant pollen and the mold that has been hibernating all winter. I know that ho wood helps to control the mold with antibacterial properties, so its a bonus to loosening the congestion in my chest and sinuses.

Ho wood also blends well with floral scents such as lavender or citrus oils like bergamot. This is essential in helping to keep the anxiety that comes with allergies in check. I am often quite anxious about what symptoms I’ll have, how long they will last, and if I can find any relief. Diffusing this oil in the house helps not only shorten the symptoms but also the stress that comes with the season.

Recommended Ho Wood Oil-Based Products

1. Punch Skin Care Daily Skin Repair Oil

Upgrade Your Skin with Punch Skin Care Premium Daily Skin Repair Facial Moisturizer | All Natural...
  • ✔ 7 BENEFITS IN 1: You’ll see results! Our premium, Daily Skin...
  • ✔ LIFETIME GUARANTEE : Yes… We said it, A lifetime guarantee. We...

Many health and beauty products are using the benefits of essential oils to promote a more natural approach to caring for your body. This product harnesses the power of several oils, including ho wood to help fight the damage done to skin cells by the everyday environment. It can also combat any infections that may arise, such as acne caused by trapped bacteria in the pores. This may help the skin retain moisture without over-drying as well.


2. doTERRA – HD Clear Foaming Face Wash

doTERRA - HD Clear Foaming Face Wash - 1.7 oz
  • doTERRA HD Clear Foaming Face Wash is a natural formula containing...
  • Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Eucalyptus, Geranium, Litsea, and Ho Wood...
  • Active Licorice Root extract provides high-performance support for...

Your face is what you present to the world, and taking care of it should include gentle cleansing to help control the natural oil found on your skin. This can help prevent the occurrence of skin issues such as acne or eczema. Essential oils such as tea tree and ho wood help reduce inflammation and help skin cells prevent damage from free radicals or even repair the damage that has already happened.


Caution of Ho Wood Essential Oil

  • Do not use ho wood oil on broken skin. Due to its camphor content, it may be easily absorbed and can lead to toxic levels.
  • Use in small concentrations due to its potency.
  • Children should not use ho wood essential oil topically. Inhalation is safe with small amounts of vapor.
  • Always dilute ho wood oil in a carrier oil. Use only the smallest amount needed to receive benefits.
  • Do not take ho wood essential oil by mouth. It may cause liver damage, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Always choose quality Ho Wood essential oil from reputable suppliers.


I hope you enjoyed learning about a less common essential oil that still has several benefits for your health. Please be sure to share this information with anyone who is looking for natural ways to help with respiratory issues or even to spice up their time in the bedroom.