Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Camphor: an herbal medicine causing grand mal seizures
  1. Theodore G MacKinney1,
  2. Kamal Raj Soti2,
  3. Poojan Shrestha3,
  4. Buddha Basnyat3
  1. 1Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal
  2. 2Department of Clinical Oncology, Nepal Academy of Medical Science, Kathmandu, Nepal
  3. 3Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Patan Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal
  1. Correspondence to Professor Buddha Basnyat, buddhabasnyat{at}


Camphor is usually used in the USA to repel insects, but it is widely used in other countries as an herb. We report the case of a 52-year-old previously healthy Nepali man who ingested approximately 10 g of pure camphor with therapeutic intention. He developed grand mal seizures, and was evaluated in an emergency room. He failed to recall the camphor ingestion initially, and was treated with phenytoin for new-onset idiopathic seizures. Examining physicians only later found out about his camphor ingestion. Finding the cause of new-onset seizures is often challenging for emergency room physicians, internists and neurologists. In addition to other well-reported causes of secondary seizures, herbal medications and supplements must also be explored.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.