Botanical Name: Cinnamomum camphora
Camphor is a waxy, white or transparent substance extracted from the wood of the Camphor Laurel tree, a large tree found in Asia.
Camphor is traditionally obtained by chopping the wood (into small chips and steaming them) of a Camphor Laurel that is at least 50 years of age. The steaming process causes crystals to form, which are then further processed and purified.
A single tree can produce as much as three tons of camphor oil. Camphor oil has a strong, aromatic scent and when applied on the skin, it produces a feeling of cooling similar to that of menthol and acts as slight local anesthetic and antimicrobial substance.
Health Benefits of Camphor:
- Camphor oil can help relieve nasal congestion and cough when rubbed on the chest.
- Camphor is used as an ingredient in tooth powders because of its anti-bacterial property.
- Camphor is used as an ingredient in throat lozenges and cough syrups.
- Camphor is also used in some anti-itch ointments, creams and cooling gels because it is can be absorbed through skin and is effective at treating pain locally.
- Camphor has an analgesic effect which makes it a favorite oil to be used in pain relieving massage blends for sore muscles and arthritic pain.
Culinary Uses: Added as flavoring for some sweets for it refreshing and cooling flavor.
- It is traditionally used as an embalming agent for the deceased.
- Its strong scent is believed to be toxic to insects and is thus sometimes used as a repellent.
- It is used as an ingredient in skincare products.
- It is used as material for production of a great number of commercial perfumery chemicals that are used in everyday household products and laundry soaps.
Caution: In large amount it is poisonous when ingested and can cause seizures, confusion and irritability.
“This post was originally published on January 3, 2012 @18:17”