Plant Part: Wood
Description: The Camphor tree can grow up to 35 meters (100 feet) and camphor is found in every part of the tree. C. camphora is an evergreen tree looking not unlike linden; it grows to a great size, is many branched, flowers white, small and clustered, fruit a red berry much like cinnamon.
Color: Colorless to pale yellow
Common Uses: The therapeutic properties of Camphor oil include the following: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, cardiac, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, insecticide, laxative, rubefacient, stimulant and vulnerary. Camphor oil can be used in the treatment of nervous depression, acne, inflammation, arthritis, muscular aches and pains, sprains, rheumatism, bronchitis, coughs, colds, fever, flu and infectious diseases. It is a well-known preventive of moths and other insects, such as worms in wood; natural historycabinets are often made of it, the wood of the tree being occasionally imported to make cabinets for entomologists.
Blends well with: Basil, Cajuput, Chamomile, Lavender and Melissa, Caraway; Pennyroyal; Rosemary
Extraction Method: Steam distillation. Camphor oil is extracted by steam from the chipped wood, root stumps and branches. It is then rectified under vacuum and filter pressed. White camphor oil is the first distillation fraction.
Aromatic Scent: The essential oil of Camphor has a strong, penetrating, fragrant odour.
Pharmacology - The main chemical components are: Cineol, Camphor, Borneol, Camphene, Menthol, Borneol, Pinene, and Dipentene.
History - In China and Japan, Cinnamomum camphora can often grow as old as a thousand years. To produce oil it must be at least 50 years old. Camphor was well known as a remedy against the plague in Persia (now Iran). It was also used in embalming. The Chinese used camphor wood to build ships and temples because of the durablility of the woods and aromatic properties.
Contra-indications - Camphor oil is powerful oil and should be used with care. Overdosing can cause convulsions and vomiting. Pregnant women or persons suffering from epilepsy and asthma should not use it.
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