Camphor has been used for treating cramps and pain in the legs for centuries. We make camphor oil at home, to use for pain and cramps. This camphor oil is a very handy remedy for pregnant women who suffer from leg cramps. During the last 3 months of pregnancy, when the baby gets bigger, the pressure on the blood vessels increases. This leads to reduced blood flow in the legs, which result in cramps. When I was pregnant with my son, I had this same problem. But there is a home remedy for this. Home made camphor oil gives good relief from the pain, as massaging with this oil increases circulation in the legs. There are two types of camphor. The natural ones that are derived from a tree called Camphor Laurel, we call it "Pachai karpooram" in Tamil. The synthetic ones are derived from a distillate of turpentine. We call it "Soodam" in Tamil. We use it in Poojas and it is not edible. For this remedy, we need synthetic camphor. Buy the camphor that come in individual packs in big chunks. In Northern India people use mustard oil for this remedy, but here we use coconut oil. You can also substitute sesame oil for this. This oil catches fire very easily, so please do it in medium flame and don't let it reach smoking point. Massaging with this warm oil gives good relief from pain and it also relaxes the body. Please do not use this camphor oil on open wounds, as it might enter the blood stream and cause poisoning.
1. Take camphor. Make sure to buy camphor, that comes in big size.
2. Pound it well, with the cover.
3. Heat coconut oil in a pan. Don't heat it to smoking point.
4. Once hot, add the powdered camphor.
5. Wait for the camphor to melt completely into the oil. Remove from fire and add the juice of 2 lemons.
This oil catches fire easily, so don't let the temperature of the oil reach smoking point.
This oil also can be used as a rub for chest congestion, due to cold. But don't add the lemon juice, if you are using it to treat chest congestion.
Massage, when the oil is still warm.
Add the lemon juice, after removing the oil from the fire.
One of my aunt uses this oil regularly for her leg pain. She was the one, who taught me to add lemon juice in this oil.