get two types of camphor in India, one is called Edible Camphor which
is got from plants and trees and the other is Synthetic Camphor. Camphor
whose scientific name is Cinnamomum Camphora is a white waxy substance
that is highly flammable and it has been used in India from ancient
times. Camphor tree is native to China, Mongolia, India, Japan and
Taiwan. Camphor is generally got from the Camphor Laurel tree which is
commonly found in Asia and also from Kapur tree. Along with these two
trees some other trees and plants like camphor basil and rosemary also
contains camphor in varying amounts. How is camphor made? To make
camphor, first the trees
in which the camphor is distilled should be at least 50 years old.
Camphor is got by steam distilling the bark and branches of camphor
laurel tree or kapur tree and then it is purified by sublimation. Camphor is also synthetically produced from oil of turpentine as it is much cheaper than camphor got from trees and plants. We
call the camphor got from the trees Pachai Karpooram in Tamil, Karpur
in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati & Bengali, Pachai Kalpooram in
Malayalam, Karpooram in Telugu, Karpoora in Kannada, Kappur in Punjabi
and Karpuram in Sanskrit. The
synthetically derived camphor is called just Karpooram in Tamil. We use
the synthetically derived camphor only during prayers and rituals and it is a
practice that has been done for centuries. Synthetic camphor is not used for medicinal purposes. We use the edible camphor
called pachai karpooram in cooking to add aroma to certain sweet dishes
and also in home remedies. Camphor Chemical Constituents: The main chemical constituents found in camphor
are camphene, a-pinene, b-pinene, sabinene, phellandrene, limonene,
1,8-cineole, p-cymene, camphor, y-terpene, terpineole, furfural,
linalool, bornyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol, caryophyllene, borneol,
cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, piperitone, geranial, methyl cinnamate and
safrole. Camphor Chemical Properties: Camphor has analgesic (pain
relieving), antiseptic, nasal decongestant, mild expectorant, counter
irritant, rubefacient (that causes increased blood flow to
the part of the skin it is applied), cough suppressant, anti spasmodic,
anti bacterial and anti fungal
and anti itching properties. Camphor is mainly used topically world
over and it is so famous because it acts as a mild anesthetic, increases
heat in the area applied and also because it has a
strong distinctive odor that opens up nasal passages when we inhale it.
Camphor easily enters our skin and into our blood stream and this can
happen through direct ingestion and inhalation of the vapors. Camphor
Essential Oil Benefits & Uses: Camphor essential oil is got by
steaming the wood, stump and branches of camphor tree which is then
rectified and filter pressed. After filter pressing, three different
types of camphor oil are produced. They are white, yellow and brown
camphor oil. The three oils vary in safrole content with brown camphor
oil containing around 80 % and yellow camphor oil containing around 10
to 20 % and the white camphor oil containing 8 % or less. Out of these
three only white camphor oil is used for therapeutic purposes and both
yellow and brown camphor oils are considered toxic and carcinogenic due
to the high amounts of safrole present. Even the white camphor oil
should be used with caution as it is a very very powerful oil. It is
mainly used for cold, flu, bringing down the inflammation, sprains,
arthritis, aches and pains and also as a wonderful insect repellent.
Camphor Oil: Plain camphor oil that is sold in Indian
markets is different from camphor essential oil, it is just camphor
mixed in a base oil at different concentrations and mostly only
synthetic camphor is used. So while buying camphor oil make sure to buy
only pure camphor essential oil. Edible Camphor | Pachai Karpooram
Benefits & Medicinal Uses: You will surprised to learn that
camphor solely or in combination actually acts as a suppressant for
certain types of tumors. It is also a radiosensitizer and treatment with
camphor before radiation actually reduces the tumor size. There are
many camphor based drugs that have been proven to be very useful for
treating chronic inflammations and cancers. Another important use of
camphor is in making of carbon nanotubes which are used as a drug
carrying vehicle for chemotherapy drugs to the cancer cells which are
then excreted. Carbon nanotubes were usually made from petroleum
products but now it is made from camphor which is an environmental
friendly hydro carbon. At
home, we use edible camphor both in home remedies and in cooking. We
dissolve edible camphor in oil and use it as a chest rub when suffering
from chest congestion, for treating inflammations, for treating fungal
and bacterial infections and we also use it to get relief from itching
caused by insect bites. In cooking, we add tiny bit of pachai
karpooram when we are making sweets especially ladoos. Pachai karpooram
is sold in air tight sealed plastic covers in India and when using
pachai karpooram always remember that little goes a long way. If you add
even a tiny pinch more, it will spoil the taste as the smell is really
overpowering. Synthetic Camphor Uses: We get synthetic camphor both in
small tablet form and as a single big chunk. We use the small tablets
for our prayers at home and the big sized camphor is used in temples.
One big problem with synthetic camphor is the black smoke it emits when
it burns so I have stopped using it daily and use it only on
special occasions. Synthetic camphor can be used as a insecticide, you
can mix a small piece of synthetic camphor in water and sprinkle but I
would highly suggest limiting the use of synthetic camphor. Camphor
Dosage: Usually for external application, concentration of 3 to 11 % is
suggested and if we follow this dosage we will not experience any side
effects. Taking camphor internally as a medicine is best done only under expert
guidance as the dosage is very important. Usually the toxic level is 50
mg per kg but the toxic levels can vary from person to person and for
children even .7 grams of camphor can be really toxic.
Effects: Camphor has amazing medicinal uses if used in the correct
dosage. We should always remember that camphor is highly dosage
dependent and after a certain dosage it becomes highly toxic. This
applies to external application, internal consumption and inhaling the
vapors. Also camphor enters into our blood stream very quickly so we
should never use camphor oil on broken capillaries. Pregnant women
should practice great caution when using camphor as it can cross the
placental barrier and affect the baby. Always keep camphor away from the
reach of kids. Over dosage can result in abdominal pain, nausea,
headache, palpitation and seizure, you can read the toxicity report of
camphor over dosage here. Varieties Of Camphor: There are varieties of camphor depending on the tree it is sourced from like Bhimseni Karpura, Japani Karpura and Ngai Karpura, etc. Out of these varieties, Bhimseni karpura got from Dyobalanops Aromatica is very significant as it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine and in rituals from ancient times. It is considered more powerful than other camphor varieties. Where To Buy Camphor? We get both edible camphor and synthetic camphor
tablets easily in the markets here in India. You can easily make camphor
oil at home but if you want to buy camphor essential oil, you can order
it online. If you want camphor powder, just powder the edible camphor
finely using a mortar and pestle. When storing both types of camphor,
make sure to store them
in airtight boxes and when using it on fire to make camphor oil be
careful as it is highly flammable….
25 AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS & MEDICINAL USES OF CAMPHOR FOR HAIR, SKIN, HEALTH & HOME:
CAMPHOR BENEFITS FOR SKIN:
1. Camphor For Itching:
If you suffer from itching and rashes, do this simple home remedy using camphor water. Take a piece of edible camphor and mix it with little amount of water. Wash the affected area with this homemade camphor water rinse. You will find the itching gradually reducing. But make sure not to use the camphor water on open wounds and cuts.
2. Camphor for Acne & Acne Scars:
Massaging the skin with few drops of good quality camphor essential oil along with a base oil will treat acne and acne scars very effectively. But never use camphor essential oil directly on the skin. Some good base oils are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil and wheat germ oil.
3. Camphor & Coconut Oil For Eczema & Psoriasis:
One of the main problems of eczema and psoriasis is the constant itching and camphor oil is very effective when applied on the affected area as it greatly helps relieve the itching. For the remedy take 2 tbsp of virgin coconut oil in a bowl, add in 3 drops of camphor essential oil to it, mix and apply. You can store this oil for months together and use whenever needed.
4. Camphor & Rose Water For Shrinking Open Pores:
Camphor has astringent properties and when applied on the skin helps shrink open pores. To use, take 1 pinch of edible camphor and mix it in 1/4 cup pure homemade rose water till the camphor crystals dissolve completely and store in a bottle. After cleansing your face, use this blend as a toner, it will greatly help shrink open pores.
5. For Toenail Infections:
For treating toe nail infections, take 2 to 3 liters of warm water in wide bowl large enough to immerse your feet. Add in a handful of neem leaves to it and finally add in few drops of camphor essential oil, mix well and soak your feet in it till the water turns cold. Since camphor has anti bacterial properties, it greatly helps treat and prevent toenail infections.
6. Camphor For Dark Circles:
For treating dark circles, mix 2 to 3 drops of camphor essential oil in 1/4 cup of cold pressed, unrefined castor oil and massage gently around the eyes. Regular use should fade away the dark circles soon.
7. Camphor For Skin Fairness:
Camphor greatly helps face dark spots and scars resulting in fair and glowing skin. But please remember not to go above 8 to 10 % concentration when mixing camphor to base oils. To use, mix 3 drops of camphor essential oil to 1/4 cup of unrefined coconut oil and massage gently all over the face for few minutes and then wash it off.
CAMPHOR BENEFITS FOR HAIR:
8. Camphor For Dandruff:
Camphor is amazing for treating dandruff in fact camphor is good for treating all scalp infections as it has anti bacterial properties. For treating dandruff, take 2 tbsp of sesame oil in an iron pan and heat till it gets warm. Now add in 2 drops of camphor essential oil and mix well. Use this mixture to massage your scalp. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes before having hair wash.
9. Camphor For Hair Growth:
Camphor improves blood circulation in the area it is applied and increased blood circulation strengthens the hair roots and greatly promotes hair growth. To use, you can use coconut oil and camphor essential oil blend as a pre-shampoo treatment or it can be applied in the night and washed off the next day morning.
10. Camphor For Hair Loss:
Camphor is great for arresting hair loss especially if the hair loss is caused due to scalp infections as it has wonderful anti bacterial properties. Also since it boosts blood circulation in the scalp, it strengthens the week hair roots thus arresting hair fall very quickly.
11. Camphor For Head Lice:
Camphor has amazing anti parasitic properties and it helps get rid of head lice very effectively. For treating head lice, remove the lice with a lice comb as much as you can. Now mix 1 tbsp of coconut oil with 2 drops of camphor essential oil and apply all over the scalp. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash it off.
CAMPHOR USES FOR HEALTH:
12. Camphor for Pregnant Women:
In India, we make camphor oil at home to treat pregnancy cramps. Mustard oil or coconut oil is heated with a pinch of edible camphor till it is fully melted. Once it cools down to lukewarm temperature, it is can be massaged on the legs. I followed this remedy regularly when I was pregnant with my son as I suffered from severe leg cramps during the last trimester.
13. Camphor For Sprains:
Since camphor reduces pain it can be used as a massage oil when we suffer from minor sprains. To use mix 2 to 3 drops of camphor essential oil in a cup of warm water. Dip a thick cotton cloth in the mixture, wring out excess and apply as a compress on the affected area.
14. Camphor For Chest Congestion:
If you are suffering from chest congestion, camphor will greatly help. This home remedy for treating chest congestion is very popular in India and it is very effective. To make the remedy, take mustard or coconut oil and heat it along with tiny pinch of edible camphor. When it is warm, rub it on the child’s chest and back to get good relief from chest congestion.
15. Camphor For Arthritis:
Since camphor reduces inflammation very effectively, it can be used by people suffering from arthritis to reduce the pain and swelling. To use, mix few drops of camphor essential oil in sesame oil and massage gently in the joints.
16. Camphor For Cold, Flu & Headache:
If you are suffering from fever, cold and headache, a warm massage on the forehead with homemade vaporub made with camphor essential oil will help. For making the balm, heat 1/4 cup of coconut oil and 1 tbsp of beeswax in a double boiler or in low flame. Once melted add in 5 to 6 drops of camphor essential oil and mix well. Pour into a glass jar, let it set and use.
17. Camphor For Muscular Aches & Pains:
If you are suffering from aches and pains which can happen when we over exert ourselves, a camphor oil soak will help. For the soak, take a handful of Epsom salt in the bathtub and fill in warm water. Now add in 3 drops of camphor essential oil and soak in it. You will find your aches and pains reducing very quickly…
18. Camphor For Nervous Depression:
Camphor has a soothing effect on our nerves. If you are feeling nervous or depressed, take a diffuser and add in few drops of camphor essential oil and switch on. The smell of camphor will greatly help ease the nervousness….
19. Camphor As a Pain Reliever:
Camphor essential oil can be used as a wonderful pain reliever as it has analgesic properties. If you are suffering from any kind of pain and inflammation, massage the area gently with coconut oil and camphor essential oil mix. But please don’t use it on open wounds and cuts….
20. Camphor For Cough:
If you are suffering from cough follow this remedy: Boil water in a wide pan, I use an inhaler for steaming. Add just a drop or two of camphor essential oil and inhale. It will greatly help with the cough but please don’t add too much of camphor essential oil.
21. Anti Neuralgic Properties:
Neuralgia is a condition in which sharp pain extends along a nerve or a group of nerves. Camphor oil is a wonderful home remedy for it as it helps relieve the pain. Massage the area with camphor and coconut oil blend…
CAMPHOR USES AROUND HOME:
22. Camphor For Ants:
Next time you have an ant problem in your home, don’t use harsh chemicals around your home. Dissolve a little edible camphor in some water and sprinkle over the area and see the ants vanish immediately. This is a very safe way to get rid of ants at home.
23. Camphor for Bed Bugs:
Camphor can be used to to effectively treat bed bugs. If you have bed bugs, wash the sheets and sun dry the mattress. Then take a large chunk of camphor and put it in a muslin bag and keep it between the mattress, this will drive away any left over bed bugs and prevent further attacks too.
24. Camphor Antiseptic Cleaner & Disinfectant:
If you want a natural disinfectant for your kitchen, all you have to do is take a cup of water in a spray bottle and add few drops of camphor essential oil to it and spray. You can use this to wipe away the surface weekly once to prevent insects and it also helps gets rid of germs. You can also dissolve 2 or 3 pinches of edible camphor powder in the water that you are going to mop the floor with…
25. Camphor For Cockroaches:
Camphor is great for getting rid of cockroaches too. For the remedy, boil a handful of neem leaves in a cup. Remove and add a small chunk of either synthetic camphor or edible camphor and spray on the areas where cockroaches are usually found. It is one of the best home remedies to get rid of cockroaches…..