Origin: A waxy, transparent solid blessed with a strong, aromatic odor, camphor is found in the wood of the camphor laurel tree. Synthetically, it can be produced from oil of turpentine.
In 1903, Gustaf Komppa first synthesized camphor. Post this, Komppa began industrial production in Tainionkoski, Finland.
The word camphor comes from the French word camphre that in turn is derived from Medieval Latin camfora. This comes from Malay kapurBarus meaning "Barus chalk." Indian and the Middle East traders bought camphor from Malay merchants and addressed it as Kapur, "chalk" courtesy its white tint. In Sanskrit, the word Kapoor denotes Camphor.
China, India, Mongolia, Japan, and Taiwan are home to the camphor tree. This aromatic tree is also grown in the Southern United States.
During the Tang dynasty, camphor was used as flavorings in sweets. Even the ancient and medieval Europe, used it as a significant ingredient in sweets. In Asia, it was used for medicinal purposes as well as a flavor-enhancing ingredient. Every Hindu ritual calls for burning camphor.
Ayurveda highlights the plentiful medicinal properties of camphor. It uses camphor to address respiratory problems, digestive issues, blood purification, skin ailments, cholera, burning sensations, etc. Ayurveda classifies camphor as a biter, cold, light, useful to the eyes, aphrodisiac, declinesKapha, and Pitta and eliminates foul odor.
Scientifically: A large number of studies have been conducted to analyze the values of camphor. Traditionally, it has been applied as a remedy for pain, inflammation and irritation. For decades, it’s loved for its decongesting and pain-relieving abilities.
Some of the recent research on camphor talk about its role in preventing life-threating diseases such as cancer. Research on Lauraceae family signals that extracts are loaded with antioxidant, anti-inflammation and anti-tumor activities.
It is quickly absorbed by skin lending a cool feeling thus acting as an anesthetic and antimicrobial substance. Camphor is considered a very good cough suppressant. Beauticians use a tiny amount of camphor in clarifying masks.
Fungal infections, cold sores, hemorrhoids, and osteoarthritis are also addressed using camphor. Respiratory tract diseases and heart disease symptoms are cured with camphor. In addition, it is also used as an ear drop. The consumption of camphor by mouth is highly unsafe. Yet, some people continue to do the same to cure cough up phlegm.
Please bear in mind, never to apply camphor on broken skin as it can lead to poisoning.
FDA approves using camphor in the concentration of 3 percent to 11 percent to cure skin itching or irritation. Research states that applying camphor with menthol and eucalyptus oil might reduce the size of mosquito bites.
It activates certain transient receptor potential(TRP)channels such as TRPV1, TRPV3, and TRPM8 and inhibits TRPA1. This causes warm sensation and desensitization of sensory nerves.
A cancer study on microstates that the application of camphor odor as a conditioning agent for the cancer cells of YC8 lymphoma could have a suppressive effect on the growth of YC8 tumor. This is when it used in combination with immunotherapy treatment. Also, treatment with camphor before radiation shows less growth of tumor volume.
Usage: Camphor is used to address skin problems and lend a glow to the face. For this purpose, it is combined with ghee and saribha powder. It is also used to treat acne. Camphor is great for hair.
It is used in oils and ointments. It used as a medicine to cure various diseases or as fragrant in various dishes. Camphor oil is used for pain in the chest, back, etc. It is combined with other herbs to make natural hair oil. Camphor is burnt to eradicate negativity.
Below are some DIYs with Camphor:
- Drop a little amount of camphor in coconut oil. Leave this camphor infused coconut oil in sum for ten to fifteen days. It works like magic on body and hair.
- Mix half teaspoon camphor, two teaspoon fuller’s earth, 1 teaspoon neem powder and rose water. Apply this on the face, let it dry and then wash off. This mask works wonders for oily skin.
- Take camphor paste and apply it to any skin rash, eczema or any itchy affected area. This helps in relieving the skin irritation.
- Apply camphor to cracked heels and wear socks. This helps in softening of the heels.
- Take camphor oil and apply it to the scalp. Massage for 5-10 minutes. Wash it off after 45 minutes. This helps in strengthening the roots.
- Apply camphor oil on to the face and lightly massage. Rinse after 15-20 minutes. This helps in controlling the sebum production and tightens the pores.