Benefits of Camphor - Where to Buy Camphor Oil
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Camphor is botanically known as Cinnamomum camphora. In India, it is known as kapoor. According to Chinese medicine, the camphor tree is the tree of all natural life sources. Camphor’s aroma is clean, fresh, and very sharp and that is why it is widely used in aromatherapy. The history of camphor tree dates back to millions of year ago when it took birth in the family of Lauraceae or Laurels. Camphor tree is an evergreen tree which is very compact and strong and can reach a height of up to 30 meters. Small red berries emerging out of Camphor’s white flowers look really beautiful. The leaves of camphor are smaller and slightly serrated. It is interesting to note that the antiseptic camphor oil is extracted through the wood of camphor tree. Camphor oil is also famous for its analgesic, anti‑inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties. Camphor oil is a bactericidal, antiviral, stimulant, expectorant, and is used in deodorants due to its strong flavor. Camphor is also used as an insecticide and pesticide for home and office use. Camphor is also used in skin care products, especially camphor oil. In India, camphor is called kapoor and is commonly used in burning of wood at times of Lohri (a famous festival of Hindus) and at times of havan (a famous Hindu ritual). In Sanskrit language, camphor is called as karpooram. It is interesting to note that many civilizations of Far East consider camphor sacred to Gods and therefore use it for ceremonial and religious purposes. The word camphor is basically derived from the Arabic word al-Kafur which was then again referred to as malay kapur or barus meaning barus chalk due to its whiteness.
The camphor tree grows in the Far East, mainly in Vietnam, Borneo, Sri Lanka, China, Madagascar, Sumatra, and Japan. Today, it is grown in some regions of the United States where it has become one of an important species of herbs.
The main source of camphor oil which is a colorless, crystalline mass that requires many years to develop is found almost anywhere in the camphor tree. The essential oil of camphor used in aromatherapy is obtained by distillation of branches and trunk of the camphor tree.
It has been estimated by botanical and medical science that one camphor tree can give a yield of 3% camphor in around 40 to 50 years and this is the real oil that is used for medicinal or therapeutic purposes. Nowadays, camphor is usually replaced by synthetic camphor made up from turpentine oil which is extracted through a material taken from pine trees.
Camphor oil is a natural stimulant and helps in balancing of mental level. Camphor oil is useful during periods of convalescence.
Benefits of Camphor in aromatherapy
- Camphor at the physical level stimulates the heart, breathing pattern, and blood circulation.
- Camphor is effective in cases of hypotension or low blood pressure.
- Camphor helps in clearing of congested lungs, making us breathe easier.
- Camphor is also used as an inhalant.
- Camphor heats or cools our body according to our body’s needs.
- Camphor oil has been also found effective in treatment of arthritis, muscle aches and is recommended for use by sportspersons.
- Camphor cold compresses are effective in case of sprains, strains, and minor bruises.
Camphor oil friction baths, camphor oil aromatherapy massages, and camphor inhalations are a famous treatment for weakness of the nervous system but camphor inhalation during pregnancy is harmful and is not recommended.
Camphor oil hot immersion baths, friction baths, and camphor oil aromatherapy massage is helpful in treatment of muscle and joint pains.
Camphor oil baths, camphor oil massages for aromatherapy, and camphor inhalations are beneficial for boosting the immune system.
Other uses of camphor are camphor body balm for joint strains, camphor spray to relieve congestion, Camphor foot deodorant spray and foot cream
Camphor inhalation is recommended for treatment of common cold, cough, and congestion of lungs. Again is not advised at time of pregnancy because of its strong smell.
Caution and side effects of camphor aromatherapy
- Overexposure to fumes of camphor can be toxic.
- Do not use camphor essential oil in cases of epilepsy, asthma, or at the time of pregnancy.
- You should not apply camphor oil directly to the face or inside the nostrils of asthmatic patients or small children, as this may cause convulsions, asphyxia, and bronchospasms.
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