The camphor tree is a thousand-year-old tree that begins to produce camphor when it reaches the age of 30. In China, there are camphor trees that are up to two thousand years old.
Camphor Tree Scientific Facts
- Other names: Laurus camphora L.
- French: Camphrier.
- Spanish: Alcanforero.
- Environment: Native to the Eastern coast of Asia (Japan, China), it is now widely grown both there and in the United States.
- Description: Tree of the Lauraceae family growing up to 50 meters high. Evergreen, coriaceous leaves and small, white flowers.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The essence of its wood.
Healing Properties and Indications
Camphor is a white, crystalline substance obtained after condensation of the essential oil distilled from the camphor wood. From a chemical standpoint, it is a ketone of the borneol, an aromatic hydrocarbon with a strong aroma and a cool, spiced flavor. These are its properties:
- Cardiac and respiratory stimulant: It stimulates the nervous centers of respiration and heart activity, increasing the frequency and deepness of breath and strengthens the heart (analeptic action). It is used for lung congestion (bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma), fainting, hypotension, arrhythmia, and blackouts.
- Antiseptic and febrifuge: Very useful for influenza and colds.
- Anaphrodisiac: Decreases sexual excitement.
- Antirheumatic and analgesic: Camphor oil or alcohol is used in an external application in lotions to alleviate rheumatic aches and neuralgia.
How to use Camphor
- Camphor powder: Up to 0.5g a day, divided into three or four intakes.
- Lotions and massage oils with camphor oil or alcohol, which are prepared dissolving camphor in oil or in alcohol in a proportion of 10% alcohol.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 217. Print.