- Also, known as: Camphora, Camphor, karpoora, Kapur, karpuram, Alcanfor, Arbre à Camphre, Camphora Officinarum, Camphre, Camphre de Laurier, Camphre Gomme, Camphrier, Cemphire, Cinnamomum Camphora, dl-Camphor, dl-Camphre, Laurel Camphor, Laurus camphora.
Camphor used to be made by distilling the bark and wood of the camphor tree. Today, camphor is chemically manufactured from turpentine oil. It is used in products such as Vicks VapoRub. Camphor is a waxy, flammable, white or transparent solid with a strong aroma. It is a terpenoid with the chemical formula C10H16O. It is found in the wood of the camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora), a large evergreen tree found in Asia and also of the unrelated Kapur tree, a tall timber tree from the same region.
When the root or bark is steamed, it produces a volatile, white, crystalline compound with a characteristic pungent odor, usually referred to as camphor. (The aromatic oils in such plants as tansy and feverfew may also be referred to as camphor). Trees that produce real camphor are slow-growing. In fact, the Chinese believe that it cannot be extracted from trees under fifty years old.
When ingested, camphor can cause serious side effects, even death.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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