Camphor comes from the Asian continent, in China it is considered the sacred tree of life , its scientific name is Laurus camphora, it was originally extracted from the Borneo tree, also called the camphor tree, located in that locality, it is also present in Trees of the lauraceae family, it is a long-lived tree that exceeds 1000 years, its wood is compact and can reach up to 30 meters in height. Camphor was a highly demanded product around the world but difficult to obtain, very scarce.
For this reason, its industrial production began in 1907 after it was synthesized by Gustav Komppa in 1903, in the city of Finland, and thus began its history in the industry of that time with a thriving and prosperous trade.
Camphor has been associated with healing effects since ancient times and is also associated with many religious rites. Nowadays through scientific processes it has been proven that it does indeed have curative effects.
He has always been characterized by his strong aroma, which has allowed its use even as a pesticide in many crops, and in natural or holistic medicine , whatever you want to call it, it has also had a leading role, especially because it is a great ally to be combined. with other elements, offering good results, among which we could mention the area of physiotherapy.
It is important to note that although its use is worldwide popular, oral ingestion is not recommended, because it has been proven to be quite toxic and must be handled with caution, especially not allowing manipulation in children because it can consequently cause irreversible damage, also with domestic animals. , it is advisable to place them in places with little accessibility in our homes, to avoid any incident.
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At the moment it is being cultivated even in the United States, in Florida it is considered an invasive species, and its controls are maintained, it is also found in the Far East, Shri Lanka, Madagascar, Sumatra and Japan.
Its name comes from the Arabic al-kafur, the Hindus bought it from the Malay merchants, they called it Kapur, there were some civilizations from the Far East that considered it consecrated to the gods and used it in their religious ceremonies.
The camphor tree grows best in places that have semi-shade, it should not be directly exposed to the sun, it resists extreme climates until strong winter frosts, it plays an ornamental role in any garden as well as repelling moths and other insects. Its fruit is reddish in color and towards maturity it becomes black, they have a globe shape and are considered berries.
What is camphor oil?
Camphor oil has a very penetrating odor and is characterized by being a waxy, semi-crystalline substance that has healing and stimulating properties that is generally used externally, mainly helping to combat fatigue in the muscles through massage.
Camphor oil is an oil that is used for therapeutic purposes, it comes from the camphor tree and can also be produced synthetically from turpentine, it must be borne in mind that despite its excellent properties it is highly toxic and should be used with caution .
Camphor contains oils, gum, tannin, fatty acids, cinnamic aldehyde, cineole, lemon, mannitol, and others. Its commercial form comes in powder, pills or tablets, blocks,
Camphor oil properties
Camphor oil has excellent medicinal properties among which stand out, it is used as an ointment for pain either muscle or head, it is used to repel insects, such as flukes, mosquitoes, flies. It has anesthetic effects since if we receive a sting, like a bee and then we put this oil, the area will sleep.
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- Camphor oil serves as an analgesic to remove muscle and rheumatic pain,
- As an antiseptic to disinfect wounds
- As an expectorant to improve airways
- As an antifungal, to improve fungal problems
- As revitalizing through massages, as it renews the feeling of fatigue
- As an antibacterial. Since it helps fight bacteria
- As an anti-infective, due to its components it prevents infections
- As antivirals, improving the respiratory tract and pain.
Camphor oil benefits
This oil offers an infinity of benefits that over time have remained and notably improved our health among which we can indicate
- Relieves muscle aches, using it as a balm and provides a mint-like freshness
- Its strong smell was said to cure the evil eye
- Improves blood circulation through massage in the affected area
- It is used diluted in hot water where it begins to emit a vapor that, when inhaled, significantly improves asthma and other respiratory diseases.
- Smeared on the affected part, it relieves rheumatic pains. It offers us relief for coughs and tonsil pain. When inhaled, it creates a protective layer over the respiratory tract that reduces irritation. In the past people prepared camphor tea and took it today is not recommended.
Contraindications and side effects camphor oil
- It is not recommended to use camphor oil in children under two years of age, or in pregnant or lactating women and also in people suffering from Parkinson’s or epilepsy, because its smell leads to a reaction.
- Camphor should not be used on wounds, as they can become irritated
- It should not be ingested because it can cause seizures
- Do not leave it within the reach of children, because if they ingest it it can cause severe poisoning.
- It should not be used in patients with liver disorders, because the liver is the one that metabolizes this substance and it can be compromised.
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- It should not be used in patients with kidney disorders.
- Do not use in case of urine infections
- It should not be used in people with gallstones.
- Do not inhale directly because it can cause dizziness and nausea, in large quantities it is poisonous and causes irritability, confusion, headache.
Camphor oil as a natural treatment
It is used in beauty treatments , especially of the skin, because as an ointment it is excellent to spread on the eruptions. It also plays a preponderant role on acne since for a defined time it is smeared at night and dries it until it improves the appearance and makes it more lush.
It is also used as an adjunct in diseases caused by stress and depression as it balances the nervous system helping to sleep better and thus rest and improve appearance.
Camphor oil uses
Camphor oil is generally used externally to perform massages and relieve stress, and muscle pain, the sciatic nerve, tends to become inflamed many times due to excessive activity and produces pain that spreads to the legs and lower part of the hip, with a massage with this oil and a bath with hot water, excellent results are achieved, because inflammation decreases.
Now in case of people who suffer from asthma, or are very congested in the nose, they can try placing a tablespoon of camphor oil and one of eucalyptus oil in boiling water, and breathe the steam that is released for 10 minutes, this It will help decongest the affected area. And it will allow them to rest more peacefully .
Camphor oil is also used in cosmetic products such as foot powders, producing a cooling and antimicrobial effect.
It is used as an ingredient in aftersun lotions, as it has a cooling effect and reduces body heat, allowing a good night’s rest.
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A very particular use that camphor has is when it is used on the skin, since it acts as a rubefacient by increasing blood flow and activating blood circulation, which is highly recommended in people who are affected by varicose veins or so-called spiders that generally affect our legs.
It also has an anti-itch quality, because it reduces the itchiness caused by certain dermatitis and also in insect bites or minor burns.
Relieves neuralgia and joint pain (knees, elbows) when used even as an ingredient in creams.
Another use that has been attributed to camphor is as a repellent for moths, and for some insects that, due to their strong smell, react and do not reach the place where it is.
Risks of camphor oil for pregnant women
It is not recommended to use this oil while you are pregnant or breastfeeding, since its smell is very strong and toxic and can cause discomfort, headache, vomiting, especially during the first three months of pregnancy, which are the basics in training. of the fetus and that the woman’s body is at its highest degree of vulnerability.
Now, in case of pain due to a sprained ankle, or a sprain in the extremities, its use is not contraindicated since it would only be locally in the form of an ointment practicing a type of gentle massage, to seek relief in the affected zone .
In the case of lactating women, it is essential that they feel in a state of tranquility and trust that allows them to transmit love and security to the baby, here camphor would be a good ally in relieving stress, since the different roles it plays that every woman (mother, wife, worker, friend, housewife) fulfill at any given moment can cause fears of not being able to do everything and this is where this product becomes an instrument of tranquility.
Its use becomes dangerous in case the woman wants to ingest it, it is considered highly toxic and it is here that it can cause problems, you should not clean the nipples in case of cracking when you are breastfeeding, its strong smell can cause effects such as dizziness and nausea in the child, in this case it is better to massage the nipples with creams that contain neutral elements such as lanolin that soften the skin or even with a cotton ball with warm water.
Camphor oil and use in babies
Camphor is restricted to use in children under two years of age, since it at low doses is harmless, but due to its strong odor when used inappropriately in children it can have fatal effects, according to the FDA (FOOD AND DRUGS Administration) should not be used in minors.
It can also be absorbed through the skin and cause liver damage in minors. For this reason, substitutes for this component should be sought for younger children and avoid any talc, cream or medicine that contains it.
How do you get camphor oil?
Camphor oil involves a process that is far from simple, it uses its branches, bark and even its roots. Now it is subjected to a steam distillation process, in which the pure oil and wax are separated.
The formation of this colorless mass requires many years it is believed that a tree at 40 or 50 years is that it can give a yield of 3% in camphor, this is the true natural camphor, which is often replaced by the one produced from of turpentine , in order to achieve the production standards and demands of world demand.
Homemade camphor oil preparation
Also called wave of camphor, for its preparation you need approximately 100 grams of camphor powder or, failing that, in pills and 900 grams of preferably sweet oil such as almond oil, argan also serves.
The oil is previously heated in a water bath to about 38 degrees, over low heat in a preferably stainless steel container, for approximately half an hour, stirring slowly until all the camphor dissolves, then it is covered and allowed to cool. It remains as an oily liquid of yellowish color, thick and somewhat transparent not so thick and an exquisite smell of camphor.
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Camphor oil expiration
Generally, essential oils do not expire like camphor, it may be that with the passage of time their properties decrease but they do not have an expiration period, they can be used with confidence for a long time. It is advisable to use them in glass containers , so as not to alter their composition, because if they are stored in containers such as aluminum, their components can be altered.
Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.