Camphor: Contraindications, Benefits, Side Effects And Uses

What is camphor?

Camphor is mainly a substance , it has a somewhat solid consistency and somewhat resembles a wax. Camphor is crystalline and has a fairly strong odor, similar to pungent. This substance is used mainly as a balm and it is also a compound used in different medicinal treatments.

Origin of camphor

Camphor is originally from the wood of a tree known as the camphor tree , whose scientific name is Cinnamomum camphora. This tree is large, it is perennial and its origin is in Asia, specifically in the Borneo area, so it can also be known as the Borneo Tree.

History of camphor

We can know a little about the history of camphor due to its different names , since it is these that give this compound a place in history. Initially we can mention that the word camphor is a derivative of the Arabic “al-Kafur”, which in turn comes from the Malay word “Kapur Barus” which means “Gis de Barus”.

Even the camphor was marketed by the Malays to the Hindus and they referred to the product as Kapur, or “Gis” due to its whitish color. For its part, the name “Barus” referred to the port that was located in the coastal area of ​​western Sumatra, this was the place where the camphor was extracted by the merchants. In Sanskrit there is also a denomination for camphor, which was Karpūram.

Regarding the studies on this compound, Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure was the one who initiated the research on the chemical composition of camphor. Later many more researchers came, who helped to discover artificial camphor in 1840 and in 1859 the synthesis of the compound was verified.

But, it was in 1903 when camphor was totally synthesized and the one who achieved it was Gustav Komppa. In this way, Komppa started the production of camphor industrially , this was done in Finland in 1907.

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Camphor characteristics

Camphor is a kind of wax with properties that are quite beneficial for health . This compound has antiseptic, analgesic and rubefacient properties. That is why this product is used in many pharmaceutical products such as ointments, alcoholic solutions and also in medicines to treat pain in the muscles, joints, headaches and other problems of this type.

When camphor is provided systemically it has carminative and irritant properties, which is why it is used as a mild expectorant. Likewise, it is also used as part of the treatments to cure nasal congestion, but its effects are not the most favorable.

In the case of camphor oil , it is not recommended for use , as it is considered a very toxic compound. It was originally used as a stimulant and sedative, and was given internally.

Scientific name of camphor

The tree from which the camphor is extracted can be known as a camphor tree or borneo tree , it has the scientific name Cinnamomum camphora or Laurus Camphora and it is a perennial species native to Asia, but currently it can be found throughout the European continent.

Chemical composition of camphor

Camphor is a product rich in different chemical compounds , which are: Camphene, pinene, sabinene, B-pinene, limonene, 1.8-kinene, fellandrene, terpinolene, linalol, bornyl acetate, borneol, piperitone, geraniol, methyl cinnamate, safrole and many others.

Recommended dosage of camphor

It is no secret to anyone that we need to take care of the doses of the things we eat and use in life, because in excess, anything can be harmful. When we overdose on something we can cause serious effects, even when it comes to topical use. Thus, in the case of camphor, it should not be used in a concentration greater than 11%. For its part, camphor oil cannot be used in any way, as it is a very toxic compound and is considered carcinogenic.

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Active principles of camphor

The active principles of camphor are those properties that give this compound a power capable of relieving and producing good effects in the body . As well, gels that are made from camphor can reduce pain in strokes and muscle problems, since this product has a cooling and analgesic effect.

When camphor is used in the form of pills, it can help to drive away animals and pests, as they are placed in places where animals and insects frequent and the strong smell of this can reduce the problem caused by animals.

The most outstanding properties of camphor for its active principles are its action as an antiseptic, its analgesic and its properties as an antipruritic, this allows the product to be used to reduce redness, localized pain and reduce inflammation.

Camphor essential oil

Camphor essential oil is appreciated in alternative medicine for its variety of uses, all of which are very beneficial to our health.

This oil is extracted from the camphor tree, the most common route of application of it is external and in fact it has been proven that its consumption or oral ingestion can cause serious damage to the health of the individual, this due to the high toxicity of the components that make up said oil.

As a balm and thanks to its antimicrobial and refreshing properties, camphor oil can be used to treat inflammations, insect bites and certain skin eruptions. Some testimonies also state that camphor oil can be used in the treatment of coughs and as an expectorant, however, the latter is discouraged because, as mentioned above, its intake is highly toxic, so its application is only recommended. in external.

How is camphor oil extracted?

Camphor oil is obtained through a rather laborious process , since it cannot simply be obtained through maceration or pressing, but rather a steam distillation process must be carried out, in which the pure oil is extracted and it is separated from the wax or what can be considered as the camphor itself that is in the bark of the camphor tree.

Camphor Alcohol

It is a substance made up of camphor dissolved in alcohol that has a whitish appearance with an intense aroma, characteristic of camphor, whose attributes give it flammable properties.

Uses of camphor alcohol

  • This compound, also known as camphor spirit, is used as an antibacterial and is also useful for the treatment in the reduction of pain, itching, infections caused by fungi with presence in the toenails, cold sores, warts, hemorrhoids and other conditions.
  • On the other hand, ingesting camphor alcohol can have a calming effect on the nervous system in situations of hysteria or excessive nervousness.
  • This compound can also have favorable effects in the treatment of diarrhea, nausea, digestive gas, or bronchitis.
  • Externally, when smeared on the skin, it can generate relief in cases of rheumatic pain, sprains and bruises.
  • Another use attributed to camphor alcohol is to relieve inflammation of the skin and muscle areas caused by minor injuries or insect bites.
  • Additionally, camphor alcohol can be used as an effective remedy to combat cough and cold symptoms. Just apply a small amount of camphor alcohol on the chest and spread it over the entire area or add a few drops to the water by inhaling steam.
  • Although it is not proven that the intense aroma of camphor alcohol has sedative properties and favors relaxation of the mind, some people use it for this purpose, ensuring that it works in this context.
  • Camphor alcohol is used as a treatment to counteract the symptoms of hypertension and other similar conditions.
  • Alternatively camphor alcohol has also been used as a form of emotional induction in the area of ​​aromatherapy.

Benefits and properties of camphor

Camphor is a product that has been used for thousands of years to treat different health conditions. This is characterized by its strong smell and is mainly known as a calming for the nervous system.

This product has also been used since ancient times to control pest problems and was also used in embalming processes. Currently, camphor is used as a topical product to treat skin problems such as irritations, redness, itching, and also as a pain reliever.

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It is good for hair, how is it used?

When you suffer from hair loss it can be frustrating not to find an effective solution. But, in this case we will tell you that camphor oil can help you remedy this problem.

Camphor not only prevents hair loss , but also promotes hair growth. You should only massage your entire scalp by applying a little camphor oil, let it rest and then rinse your hair very well.

Likewise, there are also other beneficial hair treatments where you can use camphor in a great way. These are the following:

  • To strengthen hair. Mix camphor oil with yogurt or egg and apply it to the entire scalp, this will provide the necessary nutrition to strengthen it.
  • To increase hair growth. Use a mixture of camphor oil and other essential oils, such as chamomile or lavender. This will make your hair grow and appear brighter.
  • To provide softness. If you want your hair to look smooth and manageable, just use pure camphor oil periodically.
  • To eliminate lice. Mix camphor oil with water, this will provide a disinfecting action and help you cleanse your hair better. It will also kill the lice and prevent a new infection.

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What benefits does it bring for the skin and face?

Camphor provides many healing benefits to the skin, since this product is a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic, which is why it is used to treat problems of bumps, sprains or muscle and joint pain. Camphor can relieve pain, reduce redness and swelling of the skin. Thanks to its refreshing action it can also be used to relieve itching, irritations and treat burns or stings.

Can camphor lose weight?

Camphor is not a compound that helps us lose weight , since it is a product that, if provided in large quantities, can become quite a powerful toxin. Do not believe in the magic tricks that you have surely achieved on the internet, they recommend the consumption of camphor in large quantities to lose weight, when really this could only cause you a serious gastric problem.

For wrinkles and acne

Camphor can be used to care for the skin only when it is available in a concentration between 3 and 11%. Thus, this product can be used to cure acne, as it provides a healing, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial power and reduces redness. These qualities are perfect for eliminating acne problems and their marks.

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Pregnancy and camphor

In pregnancy we can get a series of products and foods that should not be ingested, as they cause a negative effect on the development of the baby. Camphor is one of these, it should not be used in any way by a pregnant woman , as it can cause negative effects on her pregnancy.

During lactation it is safe to use

In lactation, the use of camphor is not recommended , since it is a product with a very strong smell and composition, which can negatively affect the baby and if it is absorbed or ingested, it can affect the quality of the baby. lactation.

Is camphor good for babies?

Camphor cannot be used in babies or children , this is a product with a very strong chemical composition and also its smell can cause problems in the baby’s body, since they cannot be exposed to very powerful compounds.

Esoteric and spiritual uses of camphor

Camphor has been used since 600 AD so we can get thousands of uses of this product in history. Although, from the beginning it has been used for its analgesic and refreshing power, as well as menthol. But, it was also used to perform different types of embalming and as an aromatic in funeral rituals and other spiritual events such as the delivery of offerings to the gods.

Camphor as a mosquito repellent

Camphor can help relieve itching and redness caused by mosquito bites. But, in a certain way it can also be used as a repellent, we can achieve this in the following way :

  • Fill a glass with warm water
  • Add two camphor pills
  • Put this in the places where there is more humidity in the house, like the closet or in a corner

This will help you reduce the plague , as the strong smell of camphor helps eradicate the presence of insects such as mosquitoes and flies.

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Camphor against cancer, is it good?

No, camphor cannot be used as a cancer treatment . However, its properties can be used to give relief to possible muscular problems that are had in this case, but if we talk about a direct action that can eliminate the disease, camphor cannot cause any influencing effect.

How is camphor used for massages?

Camphor is a product widely used for massages , because thanks to its cooling and analgesic power, this is the perfect treatment to relieve pain in bumps, bruises, sprains, muscle and joint problems.

To make use of this, we only have to apply a little of the product in the area that we want to heal and massage from the bottom up or in a circular way to improve circulation. Massage in until the product is completely absorbed and apply more only if necessary.

Aromatherapy and camphor

The smell of camphor is one of its greatest characteristics , as it has a fairly strong and powerful smell. This allows its use as part of aromatic therapies, which help to cause a cooling effect that can help relieve headaches and also decongest the airways.

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Does the camphor expire?

No, camphor like other essential oils cannot be expired , expired or fermented. Therefore, it can be stored and can be preserved for a long time. However, one of the details that is mentioned with respect to this detail is that camphor can diminish its properties over time.

Cosmetic uses of camphor

When the use of this product is used properly, that is, in a concentration that does not exceed 11% , it can be used as a skin treatment. In this way, we can use camphor to heal wounds, relieve pain, reduce redness, heal acne and improve healing.

For its part, this product can also be used on the hair and with this it is possible to eliminate hair loss, increase its growth, provide shine and softness, and also eliminate infection and lice problems.

Medicinal properties of camphor

The medicinal properties of camphor are very varied and in fact, they are the ones that take most advantage of this compound. The main ones are the following:

  • Improves circulation. So it is used in bumps, bruises and to cure diseases such as chickenpox.
  • It is carminative. It can eliminate gas and reduce abdominal bloating. Improves digestion and helps to have a good metabolism.
  • Decreases joint and muscle pain. It can relieve pain as well inflammation.
  • It is decongestant . Breathing in camphor vapor can decongest the airways. In addition, it can also serve as an expectorant.

For allergy and cough

Camphor is an ingredient that can be found in thousands of ointments and remedies to relieve congestion and coughs. Well, this thanks to its smell can help clear the respiratory tract and can also calm the symptoms caused by the disease.

Thus, you can use a remedy that contains camphor or make an infusion to be able to breathe in the vapors of this and thus be able to favor your respiratory tract.

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For blood pressure and heart

Camphor can help improve circulation when used topically, thus helping to treat problems caused by bumps and bruises. But, when we talk about blood pressure problems and heart disease, camphor cannot have any benefit that prevents these types of problems, since the properties of this compound are mainly for muscular and superficial treatments.

Culinary uses of camphor

Camphor is not used for any type of culinary preparation , since it can only be used under a certain concentration to avoid its toxicity. In addition, it does not have a flavor that is conducive to making any culinary preparation.

Camphor toxicity level

Camphor is a highly toxic compound for people, which is why its use is limited and can only be provided in very small doses or in low concentrations. When the use of camphor is exceeded, very serious reactions, liver damage and even death can be caused.

Camphor contraindications

Camphor cannot be used as part of treatments intended to cure liver problems, urinary tract infections, kidney and gallstones, colic, and other kidney problems. Likewise, its use by irrigation is not recommended, since it can cause many negative effects.

Home remedies with camphor

The most used camphor home remedies are the following:

  • For nasal congestion: Mix camphor ointment with eucalyptus, apply this ointment on the nose. When you start to breathe in the steam that the eucalyptus will give off, you can open your nasal passages and the camphor will help relieve irritation and inflammation in the area.
  • To relieve muscle pain: Camphor is an excellent pain reliever, so it can be used to relieve muscle pain. Just combine 15gr of camphor with 250ml of mustard oil, or another oil, mix this and let it marinate for a week. Use the mixture to massage the affected area. You must perform the massage every day and always perform the movement from the bottom up to promote circulation.

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Camphor Data Sheet

  • Name of the substance: Camphor.
  • Molecular formula : C₁₀H₁₆O
  • Molar mass : 152.2 gr / mol
  • In case of problems or adverse effects: provide fresh air if the problem is inhalation, Rinse or rinse the skin in case of topical reaction. In case of general discomfort, seek a symptomatic solution and seek emergency medical attention.
  • Side effects: agitation, headache, vertigo, cough, spasm, loss of consciousness, drowning.

Nutritional value of camphor

Camphor is a product composed of different chemicals, which are what provide its medicinal and beneficial power for certain treatments. But, in terms of nutrition, this compound does not provide us with any type of nutrient.

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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.

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