Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)
Location: Camphor trees are found in China, Japan and Taiwan.
Extraction: Steam distilled from the crude camphor obtained by boiling the wood in water.
Colour and Odour: The essential oil is colourless with a fresh pungent aroma.
Description: Camphor trees are hardy evergreen trees growing up to 30 metres tall. The trees have straight trunks with small leaves, white flowers occurring in clusters and dark red berries. The camphor is formed in white crystalline masses of about 25-30cm, found mainly in the trunks of mature trees but also present in every part of the tree.
Background: Camphor trees were planted in Taoist and Buddhist temples throughout China. Camphor was also valued in India. It was used in Europe from the late seventeenth century. The therapeutic properties of camphor were studied thoroughly by Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homoeopathy.
Properties: Antiseptic, respiratory and circulatory tonic, stimulant, anti-inflammatory.
Respiratory system-Stimulates respiration clears congested lungs and eases breathing. It also speeds recovery from colds.
Muscular System-Helpful with stiff muscles and can help ease rheumatic aches and pains.
Emotion-Camphor has a very balancing effect, dispelling apathy and daydreaming.