Medicinal plants A|B|C

Camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)

Camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)Camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)

The evergreen camphor tree grows up to 30 meters high, it belongs to the laurel family and is a close relative of the cinnamon tree. All parts of the plant have an aromatic scent. At budding, the leaves are reddish in color, later they become shiny green and leathery; at ten centimeters long, they are as large as bay leaves. The bright yellow flowers grow in small clusters and produce black, pea-sized fruits.

Origin and cultivation.

The home of the camphor tree is in the subtropical areas of the Far East. In all parts it contains the colorless camphor (or: camphor), which has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. The highest camphor content is found in the wood and bark of the lower trunk section and roots of trees; specimens half a century and older are the most productive. In India, Sri Lanka, but also in East Africa, the camphor tree is cultivated.


Camphor is obtained by distillation from the crushed wood of the camphor tree. Its scent is unmistakable: it is the "medicinal", somewhat pungent smell of cold ointments, which also reminds one a little of a dentist's office. Not only the camphor tree, but also other members of the laurel family, as well as some composite and labiate plants, contain this remarkable substance, which forms colorless or white crystals, but which are soft like wax. In its pure form, it must be kept in tightly closed containers, because it evaporates in the air.

Use of the fighter.

Camphor useCamphor use
  • In very small doses, camphor in cosmetics such as ointments, soaps and deodorants provides a fresh scent, but also improves blood circulation to the skin. Since it irritates the cold receptors, a cooling effect is produced. A mild, local anesthetic effect relieves pain and itching
  • The blood circulation-enhancing and pain-relieving effect of camphor is also used for swelling, strains and sprains, rheumatic diseases, tendovaginitis, chronic arthritis as well as inflammatory edema.
  • In dentistry, camphor is used to disinfect infected root canals
  • For colds and respiratory diseases, among other things, the antispasmodic effect of camphor comes into play
  • Camphor gives sauna infusions and cleaning products a fresh scent.
Here's what you should keep in mind when using camphor.

Camphor is very strong in its action, so the quantities applied must be carefully matched.

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