Camphor leaves have a clean-smelling scent reminiscent of mothballs. Camphor is used medicinally, particularly in Chinese medicine where it is called Hsiang Chang. The Chinese prise this substance as a treatment for heart ailments, circulatory problems, and as a digestive. Camphor is used as a sedative and calming agent and to treat convulsions, hysteria, and insomnia.
In the West, we have concentrated on using camphor to treat the discomforts of cold and flu, upper respiratory ailments, rheumatism, muscle pains, and body aches. Camphorated oil, Grandma's favorite, can be made by adding a few drops of the essential oil to 3 tablespoons melted aloe butter, shea butter, or mango butter.
You can also add a drop or so of camphor oil to a handkerchief and inhale the scent to clear nasal passages and sinuses.
WILD CAMPHOR TREE (Tarchonanthus Camphoratus) (Also known as Camphor Bush for its scent, or "in Kenya), is a shrub or small tree, native to eastern and Southern Africa and Arabia.
The Camphor Tree can reach up to 6 meters in height. The twigs and younger stems are white-felted, as are the undersides of the leaves. The upper leaf surface is dark olive-green. Flowers are usually present from December to May (in South Africa), with cream colored panicles. Male flowering heads have several flowers whilst the female has only a few. The fruit is a dense and woolly achene.
The wood of the Wild Camphor Tree is used as fuel, as a traditional building material, in horticulture, and in tribal papermaking. Wild" also a source of charcoal, and essential oils used as fragrances. It leaves are used by the Maasai to scent their homes and persons.
Wild Camphor is used as a traditional remedy for respiratory illnesses. Twigs of" can be used to clean teeth and aid oral hygiene, as well as a wide range of other local uses.
Several South African companies sell bush teas internationally (wildcrafted, organic, indigenous herbs) that contain wild camphor. Wild camphor tree offers many benefits. The South African"-"people use wild camphor for its soothing qualities. Dried leaves are used in ceremonies to annoint the body during rituals. The leaves and seeds are used to fumigate Camphor smoke treats rheumatism, headache, and insomnia. The tea relieves stomach ailments, asthma, anxiety, and heartburn.
The leaves contain an insecticide used to deter lice and external parasites.
CAUTIONARY NOTE: Ingestion of large amounts in camphor can result in neurological and respiratory problems, along with seizures, and culinary camphor should be used with care. More commonly, camphor poisoning appears after someone has accidentally ingested a liniment containing camphor, or applied a liniment in excess, causing the body to absorb too much camphor through the skin. A poison control center should be contacted if someone is manifesting symptoms of camphor poisoning, and if possible the labeling for the product ingested should be retained.
Another Cautionary Note: WHILE CAMPHOR HAS BENEFICIAL USES IT CAN ALSO CAUSE MANY NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS. BOWLES IDENTIFIES SOME OF THE COMPONENTS IN CAMPHOR OIL AS POTENTIALLY DAMAGING TO THE LIVER AND ALSO AS KNOWN NEUROTOXINS. ROSE SAYS YOU SHOULD NOT USE CAMPHOR OIL IF PREGNANT OR AROUND BABIES AND YOUNG CHILDREN. WHILE YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR OR CERTIFIED AROMATHERAPIST BEFORE USING ANY ESSENTIAL OIL TREATMENT, THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE WITH CAMPHOR OIL. (READ MORE)
From: Four Seasons of Mojo
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