What it is, what it is for, benefits and how to use it » The Horticulturist

The advantages brought by camphor they are a lot. In addition to its anti-inflammatory power, the plant has stimulating, decongestant and antiseptic properties. The list of benefits is much longer and benefits various organs in the human body.

Camphor is even used to help treat nerve disorders, maintain skin health, and improve heart and respiratory system health.

In this article, you will learn what camphor is, what it is used for and the main benefits of including the use of camphor in your daily life. Once you discover all the benefits of camphor, you will also learn how to use this compound, making the most of its benefits. therapeutic properties.

What is camphor?

Camphor is an organic compound of the terpene class commonly used in the composition of creams, lotions and ointments. It is an essential oil extracted from the trunk of camphor trees which is purified by the process of distillation.

There are 2 variants of camphor: Cinnamomum camphora Yes Camphor of Dryobalanops. Cinnamomum camphora it is extracted from the tree called common camphor, while the other variety is obtained from the camphor of Borneo. The two oils extracted from these trees have similar properties, but have different aromas and different concentrations of certain substances.

What is camphor used for?

Camphor essential oil not only relieves pain, itching, and irritation, but also works as a remedy to relieve airway congestion and treat inflammatory conditions.

This is all due to the bactericidal, antifungal, antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of camphor.

To better understand how it works in our body, the benefits of camphor are detailed below.

camphor tree

Benefits of Camphor

1. Improve blood circulation

Camphor essential oil has a stimulating effect that promotes the activity of the circulatory system, the digestive process and the metabolism. It helps to treat problems and diseases associated with poor blood circulation. Camphor also improves digestion and metabolic rates.

2. Promotes Digestion

Camphor helps reduce gas formation and eliminate gastrointestinal problems such as flatulence.

It also increases the secretion of digestive acids and enzymes essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system, helping to treat and prevent problems such as diarrhea, gastroenteritis and gas.

3. Helps in the treatment of nervous disorders

Due to the anesthetic and antispasmodic effect of camphor, it may be useful in helping to treat nervous disorders.

Camphor can cause numbness in the nerves around the area where it is applied, minimizing convulsions, seizures, and other nerve disorders. Also, it can help control chronic nervousness and anxiety issues.

4. Relieves spasms

According to data from a 2004 study, published in the journal Phytotherapy researchcamphor is also known for its antispasmodic and relaxing effects.

Products containing camphor are widely used by athletes or people who need relief from pain, muscle spasms or cramps, for example.

5. Increase libido

In addition to boosting libido by stimulating the parts of the brain involved in sexual desire, camphor improves blood circulation, which can help boost a male erection.

6. Improves Skin Health

Creams, oils and other products containing camphor help relieve skin irritation and itching and improve overall skin health.

According to a 2015 study, published in the journal Animal Phytotherapy research, camphor may be useful in the treatment of wrinkles and sores caused by exposure to ultraviolet light. This can be explained by camphor’s ability to increase the production of collagen and elastin, both of which improve the appearance of the skin.

7. Relieves neuralgia

Neuralgia is a medical condition in which a cranial nerve is damaged due to inflammation of the blood vessels around it. This condition can cause a lot of pain.

Camphor can help relieve the symptoms of the disease because it can cause blood vessels to constrict, thereby reducing pressure on the cranial nerve.

8. Reduces Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory and sedative effects of camphor help treat various types of inflammation and help decrease the pain that accompanies many inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, for example.

9. Relieves pain and swelling

Due to its analgesic effect, camphor relieves pain and inflammation. A study published in Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2015 showed that a spray containing ingredients such as camphor, menthol, eucalyptus and clove essential oils was effective in relieving mild to moderate pain over a 2-week treatment in the joints, shoulders and lower back.

Camphor also appears to be beneficial for burns. According to a study published in the world journal of plastic surgery 2018, an ointment containing camphor, honey and sesame oil reduced healing time for second-degree burns.

10. Decongestant effect

Camphor helps decongest the nasal passages and also helps with coughs. According to a 2010 study published in the journal Pediatricsinhaling camphor water vapor relieves nighttime cough, nasal congestion and also helps to sleep better.

11. Arthritis Treatment

Products containing camphor can also be used to treat arthritis, to relieve the pain, inflammation, and swelling associated with this condition.

There are already products on the market that contain camphor and promote the alternating sensation of hot and cold on the skin. This type of spa therapy is great for arthritis sufferers because it helps relieve inflammation and improve blood circulation during the same period.

camphor leaf

Other Benefits of Camphor

Camphor can also be used to treat some cases of heart failure and may be useful in the treatment of other health conditions such as influenza, measles, ringworm caused by nail fungus, coughs, food poisoning and other ailments in addition to relieving insect bites. and the treatment of reproductive tract infections.

There are also unscientific reports that camphor may be beneficial in the treatment of hemorrhoids, warts, flatulence, anxiety, depression, muscle spasms, ear pain, acne, hair loss and low libido.

How to use camphor?

Camphor should only be used externally, i.e. it should never be taken orally as the substance can be harmful to the body. Therefore, camphor and its products should be carefully applied to the skin or used in low concentration aromatherapy.

Cosmetic products such as creams, bath lotions and shaving products may contain camphor as an ingredient. It is also very common to find camphor in products to relieve muscle pain, such as Bengay for example, and also in ointments to relieve coughs and congested lungs, such as Vick VapoRub. All of these products should be used as directed.

– Topical use

Any product containing camphor cannot exceed the concentration of 11% camphor in the composition.

In general, itch and pain relief ointments should contain between 3 and 11 percent camphor and should be applied 3 to 4 times a day.

For complete cough or lung relief, the ointment should contain 4.7-5.3% camphor. In this case, a thick layer of ointment should be applied to the throat and chest area.

In the treatment of osteoarthritis, a product combining camphor, glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate is generally recommended, to be applied according to medical advice for 8 weeks.

– Use by inhalation

1 tablespoon of camphor should be used per liter of hot water. Steam can be inhaled from a container of hot water or using a vaporizer.

Advice and some care

Because it is easily absorbed through the skin, camphor can cause side effects if used in high doses. But if used correctly, the compound can be very beneficial to health, without neglecting safety. The following tips will allow you to enjoy the benefits of camphor without compromising your health:

1. Test the compound on a small area

To avoid allergic reactions, it is important to apply it to a part of the skin and observe what happens within 24 hours. Only then is it safe to apply the product to a larger area of ​​skin.

2. Do not use camphor in high concentrations

Creams and lotions containing low concentrations of camphor are safe to use, as long as the directions for use on the package insert or label are followed. Ideally, do not use pure camphor or products containing more than 11% camphor in their composition.

When using camphor essential oil to be inhaled through the nose, it is recommended to use the oil diluted in water, as inhalation in high concentrations may cause coughing and wheezing in Chest.

If camphor is used in excess or in a highly concentrated version, adverse effects such as redness and local irritation may occur. Additionally, camphor should not be used on cut or cracked skin, as potentially toxic levels of the substance can be absorbed into the body. It is also recommended to avoid contact of camphor with the eyes.

3. Avoid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use camphor, as it is unclear whether the compound may be harmful to the baby’s health.

4. Notice the color of camphor oil

When using camphor oil, keep its shadow in mind. The brighter it is, the better. This is because yellow or brown camphor oils can contain higher amounts of safrole, making them toxic.

5. Follow the instructions

Always use camphor according to the manufacturer’s instructions and never apply more than recommended amounts. Camphor poisoning can be serious and cause symptoms such as burning in the mouth and throat, nausea, and vomiting. Moderation is the key to avoiding problems with camphor overuse and reaping the benefits of camphor responsibly.

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