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The healing power of camphor

  1. The camphor tree is a tree that grows to a maximum height of 30 meters. Originally, the tree only grows in Japan, Korea, Mongolia, India, Taiwan and South-East China. Camphor is a substance that is extracted from the camphor wood. This camphor is a white crystalline powder that has served humanity as a spice and medicinal herb for many hundreds of years. The Japanese sold this product the most during the 17th and 18th centuries and made a lot of money with it. Camphor is obtained from the wood of the camphor tree. Camphor was used mainly for rheumatic diseases and muscle pain. Modern research indicates that it may be helpful in cancer and Alzheimer's.


  1. Spread camphor tree Traditional use of camphor Naming Use camphor spirit Camphor oil Camphor wine Camphor liniment Anti-inflammatory effect has been proven Camphor has anti-cancer properties Camphor ingredients No evidence of change in sexual activity

Camphor Tree Spread

  1. The camphor tree grew naturally only in South East Asia. In Australia and the USA the camphor tree has been planted. Birds soon found their way to the seeds and as the seeds are indigestible, the tree is further spread by the birds. Some biologists speak of an invasive species; this is a negative term that assumes that an exotic tree species disturbs nature. Incidentally, in the U.S. and Australia not very many trees in many areas, so you would say: every new tree is a bonus.

Traditional use of camphor

  1. Today, the use of camphor has fallen into disuse. In 2014, there is only three lines of information on the Dutch Wikipedia site. But in a book published in 1910, A. Dinand's pocket book of medicinal herbs, there is a lot of information about it. It was sometimes used internally but not often. In small doses, camphor is calming and in large doses is exciting. It affects the nervous system. It is more often used externally, for example for back pain, muscle swelling, bruises, cramps and rheumatic diseases.


  1. The Latin name we use in science for camphor tree is Cinnamomum camphora. It used to be called Camphora officinalis. Officinalis is the additive that all medicinal plant species received. It literally means 'from the pharmacy workshop'. In English-speaking countries this tree is called the Camphor tree and in Germany it is called Kamferbaum.

Use camphor spirit

  1. Camphor spirit was made by mixing one part camphor with seven parts alcohol and two parts water. This methylated spirit was used as a rubbing agent for bruises, sprains, osteoarthritis, arthritis, gout and cramps. Hikers and soldiers who undertook arduous tours used to rub their limbs with camphor piritus in order to better sustain an exhausting tour. If the lungs are rubbed with it, it is a remedy for bronchitis. This also applies to camphor oil.

Camphor Oil

  1. You can make camphor oil yourself by dissolving one part camphor in nine parts olive oil. Camphor oil is an excellent remedy for gout, arthritis, osteoarthritis, lumbar pain and back pain. Camphor oil is also a solution for swollen arm and leg muscles. These swollen muscles can arise from exhaustion, for example from walking for a long time or people who practice gymnastics as a sport. For example, if you walk an evening four days, you would do well to lubricate your legs with camphor oil in the evening. It is an ideal remedy for muscle pain.

Camphor wine

  1. Camphor wine can be made by dissolving one part camphor in one part alcohol. While shaking this mixture add three parts gum slime and then four parts white wine. Camphor wine can be used for the same applications as camphor oil and camphor spirit.

Camphor liniment

  1. A camphor liniment is a volatile camphor ointment, an ointment that also smells good. You make it by mixing three parts camphor oil with one part poppy oil and one part ammonia. This camphor liniment can be used in the same way as camphor oil.

Anti-inflammatory effect has been proven

  1. South Korean research from 2006 shows that camphor does indeed exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. This makes it a proven remedy for all diseases in which it was used in traditional medicine as it has always been inflammatory diseases such as rheumatic diseases, bronchitis and muscle pain. The South Koreans noted a strong antioxidant effect from camphor. Chinese scientific research from 2009 concluded that camphor counteracts swelling caused by arthritis in rats. The Chinese also saw a clear anti-inflammatory effect of camphor.

Camphor has anti-cancer properties

  1. In an American review study from 2013 that reviews 25 scientific studies, interesting properties of camphor are listed with regard to cancer. Substances in camphorwood can force cancer cells to self-dissolve while healthy cells remain unaffected, according to multiple scientific studies. These facts have only recently come to light. In addition, camphor can have a positive effect on diabetes patients and may even have a positive effect on memory and Alzheimer's patients. A camphorwood-based anti-cancer drug was developed in Canada and is called 714-x. It is said to especially help with breast and prostate cancer. There is also a herbal extract called padma 28 which could help with type 1 diabetes. There has been extensive scientific research into the monoterpenes in camphor and it appears that these substances work in colon, stomach, liver and breast cancer. Monoterpenes could also be used in leukemia and a range of other cancers. The advantage of monoterpenes over chemotherapy is that chemotherapy affects not only cancer cells but also healthy cells and can even cause cancer there. Monoterpenes attack cancer cells and leave healthy cells untouched.

Camphor ingredients

  1. Especially the substance d-borneol is one of the most active substances in camphor. A considerable amount of camphor is naturally found in the camphor tree, a component that is found in all kinds of medicinal plants. linalol, cineol and iso-nerolidol are also among the strongest anti-inflammatories in camphorwood. Other substances in camphor wood are camphene, eugenol, limonene, safrole, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, beta-myrecene, alpha-tumulene, p-cymene and nerolidol.

No evidence of change in sexual activity

  1. In some traditional medicine, the side effect of camphor is reported to be that it decreases male sexual activity. However, an Iranian scientific study from 2014 disproves this fact. Camphor was given to rats and any changes in testosterone levels were noted. You can see testosterone as a measure of male sexual activity. It turned out that there were no differences in testosterone levels. That does not mean that camphor does not affect sexual activity. It just means that this research cannot show that it has a changing effect. Therefore, the researchers conclude their report by saying that more research is needed in this area in order to draw definitive conclusions.

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