The essential oil of camphor is an essential of the Chinese pharmacopoeia, because it is an excellent circulatory and respiratory stimulant. Particularly, it is only used for external use. The advice ofOriane Jurado, naturopath, to use it safely.
What is camphor?
The camphor tree (cinnamomum camphora CT cineole) is a tree of the lauraceae family which can reach 25 meters in height. In this family, we find the laurel, for example. He is originally from Southeast Asia, especially China. But it has also become acclimatized in Madagascar, where it is even sometimes considered an invasive species!
It is also the emblem of Japan. Why ? After the atomic bombardment of Hiroshima, it was one of the first plant species to be repelled.
What parts are used for the essential oil?
Camphor essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the’bark camphor tree. Camphor is a white crystalline substance.
To know : the essential oil of ravintsara comes from the leaves of the camphor tree.
What are the properties of camphor essential oil?
Camphor essential oil has many virtues:
- It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It is particularly appreciated by sportsmen because it relieves the muscle and joint pain. It is also useful for people suffering from rheumatism.
- It is a respiratory decongestant : the essential oil of camphor is, at the same time, sanitizing and expectorant. Rich in active ingredients mucolytics, it thins bronchial secretions to better eliminate them and is therefore used for clear the ENT sphere.
- It is a circulatory stimulant : camphor naturally stimulates blood circulation by a slightly vasoconstrictor effect. Camphor oil is therefore used in the problems of heavy legs, of swollen feet.
- It is a general tonic : energizing, camphor stimulates the adrenal cortex glands to restore strength and vigor. Its essential oil is indicated in times of tired, ofasthenia.
The essential oil of camphor is used transcutaneously, that is to say in massage, by the respiratory route in olfaction on a handkerchief for example.
Attention, the oral route is formally excluded!
What are the indications and dosage of camphor essential oil?
- Against bruises, sprains, rheumatic pains : the essential oil is anti-inflammatory. To treat these “sores”, it is advisable to carry out a homemade balm.
The recipe: in a double boiler, melt 6 g of beeswax in 45 ml of arnica or shea oil or a mixture of olive and calendula. Let the preparation cool slightly before adding 12 drops of essential oil of camphor, 10 drops of essential oil of cajuput, 10 drops of essential oil of peppermint, 5 drops of essential oil of clove and 3 drops Chinese cinnamon essential oil. Pour everything into a sterilized glass jar. Let cool and harden before sealing the jar tightly. It can be stored for 6 months away from heat and humidity.
It is then enough to apply a little of this mixture in massage on the contusion, the sprain or the rheumatism.
- Against colds, bronchitis, coughs, asthma : dilute 1 drop of essential oil of camphor in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and apply in friction on the thorax.
- Against heavy legs and varicose veins : dilute 2 drops of essential oil of camphor in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil such as calophylle. Massage the legs with going up from the ankles to the thighs to encourage venous return.
Warning, do not apply to lesions of a varicose ulcer!
What are its contraindications?
- Camphor essential oil should not be used in pregnant woman.
- Camphor essential oil is contraindicated in breastfeeding mother his baby.
- Camphor essential oil is not suitable for children under 7 years old.
- Camphor essential oil should not be used by people with epilepsy.
To know : certain compounds of the essential oil of Camphor (limonene, linalool) can present a allergic risk. It is therefore advisable to start with a very localized use to ensure its good tolerance.
Crystals, ball, camphor stone …
Natural camphor is usually found in the form of crystals, soluble in alcohol or oil. They are used for the homemade preparation of balms, creams, ointments. Camphor is, in fact, one of the main components of the famous ‘Tiger Balm’, in synergy with menthol and essential oils of clove, cinnamon, cajeput and mint.
Camphor can also be used as incense, fumigated on hot charcoal, to purify the atmosphere of the house and give energy to its interior.
Contrary to popular belief, mothballs, used in the past by our grandmothers had nothing to do with camphor tree: they came from the distillation of coal tars.