Camphor

Latin Name

Cinnamomum camphora

Family

Lauraceae

Chemotype

Limonene, 1,8 Cineol, Pinenes, Camphre.

Distilled Component

Bark

Traditionally Known Properties

Analgesic. Anti-rheumatic when used externally.

Precautions

Avoid during the first 3 months of pregnancy. For external use only. The essential oil from this wood is epileptogenic.

Anecdote

In Chinese mythology, the camphor tree is seen as the Tree of Life. Indeed, its fruits were said to bring immortality to those who eat them. The camphor tree is the symbol of the city of Hiroshima because it was the first — along with Ginkgo biloba — to make a come back after the atomic bombing. The wood of the camphor tree, whose specific scent lasts several years, has antifungal properties that repel clothes moths and has long been used by Maison Moynat for making trunks to transport furs. The Hyatt brothers successfully created a celluloid billiard ball during a competition to replace ivory balls, and camphor was used during the manufacturing process because it plasticizes nitrocellulose to produce celluloid.