Camphor is a white or transparent solid with a strong aroma and is flammable in nature. It belongs to the laurel tree family and is majorly found in the wood of camphor laurel tree. Camphor can also synthetically prepared by processing the turpentine oil.
Since the Vedic period, camphor has been popular in India for its various applications ranging from medicines, culinary to fragrance. It also holds a great importance in the Hindu religious ceremonies and Pujas. Camphor also referred to as Karpur has numerous health benefits and thus makes it a very important ingredient for every household.
Some of the important uses of Camphor are enlisted below:
- Skin Care: In Ayurveda, camphor plays a significant role as an ingredient for skin care. It helps in soothing skin itching, irritations, and redness of the skin. In addition to it, this ingredient helps in relieving pain caused by sores and insect bites on the skin. In the case of skin burns, camphor helps in removing the burn scars when used on a regular basis over the affected areas. It is also a good remedy for acne, eczema, nail fungus, cracked heels, and skin rashes.
- Hair Care: Camphor oil helps in promoting hair growth by reducing the hair fall problem. Egg or yogurt mixed with camphor oil helps when massaged over the scalp helps in strengthening the hair from its roots. It also helps in lice elimination and improves the hair texture, leaving your hair smelling fresh.
- Culinary Uses: Camphor finds its wide usage in the preparation wide variety of Arabian sweet dishes. Thus, is used as a flavoring agent for various sweet dishes native to the Asian continent. One can find edible camphor available in many grocery stores.
- Pesticide and Preservative: Camphor acts as a great insect repellent and thus used for making moth balls. It also prevents cockroach attack when placed in cupboards. It is known for its anti-microbial properties and thus is believed to have used by ancient Egyptians for mummification. The camphor fumes form a preventive coating over the tools, thereby preventing rusting.
- Health Benefits: Camphor oil has several health benefits as it helps in alleviating many health issues. It acts as a decongestant, antiseptic stimulant, sedative, and nervous pacifier. It helps in the proper activity of circulatory system and improves digestion. It acts as an antiseptic to ward off infections and also help in relieving gas trouble. It acts as a great anaesthetic that lowers nervous disorders and calms down anxiety. Camphor, when combined with other medicines, help prevent cardiac failures as well as useful for treating diseases like flu, epilepsy, hysteria, and food poisoning.
Aside the above-mentioned benefits, some other medicinal benefits of camphor are as described below:
- The strong scent of camphor helps in easing nasal congestion during cold and flu.
- It acts as a good hormone stimulator that helps in increasing the sex drive.
- The scientific studies prove that when camphor applied over the skin or stiff joints, reduces the symptoms of osteoarthritis to a great level.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of camphor make it a great addition to ointments and oils that help in speedy recovery of wounds and also prevents in treating pimples and acne.
- Camphor has anti-spasmodic properties that help in providing instant relief from spasm. It is also very effective in the treatment of extreme conditions of spasmodic cholera.
- The anti-oxidant properties of camphor prevent the formation of free radicals inside the body.
All the above-mentioned benefits of camphor are categorised as per their utilisation for multiple purposes, which makes it an excellent ingredient to store at our houses. Despite its advantages, it is always recommended to take it in minimal dosage because an excess of it can lead to various discomforts to your body.