Botanical Name : Cinnamomum camphora (Linn.) Nees & Eberm.

Family : Lauraceae

Introduction :

Karpura used for external application (Anulepana) and for offerings to god. It show sedative action on CNS. It is better to use small quantity, large quantity will be act as poison.

Names in different Indian languages :

English : Camphor tree

Hindi : Kapur

Kannada : karpura

Malayalam : Karpuram,pacca karpuram

Sanskrit : karpurah

Tamil : karpuram

Telugu : Karpuramu,pacca karpuram

Unani : Kaafoor

Synonyms :

Ghanasaara, Chandra, Chandra Prabhaa, Sitaabhra, Hima-valukaa, Himopala, Himakara, Shashi, Indu, Tushaara, Gandhadravya, Shitalraja.

Varieties & adulterants – (CV – controversy, AD – adulterants) :

1. Bhimseni or Barãs Karpüra (D. camphora).

2. Cmi or Japani Karpura (Cinnamomum camphora)

3. Patri or Nagi KarpUra — Blumea balsamifera;

4. Krtrima Karpura— Synthetic variety

5. Blumea lacera;

6. Blumea densifiora

7. Ocimum kilimandscharicum

8. Limnophila gratioloides

9. Potãsa

10. Bhimasena

11. sitakara

12. sankaravasa

13. Pamgu

14. Pinja

15. Abdosãra

16. Himayuta

17. Vãlukã

18. Jãtikã

19. Tusãra

20. Hima

21. Sitala

22. Pakkika.

23. Pachaa karpuram.

Camphor and Camphor Oil— Camphor is formed in the oil cells distributed in all parts of the tree. These cells are filled with clear yellow oil from which camphor is slowly deposited. The oil progressively becomes colourless and volatile, and irregular light masses of camphor appear. Due to loss of resistance to permeability, the oil passes through the cell walls into other cavities in the tissues. Camphor can be distilled from all parts of the tree i.e., from chips of wood, stem, root, branches, twigs and leaves (even from fallen leaves).

Morphology :

A large ever green tree, 30 m high

Bark— aromatic. Wood moderately hard, yellowish-brown;

Leaves— Coriaceous, glaucous, aromatic, 3-veined, 5-10 cm long.

Flowers— small, unisexual (female larger than male flowers).

Fruit— dry, globose, ovoid.

Flowering and fruiting during March-April.

Habitat & Distribution :

Native of China, Japan and Taiwan— Introduced into India as ornamental plant and as a source of camphor. Now being cultivated in India.

Chemical Constituents :

Campher, campherol, cineol, pinene. camphene, dipentene, terpineol, candinene, safrole, camphoracene, laurolitsine, reticuline etc.

Properties :

Rasa Tikta, Katu, Madhura

Guna Laghu, Ruksa

Virya  sita

Vipäka Katu

Karma Kaphahara, Pãcana, Hrdya, Vrsya, Caksusya, Visaghna, Madakãri

carminative, expectorant , stimulant of heart and circulation , sedative and nervous depressant

Indications :

 Krimi, Kustha, Kandü, Mukha vairasya, Netra Vikara.

convulsions, hysteria, epilepsy, chorea, rheumatism, cough, asthma

Part Used :

Niryasa (extract)

Dosage :

125-375 mg.

External use :

Local application of karpoor is sharp deodorant, analgesic and beneficial to the eyes Initially it stimulates the local blood vessels but then it constricts them, so one experiences a feeling of cold, It can be used in the form of ointment in wounds; camphor oil mixed with various oils is used for massage in amavata (arthritis), joint pains, cough, chest pain and other diseases like pneumonia. It is also useful in skin disorders like oedema. Solution of camphor and peppermint etc. helps in local pain for e.g. stinging pain). Various kajals which are used in eye disorders contain camphor; tooth powders are made with camphor or camphor solution is used in pyorrhoea, toothache. Nasya helps in chronic rhinitis. Inhalation of camphor helps too. Paste made in milk relieves fever , and headache caused by pitta. Various balms used in headaches contain camphor.

Internal use :

Nervous system : In a low dose it is a brain tonic and an analgesic. When administered it causes an initial excitation but then ads as a sedative, thus relieving convulsions. Camphor is used as a respiratory stimulant. It is also used in impairment of brain function. vata disorders, hysteria and convulsions.

Digestive system : Being fragrant, it relieves bad breath. In the mouth it first feels cold then warm. It increases salivation and improves taste. Also improves appetite and digestion by stimulating digestive glands in the stomach. Being vermicidal, it is used in helmenthiasis. Higher doses cause nausea and vomiting. It is used in various oral disorders. In addition to diarrhoea, colitis, cholera, it Is also used in renal diseases. (Amritadhara – camphor, Asmantara – thymol).

Circulatory system : Cardiac stimulant and protective. It is a vasoconstrictor so it increases the blood pressure. It regulerises the heart rate in cardiac arrhythmia or brachycardia. It dilates the subcutaneous vessels, so it is used as a cardiac tonic in cardiac hypertrophy and sannipata jwara  i. e. fever caused by all the three doshas.

Respiratory system : It increases the blood circulation in the mucus membrane of the respiratory system and is an expectorant; thus it acts as a demulcent. 

Urinary system : As it is excreted through urinary tract, it increases the volume of urine. Being a diuretic and antiseptic, camphor is used in dysuria and gonorrhoea.

Reproductive system : Aphrodisiac in lower dose but higher dose causes the reverse action. It should be given In a lower dose in infertility. Paste is applied on the breast or it is used orally in galactorrhoea.

Skin : It is used In burning of skin and skin diseases Ointment of camphor and sulphur is used in scabies.

Temperature : Due to its diaphoretic properly, it is used either internally or externally in fever. To alleviate thirst induced by fever, camphor is put in drinking water.

Satmikaran : It has a soaping action by laghu and tikshna gunas It is also an antidote. It is used in lipid disorders and various toxicities either external or internal.

Excretion Skin, lungs and urinary tract.

Mode of administration : It is given in milk with sugar, these being the best anupanas of camphor. Excess camphor develops pain in abdomen, nausea, vomiting, giddiness, blindness, convulsions, cyanosis. urine retention, coma and death too. Camphor takers for many days causes weakness and anaemia. In the toxicity of camphor, emesis, stomach wash and purgation should be given. Then stimulants like kasturi, amber etc. are given.

Important Yogas or Formations :

Karpoorasav, Amritadhara, Amritahindu, Candraprabhavat; Hingu Karpiravati, Karpurãdi taila.

Important research work going on :

(1) Diarrhoea and dysentery

(2) Antifungal activity

(3) Diaphoretic and antihelmintic action

(4) Action on  spleen and liver

(5) Anti-bacterial activity

(6) Sedative action

(7) Antispasmodic action

Therapeutic Uses :

(1) Avrana sukla— Camphor is mixed with Vata ksira and applied as Anjana (V.S.)

(2) Mutrãghata— Camphor is to be introduced into the urethra (C.D.).

(3) Svãsa— Camphor is made into pills with jaggery and taken orally (S.B.M.)

(4) Sadyo Vrana— Camphor and ghee are mixed and applied over the wound ant bandage is applied over it (R.M.).

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