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Camphor: Product Highlight

Camphor: Product Highlight

Plant Details

Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) is a species of large evergreen trees in the Lauraceae family that is referred to as True Camphor, Common Camphor, Gum Camphor, and Japanese Camphor.  It is native to areas of India, Taiwan, Southern China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.  Camphor trees grow between sixty and one hundred feet tall with stout cylindrical trunks.  The bark is bright green with a tinge of red on younger trees and transitions to gray-brown with a rough, fissured texture as the trees grow older.  The leaves of Camphor trees are bright green and ovate, with a smooth, glossy appearance.  Leaves grow alternately along the twigs and produce a strong odor when crushed.  Camphor trees produce clusters of small flowers that are white to greenish-white in color and have six petals.  The flowers briefly appear on the trees in the spring before transforming into berry-like fruits called drupes.  Camphor drupes are round and black in color, growing to only around one centimeter. 

 

History

Camphor trees have long been cultivated for essential oil production and timber.  It is estimated that  Camphor began being extracted through distillation in the ninth century.  Taiwan produced and shipped large amounts of Camphor in its solid form from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, prior to and during their Japanese colonization.  At this time, Camphor was used to produce smokeless gunpowder and celluloid for film and toys.  Historically, Camphor Essential Oil has been used in areas of India and China for medicinal purposes and religious ceremonies as it was believed to heal both the mind and body.  Camphor wood was also utilized in China to construct temples and ships.  It was used in Ayurvedic treatments in India where it was added to remedies meant to soothe symptoms of colds and the flu, such as coughing and vomiting.  Camphor has also been used in treatments that were believed to treat speech impediments and psychological disorders.  During the time of the Bubonic Plague in fourteenth-century Europe, it was an ingredient in disinfectants used to fumigate areas as well as being used in embalming procedures.  When the many benefits and uses of Camphor became more widely known, its cultivation and essential oil production spread to areas of Egypt, South Africa, and Sri Lanka where the climate was also suitable for growth.  Camphor trees were introduced to Florida in the late nineteenth century where they were used as ornamental shade trees.  It then spread all across the Gulf Coast as it began to be cultivated for essential oil production as well.  As time went on, Camphor trees escaped cultivation and spread into natural areas via birds who consumed the fruits and it is now considered an invasive species in Florida. 

 

Extraction

Camphor Essential Oil is extracted from the wood of the tree through steam distillation.  After distillation, the essential oil is vacuum rectified and filter pressed to produce four different grades of oil: white, yellow, brown, and blue.  White Camphor Essential Oil is the only grade that is suitable for aromatherapeutic applications.  White Camphor Essential Oil is thin and clear with an intensely fresh, cool, and peppery aroma.  

 

Benefits & Uses

When used in aromatherapy, Camphor Essential Oil is believed to refresh and invigorate the body and mind.  It has been found to support healthy respiratory function by helping to relieve congestion and ease coughs to encourage deeper breathing.  Camphor may also work to boost the circulatory and immune system processes to help the body combat illness and heal faster.  It is thought to reduce feelings of stress and nervousness while calming the mind and promoting a state of relaxation.  Camphor Essential Oil is believed to soothe the pain of headaches and migraines and promote deeper, more restful sleep.  

Diluted and used topically, Camphor Essential Oil is known to have cooling and soothing effects that may reduce inflammation and ease pain in muscles and joints.  It is believed to stimulate circulation which may decrease inflammation and swelling caused by arthritis or injury.  Camphor may help to achieve a firm and clear complexion when used on the skin.  It has been found to deeply cleanse the skin and eliminate bacteria which can help to tighten pores and combat the formation of acne and blemishes.  Camphor Oil may help to calm irritation and reduce redness while working to lessen the appearance of scars and marks on the skin.  Calming and pain-soothing properties allow Camphor to diminish itching and soreness from insect bites, minor scrapes and burns, and rashes while helping to inhibit infection and support quick healing.  Camphor Essential Oil is known to promote full, soft hair when utilized in haircare routines.  It has been found to cleanse the scalp and combat hair loss while also smoothing hair texture and boosting growth. 

Here are some recipes using Camphor Essential Oil that we love…

Calm & Cool Diffuser Blend

Calm & Cool Diffuser Blend

Ingredients


Instructions

Add water to your diffuser up to the fill line.  Add drops of the essential oil blend.  This diffuser blend recipe is formulated for a 200ml ultrasonic diffuser.  Adjust the amount according to the size and directions of your diffuser.  

 

Breathe in Relief Vapor Rub

Breathe in Relief Vapor Rub

Ingredients

Instructions

Heat beeswax and shea butter on a double boiler until fully melted.  Remove from heat and stir in sweet almond oil and essential oil blend.  Pour immediately into the container and allow it to cool and harden for several hours before using. 

 

Complexion Refreshment Facial Toner

Complexion Refreshment Facial Toner

Ingredients

Instructions

Mix all ingredients in a 4 oz glass amber bottle.  Shake well to combine.  To use, soak a cotton round with the toner and then gently rub it over the face and neck.  Shake well before each use.  Store in a cool dark place for extended shelf life. 

 

Smooth Growth Scalp Oil

Smooth Growth Scalp Oil

Ingredients

Instructions

Add all ingredients to the bottle and give it a good shake to combine.  Part the hair, add a few drops to the scalp, and gently massage.  Allow the oil to sit on the scalp for at least 30 minutes before shampooing as usual.   

 

Drift Away Soothing Bath Melts

Drift Away Soothing Bath Melts

Ingredients

Instructions

Heat cocoa butter and jojoba oil in a double boiler until completely melted and combined.  Remove the combination from the heat and stir in the essential oil blend.  Place a few lavender buds into each cavity of your silicone mold.  Pour the melted butter and oil mixture into each mold.  Allow it to harden at room temperature for a few hours or in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to one hour. 

 

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