Health Benefits of Camphor, the queen of goodness


Isn’t camphor so aromatic? The secret behind every sweet smelling dish is a pinch of camphor in it. Laddus, halwa, badam kheer and rasmalai, all have the quintessential dose of camphor in them and that makes us go running behind these desserts. In the market, we get two different types of camphor. One is the edible ‘pachcha karpooram’ or the raw camphor and the other is the synthetic one. The former is used extensively in cooking and ayurvedic preparations while the latter is used as an offering to gods in temples. Since the time Ayurveda came into existence, camphor was a part of every single preparation, thanks to its healing powers. From the most common skin problems, headaches, vomiting to pregnancy and digestive disorders, the essential oil of camphor heals it all.

Camphor is extracted from the fruits and bark of the camphor tree that grows extensively across the Asian continent. Synthetic camphor is produced in factories and is available in the form of large chunks or pellets. The natural form of this aromatic herb only is used in treating body disorders and the artificial one should not be inhaled or rubbed externally on the skin. It can be quite harmful.

So how exactly camphor works for our betterment?

  • Anti-inflammatory – Old Chinese medicine and our mother Ayurveda suggest that the pure oil extracted from camphor barks can effectively treat rheumatism, the inflammation of joints and muscles. Massaging the body with the oil can provide instant relief by soothing the tender muscles.
  • Stimulating the digestive system – When consumed, edible camphor can work wonders on the digestive tract. It facilitates the stomach wall to secrete digestive juices and enzymes thus digesting the food and eliminating it easily.
  • Decongestant – Camphor is a part and parcel of every single aromatic balm that is available to us, cough expectorants and cold and cough medicines. This wonder herb is a natural decongestant, soothing lungs and throat when they are congested due to a viral infection. Applying a little camphor oil on the chest and upper back will instantly provide relief from blocked nose, bronchitis and sore throat.
  • Excellent for skin problems – Commonly seen skin disorders like itching, heat rashes, acne, sweat rashes; scars and burns are easily treated by camphor. Add edible camphor in a little coconut oil and rub it externally on the affected area. You will be tension free within seconds.
  • Treating hair loss – Who is not worried about hair loss? Not a single soul on the planet! Mixing a few drops of edible camphor oil in your hair oil reduces hair loss to a great extent. Camphor fortifies roots of the hair strands and energizes the scalp. This gives you thick and lustrous hair you will be proud of!
  • Antifungal and anti-bacterial – Camphor oil is very good for kitchens, bathrooms and other areas of your home that are prone to bacterial infestation. Mix a bit of this oil to water and cleanse your home and bathroom. Fungal and bacterial infections will be a forgotten story.

Ayurveda vouches that there is no other super herb than camphor. Be it the leaves, fruits or the bark, there is goodness in every part of the tree. But there’s something you should keep in mind while using the oil of edible camphor. Excessive usage can lead to nervous disorders, epilepsy and other disorders of the brain. Just a couple of drops are more than enough to stimulate your senses.