Camphor oil


It is believed that they were the first to learn how to extract and use camphor oil for medicinal purposes in India, because the very name of the compound comes from the Sanskrit word «kapura» — «white»


Camphor oil (old. Camphor oil) is a collective name applied simultaneously to two different products: a solution of camphor in vegetable oil (drug) and an essential oil obtained from a tall evergreen laurel tree. In this case, the first substance is, as a rule, a semi-synthetic camphor from fir trees or a synthetic racemic analog extracted by distillation of turpentine and pinene.

However, until the end of the 19th century, a medical preparation was an exclusively natural product from the roots, crushed wood and shoots of a camphor tree, from which, when cooled and standing, a precipitate fell out in the form of volatile colorless crystals with a specific aroma — camphor itself, which was then diluted with vegetable oil due to its very poor solubility in water. Therefore, earlier, under the name “camphor oil”, camphor laurel was always hidden as a raw material, but then pharmacologists discovered that a semi-synthetic compound from pine trees in its physicochemical properties and effects on the body does not differ from natural essential oil and began to produce a drug based on fir , and chemically contaminated synthetic camphor was also useful for external use. The raw essential oil of camphor laurel is divided into different fractions during the distillation process: technical brown with safrole, white for aromatherapy and natural medical.

Chemical composition

The essential oil of the camphor tree contains terpene ketone (camphor), cineole, safrole, pinene, phellandrene, camphene, bisabolol, limonene.


Historically, the entire world’s need for camphor oil was initially covered by Japanese production (in Taiwan, which belonged to the country), especially after the development of the film industry, which required an increasing production of celluloid, which includes natural camphor. But after the discovery in 1893 of the molecular structure and composition of the substance, enterprises for the production of camphor from pinene opened in many countries (Germany, USA, England, France, Russia), since the demand for a compound used in the production of explosives and smokeless powder, with the onset of world war increased significantly.

Semi-synthetic camphor for medical purposes soon completely replaced the natural one, but the natural substance is still impossible to displace from such industries as cooking, aromatherapy and cryoscopy. It is also actively used in Southeast Asia as a fragrant smoking, placing crystals on hot coals, as a substance that repels moths and in creating the Fitzroy stormglass barometer.

Medicinal properties of camphor oil

Camphor oil was widely used in medical practice at the beginning of the 20th century — the drug injected subcutaneously stimulates the respiratory and vasomotor centers in the brain, improving lung ventilation, blood flow in the pulmonary arteries and the contractile function of the heart muscle. These effects of camphor oil led to its use in respiratory depression (for example, in case of poisoning with narcotic and sleeping pills), infectious and inflammatory diseases of the lungs (pneumonia), vascular collapse, chronic and acute heart failure.

However, due to the replacement of a natural product with synthetic, semi-synthetic, as well as frequent side effects, camphor oil is currently only used externally in medicine as an antiseptic, antimicrobial, analgesic, antipruritic, anti-inflammatory and local irritant for such conditions as myalgia, arthralgia, sciatica, sciatica. , bedsores.

Contraindications and side effects

Camphor oil is contraindicated during pregnancy, lactation, in childhood, with a tendency to convulsive reactions and epilepsy, in cases of violation of the integrity of the skin, with dermatitis and eczema. An oily solution of camphor, when used externally, can cause allergic reactions in the form of urticaria, and when used subcutaneously, dizziness, headache, tachycardia, convulsions, oleogranuloma and fat embolism.

Article protected by copyright and related rights. When using and reprinting the material, an active link to the healthy lifestyle portal is required!


Добавить комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *