Is camphor a medicinal plant?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Yes,it is.It is a crystalline substance obtained from the tree Cinnamomum camphora that has been used to treat flatulence.As a pharmacist we use this to compound different ointments or creams also.

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  • 1 decade ago

    yeah it sure is in indian ayurveda(an ancient art of medicine ) camphor wa considered very valuable and it has healing properties and is also used to increase the mental sharpness

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  • 1 decade ago

    It may be administered orally in small quantities (50 mg) for minor heart symptoms and fatigue.

    so yes it is a medical plant

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, it is used in small quantities to treat cramps, flatulance and fatigue.It is also used as an eyewash. It is taken orally, or drawn as tea.

    However it can be poisonous when taken in large quantities

    See the list of references below for further info.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) is a large evergreen tree that grows up to 20-30 metres tall. The leaves have a glossy, waxy appearance and smell of camphor when crushed by hand. In spring it produces bright green foliage with masses of small white flowers. It produces clusters of black berry-like fruit around one centimetre in diameter.

    Camphor Laurels have very stout trunks. They also have somewhat pale bark that is very rough and fissured vertically.

    Camphor Laurel is native to Taiwan, southern Japan, southeast China and Indochina, where it is also cultivated for camphor and timber production. The production and shipment of camphor, in a solid, waxy form, was a major industry in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945). It was used medicinally and was also an important ingredient in the production of smokeless gunpowder and celluloid. Primitive stills were set up in the mountainous areas in which the tree is usually found. The wood was chipped; these chips were steamed in a retort, allowing the camphor to crystallize on the inside of a crystallization box, after the vapour had passed through a cooling chamber. It was then scraped off and packed out to government-run factories for processing and sale. Camphor was one of the most lucrative of several important government monopolies under the Japanese.

    [edit] Camphor Laurel as an invasive species in Australia

    illustrationCamphor Laurel was introduced to Australia in 1822 as an ornamental tree for use in gardens and public parks. It has however become a weed throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales where it is suited to the wet, subtropical climate.

    It has been declared a noxious weed for the entire states of Queensland and New South Wales. Its massive and spreading root systems disrupt urban drainage and sewerage systems and degrade river banks. Its leaves have a very high carbon content, which damages water quality and freshwater fish habitats when they fall into streams and rivers. The camphor content of the leaf litter helps prevent other plants from germinating successfully, helping to ensure the camphor's success against any potentially competing vegetation, and the seeds are attractive to birds and pass intact through the digestive system, ensuring rapid distribution. Camphor laurel invades pastures, and also competes against eucalyptus trees which are the sole food source of koalas, which are endangered in many parts of eastern Australia.

    Uses

    Being a native to Asia, the tree has cultural significance to Asian peoples and has been used for centuries for scent, camphor oil, crystallised camphor blocks for use in religious ceremonies and for medicinal propartions. It is also considered a valuable timber for furniture and carvings, in particular icons.Camphor laurel growing in this area has extraordinary colour and grain and as a result there have been times in our recent history where we have exported timber to Asia and later re-imported it as a finished product.

    The use of this timber locally is limited but many people are starting to realise its value for furniture. There are many fine craftsmen in the region who make some of the highest quality furniture available from this unwanted tree. The Australian Camphor Laurel Timber Association has been formed to promote the commercial and artistic uses of camphor laurel timber as well as other objectives relating to research, fostering awareness of Australian grown camphor laurel and providing support to millers. (PO Box 1320, Lismore 2480).

    If you have dead camphor laurel logs on the ground they can be used in eroded areas to rehabilitate the erosion by lying them on the ground across the slope and planting in the built up soil. They will also provide habitat for lizards, frogs and other ground creatures.

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  • Why not?

    It is used in Ayurveda for it's medicinal properties.

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