Camphor: This is how you can use its medicinal benefits to the fullest!

Camphor used to be made by distilling the bark and wood of the camphor (kapur) tree. Today, camphor is chemically manufactured from turpentine oil.  

Powdered camphor

Zee Media Bureau/Udita Madan

​New Delhi: Camphor, known as 'kapur' in Hindi, is commonly used in Indian households. It is of two types – the edible camphor and the synthetically made camphor.

Whether for religious ceremonies, as a room freshener, or in the form of an essential oil, the strong fragrance of camphor is loaded with healing properties, while also being known for spreading positivity.

Camphor used to be made by distilling the bark and wood of the camphor (kapur) tree. Today, camphor is chemically manufactured from turpentine oil.

It's medicinal properties, however, are lesser known. We have therefore, compiled a list of benefits that camphor provides you. Take a look!

1. Digestive problems: People who suffer from frequent gas problems can get relief after consuming edible camphor called 'Pachai karpooram' in Tamil, which is derived directly from the tree. It brings relief by preventing the formation of gas in the first place. Camphor can also help one in preventing or treating digestive problems like diarrhoea or gastroenteritis.

2. Inflammation: Camphor has immense anti-inflammatory properties, which make it an amazing addition in ointments and oils. Applying camphor oil on a wound can speed up the healing process and reduce swelling. Some common skin problems that can be treated with camphor include acne or pimples.

3. Relief from spasms: Camphor is an effective anti-spasmodic, which means that it helps a person experiencing spasms to get instant relief upon application. Camphor is effective in curing even the most extreme form of spasmoci cholera.

4. Common cold and flu: The distinct scent of the camphor helps ease nasal congestions and trigger an open and smooth airflow. Those people who suffer from frequent coughing can use camphor to seek relief.

5. Boosts libido: Camphor is an aphrodisiac that when consumed or inhaled, boosts one's libido by arousing those parts of the brain that are responsible for sexual urges and desires.

6. Osteoarthritis: There is enough evidence to prove that the severity of osteoarthritis symptoms reduce by about half when one applies camphor to the skin and over stiff joints. Researchers firmly believe that camphor is the ingredient in the most ointments that improve arthritic conditions and joint pains.

7. Stimulates hormones: Camphor works as an efficient hormone stimulator that helps in increasing libido as well as sex drive. Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction can apply camphor externally. This will stimulate the nerves and allow adequate amount of blood circulation in the area.

8. Improves blood circulation: Camphor works effectively in stimulating and improving blood circulation throughout the body. This, in turn, ensures that the heart stays healthy and the body keeps fit.

9. Nerve disorders: Over the years, research has shown that camphor is an effective treatment for nervous disorders, convulsions, epilepsy and muscular contraction. Patients who suffer from such conditions must always consult the doctor before consumption because an excess of it can be counter-productive.

However, one safety precaution while using camphor oil made from synthetic camphor is to never use it on cuts, burns or any open wounds as it is poisonous when mixed in our blood stream.

It is highly flammable, so use it with caution. Last but not the least, never apply camphor oil directly on the skin. Always dilute it with oils like olive oil, coconut oil, wheat germ oil or almond oil.

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