The camphor tree can grow up to 35 meters (100 feet) and camphor is found in every part of the tree. Camphor Essential Oil is extracted by steam from the chipped wood, root stumps and branches. It is then rectified under vacuum and filter-pressed. White camphor oil is the first distillation fraction.
Camphor Essential Oil has a strong, penetrating, fragrant odor.
The chemical constituents of Camphor Essential Oil attribute it with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, insecticide, and laxative properties. Camphor oil has been used in the treatment of nervous depression, acne, inflammation, arthritis, muscular aches and pains, sprains, rheumatism, bronchitis, coughs, colds, fever, flu and infectious diseases. It is a well-known repellent of moths and other insects, and is an ingredient in moth balls.
In China and Japan, Cinnamomum camphora must be at least 50 years old to produce oil, and can often grow as old as a thousand years. Among its many uses, it was used as a deodorant and in embalming, and camphor wood was used to build ships and temples because of the woods durable and aromatic properties. Camphor was used medicinally, such as a remedy against the plague in ancient Persia. In the past was a culinary ingredient, and was cited in the Q'ran 76:5 as a flavouring for drinks, though now an amount of 2 grams is considered toxic.
Camphor oil is powerful oil and should be used with care. Overdosing can cause convulsions and vomiting. Pregnant women or persons suffering from epilepsy and asthma should not use it.