All types of arthritic and rheumatic pains affecting patients, problems like neuralgia, and back pain can be treated using camphor - it is a herbal counterirritant and most often used as an analgesic liniment for topical treatment of different disorders. The analgesic qualities of the camphor also make it an useful liniment for direct application to treat all sorts of skin problems, it is used in the treatment of different disorders like cold sores and chilblains, for the treatment of bronchitis and different infections of the chest - camphor is directly rubbed on the chest as a herbal topical treatment measure. Camphor oil must not be consumed, though it has been used as a liniment in the treatment of various external and physical disorders. Traditionally, the practice in folk medicine as a cure for cold and related illnesses was to make the affected person wear a little bag or sachet around the neck, this contained camphor crystals - this was a very common treatment method in the old days. The physical pains associated with external bruises, all kinds of sprains, with severe inflammations, with problems like gout, and with rheumatic joints was carried out traditionally by rubbing the oil of camphor into the affected areas of the body. Though not advised or practiced nowadays, the oil of camphor was also consumed as a treatment for hysteria, to treat epilepsy, and to treat heart problems in patients - the actual benefits of this treatment is not known. Different respiratory disease such as asthma, persistent bronchitis and emphysema affecting patients was also treated by inhalations of the camphor fumes; this was a very common method of treatment for all afflictions affecting the respiratory system. The consumption of camphor to some extent, an exposure to its fumes has been known to cause toxicity and poisoning-facts confirmed in clinical tests. Therefore the use of camphor in these ways is now prohibited since prolonged exposure to the fumes and more so, the ingestion of camphor can be very dangerous to patients. For this reason, the use of camphor in the United States is now limited to topical lotions and liniments for external use only, these can help in relieving the superficial pain and symptomatic itching caused by different disorders. Some ingestible products such as soft drinks and cough drops, and some types of candy still contain white camphor oil, mainly for fragrance - this form of the oil is not toxic as the poisonous substance has been removed from the oil and it is quite safe for consumption.
The camphor tree is a species endemic and native to east Asia, mainly China and Japan. These days, cultivation of the camphor tree is carried out in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world, mainly as a source for the durable camphor wood - this wood is the base for the extraction of commercial camphor oil.
The main chemical constituents of the volatile oil in the camphor tree are a mixture of the compounds safrole, the chemical compound eugenol, and the terpineol. The compounds called lignans are also found in large quantities in the camphor tree. The compound safrole found in camphor oil is though to be a potential carcinogen, in general the camphor works as an herbal irritant and antiseptic mainly due to the action of its volatile oil. The product called camphor, which is the white crystalline chemical derivative sourced from the stems, the roots, and the other parts of the camphor tree, is a very powerful and potent antiseptic, it is also a very good stimulant, and has strong anti-spasmodic actions in the body.