Karpura, Cinnamomum Camphora


Karpura is also known with the name Camphor. The scientific name of the plant is Cinnamomum camphora. Karpura is a crystalline, white compound with a strong pungent odor and taste. It is derived from the wood of the camphor. It belongs to the family of laurel.

Karpura is a small, glabrous, broad leaved tree, grows up to 40 m with a broad sweeping crown, has diameter of up to 3 m. the bark of the plant is of yellow brown color with rough surface and vertical fissures. The trunk of the plant can be grown up to 8 m long and 2 m wide. The leaves of the plants are of dark to light green color with glossy light color veins. These are 8 to 15 cm long and 3 to 7 cm wide. The leaves are penniverved with dormant buds that enclose in a large, silky, orbicular, imbricating caduceus scales. These give a strong smell when crushed. The shape of the leaves are very variable. It shows ovate to elongate range of structures. Each of them grows alternatively on twigs. The flowers of the plant are bisexual, white in color, hermaphroditic, actinomorphic have terminal panicles on the ends of the twigs. The flowers have one ovary with locular, basal ovule, stamens are very definite and free. Its anthers open through the valves or the slits. The embryos are very minute. By the November, the dark blue berries fruit ripen. These are very small up to 1 cm. the new foliage proliferates in spring season have purple red, then green color. In the end, after its full growth when previous year leaves fall down, it become of orange red color.

Karpura, Camphor


Karpura is a tree of many faces as it is a giant, stately forest tree, native of the wet forests of tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. The species Camphora, refer to camphor, an important chemical constituent present in the oil found in the tissues of tree. The botanical name is derived from Greek language. It derived from the word 'kinnamomon' which means spice. This herb is recorded in Sanskrit also. This is also used by Egyptians as early 1485 BC for embalming purposes.

There is different cultivation seasons for this plant according to their regions. In India and China, flowers flourish in April-May and fruits occur during September to November.

In Vietnam, flowering occurs in April to May and its fruiting starts in November – January.

Karpura plays various important properties useful in cure of certain diseases. It acts as antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, anti­infective, rubefacient, contraceptive, cough suppressant, mild expectorant and nasal decongestant. It can also be used for injection, ingestion or inhalation purpose.

This plant has various active chemical constituents like its leaves contain 1% essential oil and wood contain around 3%. The essential oil of the plant contains cineol, pinene, thymol, menthol, 10-15% of 2-bornanon, terpineol and no safrole. But the brown variety has 80% safrole and some terpenoids. Its yellow variety also has safrole, and other components like esquiterpenes and sesquiterpene alcohol.


  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Subkingdom - Viridiplantae
  • Infrakingdom - Streptophyta
  • Superdivision - Embryophyta
  • Division - Tracheophyta
  • Subdivision - Spermatophytina
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Superorder - Magnolianae
  • Order - Laurales
  • Family - Lauraceae
  • Genus - Cinnamomum
  • Species - Camphora


It is the native of southern islands of japan and Taiwan. It comes from the wet land forests. Today it is grown in many countries with tropical and subtropical climate as such in India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Madagascar, South Africa and USA. Taiwan is the first most country which produces karpura, then comes the name of Japan.


  • Sanskrit name - Karpura
  • Hindi name – Karpur, karpuram
  • English Name - Camphor tree, Camphor laurel, Japanese camphor
  • Kannada Name – Pache karpoora
  • Bengali Name - Karpur
  • Telugu Name - Karpooram Chettu
  • Marathi name - Karpur
  • Gujarati Name - Karpur
  • Tamil Name - Karpooram, Pachai Karpooram
  • Chinese - Xiang-zhang, Zhang-shu
  • Creole - Kafm, bom zangle
  • Dutch - Kamferboom
  • French - camphrier, camphre, baume anglais, Arbre a camphre
  • German – Kampferßaum
  • Italian - Canfora,confora
  • Japanese - kkusu-no-ki, kuso-no ki, hon-sho
  • Nepali - Kapur
  • Portuguese - Alcanforeira
  • Spanish - Alcanfor, alcanforero, alcanfor delJapón
  • Swahili - Mkafuri maita
  • Swedish - Kamfertraed


Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Tikta, Katu, Madhura Taste Bitter, Pungent, Sweet
Guna Laghu, Rooksha Physical Property Light, Dry
Virya Sheeta Potency Cold
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent


It balances kapha and pitta doshas.


Charaka Samhita Sushrut Samhita



This plant has different kinds of varieties which explained in different ancient texts. These are:-

  • Dhanvantari Nighantu Sodhala explained Chinaka, Pakva (artificial) and Apakva (natural) varieties of Kurpura.
  • Kaiyadeva explained there are three varieties – Ishavasa, Hima sanjnaka & Potashraya. Later he explained that there are two types based on their processing, Pakva (prepared) and Apaka (natural).
  • Raja Nighantu explained around 14 types of Karpura on the basis of Rasa, Guna and Veerya.


Ancient Verse About Karpura

Bhavprakash nighantu edition of 1998: verse 4, page no- 175 to 178.

It states the properties of the karpura. It is known as chinak karpura in Sanskrit.

It manages kapha, skin diseases, itching and vomiting. It is bitter in taste.


The Bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary by Padmashri prof. K.C. Chunekar, edited by Dr. G.S. Pandey: Edition of 1998, verse 4, page no. 175 to 178.


Digestive system

This plant helps in secreting juices and enzymes helps to improve digestive system.


It acts as antioxidant and suppresses the effect of oxidative stress. So helps to cure kidney and heart problems.


It provides instant relief from spasms and cramps, so provides relief to stomach.


It helps to heal muscular pains and aches as well as rheumatism. It also helps to decrease cholesterol levels in the body.

Strong decongestant

It acts as very powerful decongestant as instantly blocks the congestion that can create the problem in bronchi, pharynx, nasal tracts and lungs.


This cures fungal infections that occur on nails and skin.

Cold and cough treatment

It can be taken as steam as it form a covering over the organs and gives relief from throat irritation and treating bronchitis.


This plant helps to stimulate hormones levels that tend to increase sexual desire and urge.

Act as narcotic

It helps to relax the brain and nerves. So act as narcotic.


It helps to cure swelling of various body parts so give relief to joints pain and help to improve circulations.


Planet Ayurveda has herbal powder which contains Karpura as one of its herb.

Gum Care Powder

This herb is used to treat gum and teeth problems. It makes mouth and teeth healthier as it destroys mouth flora and fauna, tooth decay and helps to brighten the teeth.


Niryasa (Extract)


125 to 350 mg


  • It should not be taken by patients suffering from epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.
  • Oral intake should be taken under medical supervision.
  • The over use of this herb can lead to confusion, restlessness, vomiting, seizures and nausea etc.
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