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Karpura, Camphor (Cinnamomum Camphora) - Properties, Benefits & Dosage

Karpura, Cinnamomum Camphora


Karpura known as “Camphor” is a crystalline, white compound with a strong pungent odor and taste. It is derived from the wood of the camphor plant (Cinnamomum camphora). It belongs to the family of Lauraceae.


It helps to balance Kapha dosha in the body. Along with the medicinal uses, Camphor is also widely used in spiritual practice.

Synonyms

  • Sitabhra – Cool to touch
  • Himvaluka – Resembles to crystals of ice.
  • Ghansaar – Solid in consistency
  • Chandersangya - Resembles like moon
  • Himavha – White as snow

Regional Names Of Karpura

  • Sanskrit name - Karpura
  • Hindi name – Karpur, karpuram
  • English Name - Camphor tree, Camphor laurel
  • 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

Classification

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Division - Tracheophyta
  • Class - Magnoliopsida
  • Order - Laurales
  • Family - Lauraceous
  • Genus - Cinnamomum
  • Species – Camphora

Description Of The Camphor Plant

Karpura is a broad-leaved tree that grows up to 40 m with a broad sweeping crown. The bark of the plant is of yellow-brown color with a rough surface and vertical fissures. The leaves of the plants are of bright green color approx 2 to 4 inches long with a waxy appearance and glossy light color veins, they emit strong fragrance of Camphor when crushed. The flowers of the plant are bisexual, yellowish white in color. Fruits of the plant are round, dark green in color and present in clusters. Seeds of camphor are very small and are emersed with the active principles. 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.

Habitat

Karpura is a native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia especially Taiwan, Vietnam and China. Today it is grown in many countries with tropical and subtropical climate such as in India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, South Africa and USA. Taiwan is the first most country which produces Karpura, then comes the name of Japan.

Types of Karpura

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

  1. Dhanvantari Nighantu: On the basis of formation Karpura is of two types:
    • Pakwa Karpura – Which we are directly obtain from the plant without any procedure.
    • Apakwa Karpura – One which we get after heating the roots, stems and branches of Karpura tree. Here, because of heat the raisin comes out and gets deposited on the surface. Then that Niryasa (extracted raisin) has to undergo the “Urdwa Patan Vidhi” (Sublimation process).

    How we can differentiate the Pakwa Karpura and Apakwa Karpura?

    Pakwa KarpuraApakwa Karpura
    On Dissolving In WaterFloats on waterIt will settle down
    FregranceSharpMilder as compare to Pakwa karpura
    On Room TemperatureIt evaporatesIt will not evaporate

    Apakwa Karpura is best as compare to Pakwa Karpura.

  2. Kaiyadeva explained there are three varieties – Ishavasa, Hima sanjnaka & Potashraya.
  3. Raja Nighantuexplained around 14 types of Karpura on the basis of Rasa, Guna and Veerya.

Maximum Karpura we obtain from roots. Nowadays, Karpura is prepared with the help of various chemicals which is present in the market but it is only useful for a spiritual purpose not for medicinal use.

Chemical Composition

This plant has various active chemical constituents like Campherol, camphene, terpineole, borneol, linalool, thymol, and some other essential volatile oils.

Ayurvedic Properties Of Karpura

Hindi / SanskritEnglish
RasaTikta, Katu, MadhuraTasteBitter, Pungent, Sweet
GunaLaghu, RookshaPhysical PropertyLight, Dry
VeeryaSheetaPotencyCold
VipakaKatuMetabolic Property (After Digestion)Pungent

Ancient Verse About Karpura

Ancient Verse About Karpura
(Reference – Bhava Prakasha Nighantu// Karpuradi Varga// Karpura// Shloka no. 2-3)

Effect On Doshas

It helps to Balance Tridoshas. Because of Tikta ras subsides Kapha, Madhura ras subsides Vata and due to Cold potency subsides Pitta dosha.

DoshaEffects
Vata-
Pitta-
Kapha-

Karpura is an aphrodisiac herb, good for eyesight, subsides burning sensation, and thirst and is effective in Medo roga’s like hyperlipidemia, obesity, etc.

Action of Camphor on Various Systems

Karpura has various important actions on various systems of the body like antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, etc. It also acts as a mild expectorant and nasal decongestant.(1)

  • Stimulates digestion: This plant helps in secreting gastric and pancreatic juices and enzymes which helps to improve the functions of digestive system.
  • Analgesic and Anti-spasmodic: It provides instant relief from spasms and cramps, so helpful in abdominal problems.
  • Anti-oxidant: It is antioxidant in nature thus, suppresses the effect of oxidative changes. So helps to delay degenerative changes and effective in kidney and heart problems.
  • Anti-inflammatory: It helps to heal the muscular pains and aches as well as rheumatism due to its anti-inflammatory property.
  • Decongestant: It acts as a very powerful decongestant thus, instantly relieves the congestion that creates difficulty in breathing. It is effective in diseases like bronchitis, cough and cold.
  • Nervine stimulant: It helps to stimulate the brain thus, improves the peripheral sensations.
  • Antimicrobial action: Camphor is anti-microbial in nature thus perishes the infections of the skin and even nails.
  • Aphrodisiac: This plant helps to stimulate hormones that tend to increase sexual desire and urge.
  • Antiarthritic: It helps to resolve swelling of various body parts and hence gives relief in joints pain, inflammation and helps to improve the circulations.

Practical Uses of Karpura

It can be used in various forms like Taila, Vati, Churna, Arka, Asava and Lepa. It can be used for internal as well as external purposes.

External Use

  • Massage: Locally massage the chest region with Karpura oil for the respiratory problem.
    • Apply the oil externally to reduce burning sensation.
    • Massage the body to reduce the accumulated fat.
    • Helpful to massage in musculoskeletal disorders like sciatica, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
  • Inhalation: It is really effective to use Camphor for inhalation in respiratory problems like cough and congestion.

Internal Use

  • It can be used internally to reduce thirst and dryness of the mouth.
  • It is effective to reduce the burning sensation.
  • It is used as a mouth freshener and relieves the bad breath.
  • Due to its anti-helminthic property it is effective to tackle worm infestation.
  • It helps to induce perspiration thus, effective in fever.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders it effectively reduces swelling and pain thus tackles, fibromyalagia, rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It stimulates the functions of pancreas thus beneficial herb to tackle Diabetes.
  • It is also beneficial in resolving libido and tackles various reproductive problems.

Part Used

Niryas (Extract)

Dosage

125 to 350 mg.

Easy Ways to Utilize Camphor at Home

  • You can add a pinch of Karpura in 20 ml water, drink this to combat the burning sensation of stomach.
  • You can add Camphor in Coconut oil, mix thoroughly and apply it on the affected skin to relieve burning sensation, itching and dermatitis.
  • Epistaxis – You can mix a pinch of Karpura in lukewarm cow’s ghee and instill 2 drops in both the nostrils, it will arrest the nose bleeding.
  • Tooth problem – The powder of Karpura can be rubbed over teeth to tackle toothache.
  • In fever you can take 1 pinch Karpura + 1 pinch Hing + little amount of Honey and add a few drops of Ginger into it, give this twice in a day, it is useful in hyperpyrexia.
  • In case of any viral and bacterial contagious disease, as a precautionary measure you can burn the karpura at home, it will act as a disinfectant.
  • You can add Karpura in sesame oil and can massage in case of pains due to musculoskeletal disorders.

Caution to Be Taken

  • Oral intake should be taken under medical supervision. The overdose of this herb can lead to confusion, restlessness, vomiting, seizures and nausea, etc.
  • Should be avoided in Pregnancy and during breastfeeding.

Planet Ayurveda Products With Karpura

  • Chandanadi Vati
  • Chanderprabha Vati
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Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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