Feb 12, 2014
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Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora).

Plant Part Used: Essential oil.

Dominican Medicinal Uses: The crystallized essential oil is traditionally prepared as an ointment and applied topically for treating sinusitis, headache, upper-respiratory tract infections, muscle pain, joint pain, asthma, bronchitis, difficulty breathing and phlegm in the lungs. For internal use, a small amount of the essential oil is dissolved in water and taken orally for gas, indigestion and stomach ache.

Safety: Internal use of the essential oil can be highly toxic (adult lethal dose = 20 g; toxic at 2 g; child lethal dose < 1 g). External use may cause skin irritation. Overdose symptoms include: delirium, spasms, intoxicated states and irregular breathing.

Contraindications: Caution advised when administered topically to children, and external use is contraindicated in cases of broken skin. In infants and small children (< 2 years), the oil should not be administered near the nose or via inhalation due to potential nervous system overstimulation or possibility of seizures. Avoid internal use during pregnancy (due to emmenagogue and uterine stimulant effects) and lactation (due to potential toxicity).

Clinical Data: The following effects of the essential oil have been investigated in human clinical trials: nasal sensation of cold, central nervous system stimulant, antiplatelet, Demodex rosacea treatment and ophthalmic disorder treatment.

Laboratory & Preclinical Data: The following biological activities of the essential oil or its constituents have been investigated using in vitro or animal models: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, biosurfactant, cytotoxic, positively inotropic, ribosome inactivation, smooth muscle stimulant and superoxide dismutase.

* See entry for Alcanfor in “Part 3: Dominican Medicinal Plant Profiles” of this book for more information, including references.

Article Categories:
Medicinal Plants

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