It was a lazy Saturday morning as I rolled in the bed. The job-lag (similar to the jet-lag) from the Monday to Friday routine does not understand the demands from laziness. The body clock refuses to go dormant on Saturdays and wakes me up sooner than I wish. Sundays are a consolation as I prove to my body that it is indeed okay to sleep in a bit longer. The turmoil would go on until I regret this on Monday mornings when the weekend seems to have wrapped up too soon. The body clock betrays puts up a strike on Monday mornings and I sleep in, rushing to work in frenzy and haste. Why dint I just wake up naturally on Saturday?
As I reluctantly got out of my bed, the homely soot choked my already dry throat and mouth. I forced opened my half closed eyes as I rubbed them to clear my line of sight. Thanks to the ringing bells from the prayer room. They totally aided the waking up process. It was not too long when my dad came out of the room and my escapade was condescendingly acknowledged. I quickly disappeared out of his zone and gave a disciplined entry after a shower. I was offered the incense from the lamp holder. It is a common practice to inhale those flames as part of our prayers. And the reason I’m told, is that the acidic aroma of camphor kills germs and insects apart from destroying the microbes in the air.
Unlike most other essential oils, camphor is not a herb. It is a waxy, flammable, solid, organic, white colored substance with a strong aroma. It is a terpenoid with the chemical formula C10H16O. It is found in the woods of the karpur tree originally found in Asian countries. The word camphor comes from the original Sanskrit word ‘karpuram’ which was well-known in ancient India during the Vedic period. The naphtha balls and the moth balls are derivatives of the toxic camphor and are still used in houses as preserving agents. Camphor oil is extracted from the leaves as well apart from the woods and is steam distilled for production. Camphor plant belongs to ‘Lauraceae’ family under Botanical name ‘Cinnamomum Camphora.’
Camphor oil is an important component in ointments and balms that are known to relieve viral infections such as common cold, and sinus headaches. Its toxicity repels tiniest of insects. Moth and naphtha balls could protect old and new clothes for years, when packed tight in a suitcase. It can act as an anesthetic since the incense of camphor could block the sensory nerves in the skin.
Due to its toxicity, warning has been issued not to use this oil for aromatherapy. It can be used for external vapor therapy nevertheless. However, in combination with few other essential oils, it could be used in aromatherapy. This kind of vapor therapy relieves respiratory problems. The anesthetic benefits of the camphor essential oil can be extended to use it as a narcotic to take advantage of its de-sensitizing characteristic.
Camphor essential oil is known to strengthen hair roots, boost hair growth, kill lice and bugs and fight hair loss. The obvious catch here is the tolerance to the toxicity and the strong smell of the oil, mocked my aunt as I inhaled the mild smoke from the lamp holder. As I walked away after my prayer session, the incense and the flames, cleansed all over the place, outside, and on the inside. I remember taking one last deep breath before I set out to start my day.
Disclaimer – Usage for different applications might demand specific mixture and composition with specific compounds that may not have been discussed in this blog. All of the above information has not been evaluated by the food and Drug Administration or any other qualifying entity. All of the content above is from various sources on the web. The medicines and the recipes discussed, are proven to be effective based on the experiences and other blogs on the internet. Not all of these have been personally tried and tested by me. I am no expert in this oil’s usage. Good luck trying!
This post has been written in collaboration with the IndianSuperHeroes. They have these oils purely extracted from the herbs. You can find them in their store right here.