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Camphor

(S) Karpura

(C) Jand

Part Used: crystallized distilled oil

Energetics: pungent, bitter/heating (slightly)/pungent KY- P+ (in excess)

Tissues: plasma, blood, fat, marrow and nerve

Systems: respiratory, nervous

Actions: expectorant, decongestant, stimulant, antispasmodic, broncho-dilator, nervine, analgesic, antiseptic

Indications: bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough, pulmonary congestion, hysteria, epilepsy, delirium, insomnia, dysmenorrhea, gout, rheumatism, nasal congestion, sinus headaches, eye problems, tooth decay

Precautions: in excess, camphor acts as a narcotic poison, aggravating Pitta and Vata; use only in prescribed low dosages

Preparation: infusion (cold, half-ounce crystals to one gallon of water; dosage 2 ounces), powder (100 to 250 mg), medicated oil

CAMPHOR increases Prana, opens up the senses and brings clarity to the mind. While in western herbalism it is used only externally as an oil, in Ayurveda it is also taken internally in small dosages in the form of infused or powdered camphor crystals. It is also applied to the eyes in small amounts; though initially burning, it promotes tears and cools and clears the eyes. A pinch of camphor powder is taken nasally for congestion, headache and to awaken perception. It is burned as an incense externally during Puja, devotional worship, to purify the atmosphere (its quality is sattvic), and promote meditation.

Camphor is perhaps the main herb used in medicated oils throughout the world. It works well in sesame oil: 1 ounce of powder per pint of oil. As such, it is a good stimulant and counter-irritant for joint and muscle pain. Camphor infusion can also be boiled and its vapor inhaled for respiratory application. Use only the raw camphor for internal usage, not the commonly sold synthetic camphor.

   
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