Camphor is a popular additive in pain relieving ointments and salves for soothing pain of sore muscles and arthritis.
Pain relief through topical application of ointments is both an old idea and cutting edge medical science. The suspension of drugs into an emollient mixture provides a convenient way to deliver medications to patients; however, it does just as effective a job introducing the side effects of those medications as well.
Alternatively, there is an ancient plant long known for its pain relieving properties. What's more, this natural product derived from a tree works just as well to relieve pain today as it did in ancient times.
The camphor laurel is a large evergreen tree found in Asia. The true country of origin remains a bit of a mystery. This prized plant has been said to originate in China, but there have been other references to origins in Japan, Taiwan and East Asia. Today camphor is cultivated for its pain relieving qualities in areas as diverse as India and South Florida. Chinese folklore says that only trees over 50 years old produce high quality camphor.
Historically, camphor is derived from aromatic wood that was sold in Indonesia since ancient times. In the 9th century, the first formula for the production of camphor was recorded by Alkindus, a well-known chemist. In the 19th century, camphor became quite popular as an ingredient in pain relieving ointments and salves. It remains a popular additive in pain relieving ointments and salves to this day, particularly in preparations for soothing the pain of sore muscles and arthritis pain.
The mechanism of action of the pain relief associated with the use of camphor is that it is a counter irritant. When applied externally, camphor numbs the nerve endings. The nerve endings then no longer transmit the sensation of pain.
Camphor is highly volatile and readily absorbed through the skin. It produces a cool sensation and acts as a mild local anesthetic. Specifically, the FDA has approved camphor for topical use as a pain reliever and anesthetic in concentrations of 3% to 11%.
Camphor is rapidly absorbed across mucous membranes and widely distributed once it penetrates the skin. Once in the body, it is oxidized into compounds which are stored in the liver until they are released from the body in urine.
When applying camphor containing products topically, avoid inhaling the fumes, as overexposure to these can be toxic. Because camphor fumes can cause seizures, consider an alternative product if you have a seizure disorder.
Pure camphor oil should used only with caution, as it has been known to build up to poisonous levels in the body. The preferred mode of use of camphor for pain relief is when the oil is mixed with other effective herbs and substances and delivered as a medicinal balm, salve or ointment.
Reference: Rawleigh Products was founded in the late 1800s to create a line of "Good Health Products" that possessed both strength and quality. Visit www.rawleigh-products.com or Call # 1-800-992-1089