What is Karpura (Cinnamomum Camphora)?


Karpura is one of the important miraculous evergreen deciduous trees that are native to India, Korea, and China. This tree has been introduced to various countries due to its various medicinal as well as cosmetical uses. Camphor is the white crystalline substance that is obtained from the Karpura tree and is used as a culinary spice, an incense component, and for medicinal purposes, etc for many centuries. The leaves of Karpura are glossy and waxy and due to the presence of the smell of camphor, it is famous for its use as an insect-repellant and flea-killing substance. As per Ayurvedic classical literature, Karpura is used for the treatment of Netra Roga, Mukha Roga, Vata Roga, etc. Recent research revealed that Karpura consists of various ingredients like Safrole, acetaldehyde, Di pentene, camphor eugenol, D- pinene, eucalyptol, phellandrene, camphor, etc due to which it exhibits analgesic, anti-septic, nasal decongestant, anti- infective, anti- arthritic, narcotic, etc.

Basonym of Karpura

किरति विक्षिपति सौरभ्यं पूरयति च प्राणाप्यायनत्वात्‌ ।

Karpura spreads a pleasant odor.

Synonyms of Karpura

  • According to morphology

घनसार: – घन: सान्द्र: सारो नियसि: घनो मेघ इव सारो अस्य ।

Exudate of Karpura is in solid form and resembles white clouds in color.

शीतलरज: – शीतल: चूर्णाकार: ।

Karpura will be in powder form and also has cold potency.

हिमबालुक: – कणाकार: शीतश्च ।

Exudate obtained from Karpura will be in powder form and resembling sand particles, will have Sheeta Virya (Cold potency).

स्फटिक: – स्फटिकाकार: ।

Camphor available in the market will be in blocks.

सिताभ्र: -श्वेतमेघ इव रूपे प्रभावे च ।

Color of camphor is bright white like white clouds.

  • According to properties and action

हिमनाम- शैत्यात्‌ श्वैत्याच्च ।

Karpura has cold potency and is also white like that of the Himalayan mountains.

शिशिर: – शीत: स्पर्शे वीर्य च ।

Karpura has cold potency and is also cold to touch.

चंद्र संज्ञ: – शैत्याच्छुभ्रत्वादाह्वादकत्वाच्च ।

Karpura has a cooling effect like that of the moon, also bright and pleasant.

Regional Names of Karpura

  • Camphor (English)
  • Kapur (Hindi)
  • Karpura (Kannada)
  • Kapooram (Malayalam)
  • Kapur (Marathi)
  • Karpur (Bengali)
  • Kapur (Gujrati)
  • Karpuram (Tamil)
  • Karpuram Chettu(Telegu)
  • Kpahur (Arabic)
  • Kapur (Persian)

Botanical Name

Cinnamomum camphora Nees.

Cinnamomum is derived from the Arabic name Kinamon and the Camphora word is derived from the Arabic name Kufur.


Lauraceae (Karpura Kula)

Ayurveda Reference for Karpura (Cinnamomum camphora Nees.)

Scientific Classification of Karpura

Class Dicotyledons 
Family Lauraceae
Species camphor

Classification of Kapikacchu as per Charaka and Sushruta

Charaka: Not mentioned in Mahakshaya.

Sushruta: Not mentioned in Gana.

Karpura’s Description in Brihtrayi

Charaka Shusruta Vagbhata (Ashtang Hridya)
C. S. Su. 5. 74S. S. Su. 46/ 202, 484A. H. Su. 3/ 20, 32, 40, 53
C. S. Chi. 26/ 210S. S. U. 26/ 33A. H. Su. 13/ 6
C. S. Chi. 28/ 152S. S. Su. 64/ 19A. H. Chi. 5/ 49
A. H. Chi. 21/ 78
A. H. U. 13/ 65, 66
A. H. U. 22/ 94

Kapura’s Description in Brihtrayi as Sheeta Shiva

Different types of substances such as Karpura, Shatpushpa, Saindhava, Shami, etc have been used in their place.

Sushruta Samhita: S. S. Su, 14/ 36, S. S. Su. 39/ 8, S. S. Su. 42/ 18, S. S. Chi. 11/ 9, S. S. Chi. 17/ 15, S. S. Ka. 6/ 18

Kapura’s description in Brihtrayi as Shashanka Kiranakshya

Shashanka Kiranakhya is identified as Karpura Nalika by Hemadri.

Vagbhata: A. H. Chi. 19/ 46

Kapura’s description in Brihtrayi as Gandha Aushadha

Gandha, Sarvagandha, and Gandhausadha are group names of aromatic drugs usually included in the Eladi Gana ( S. S. Su. 38. 21). Sometimes Aguru, Kakkola, Кагpura, Kunkuma, Caturjataka, and Lavanga only are taken as Sarvagandha substances. By Gandasch Agrupatradya means all aromatic substances from Aguru to Devadaru except Kustha and Tagara mentioned in C. S. Ci. 3.266. The same idea may have been expressed by Gandhe Kusthe Tagare. By Gandhe Hem Vate is meant the aromatic drugs of the Himalayan region just as Kustha, Tagara, and Mamsi, etc.

Charaka Samhita: C. S. Su. 3/ 18, C. S. Su. 5/ 23, C. S. Su. 14/ 35, C. S. Sa. 8/ 79, C. S. Chi. 8/ 117, C. S. Chi. 12/ 65, C. S. Chi. 26/ 181, C. S. Chi. 27/ 52, C. S. Chi. 28/ 116, 163

Historical background of Karpura

  • Atharva Parisista and other texts quoted Karpura for external application (Anulepana) and offerings to the god (Puja). Sounakiya Atharva indicated it in the retention of urine along with Haritaki (Sou. 1/3).
  • Caraka indicated Karapura Niryasa to remove the fetid smell of the oral cavity (C. S. Su. 5). Susruta identified the Lekhana property of Karpura (S. S. Su. 46/ 203). By and large, the utility of Karpura is restricted during the Samhita period.
  • The utilization of Karpura increased during the medieval period and almost all the Nighantus have Karpuradi Varga. Preparations like Karpuradi Rasa and Karpuradyarka remind us about the importance given to this tree at later times.
  • Different Varieties- It appears only one variety of Karpura is known to Indians up to the period of Dhanvantari Nighantu. Sodhala mentioned the Pakva and Apakva varieties of Karpura. Apart from these two, he described Cinaka Karpura. Bhavamisra and Rajavallabha have made similar descriptions in their works. It is Kaiyadeva who made an elaborate study on different kinds of Karpura followed by Raja Narahari later. According to Kaiyadeva, there are three kinds of Karpura viz. Isavasa, Himasanjhaka & Potasraya. Later, he quoted that Karpura is two types based on the processing i.e. Pakva (prepared) and Apaka (natural). Pakva variety is of two kinds again viz., Sadala (leafy origin) & Nirdala (other parts except for leaves). He separately mentioned Cinaka Karpura. He further explained that the Cinaka variety is the Krtrima (artificial) variety of Karpura. Similarly, Parna Karpura is useful in Pinasa but may lead to severe diuresis and insanity (inebriant poison). Whereas the Isavasa variety will cure Mada and Unmada according to Kaiyadeva. In Raja Nighantu there are about 14 types of Karpura based on Rasa, Guna, and Virya. Among these varieties, he described the variations in the properties of camphor obtained from different parts of the tree. They are (i) Sirah (camphor obtained from the top of the tree) (ii) Madhya (camphor obtained from the trunk) and (iii) Talam (camphor obtained from the leaves). Out of these varieties, the one obtained from the trunk is considered the best variety. Chinaka is the artificial camphor. Usually, the camphor found on the tree pits and branches is called Apakva (natural) Karpura. The camphor prepared by using a distillation procedure is the Pakva (artificial) variety of Karpura. The former variety will be heavier than the latter and sinks in the water. Many scholars and authors consider Dryobalanops camphora Colebr (DIPTEROCARPACEAE) as the source of natural camphor (Apakva Karpura). This is known as Bhimseni Karpura in trade which is heavier than Cinaka Karpura. Chunekarji explained four varieties of camphor viz., Bhimseni or Baras Karpura (D. camphor), Cini or Japani Karpura (C. camphora), Pati or Nagi Karpura – Blumea balsamifera, B. lacera, B. densiflora, etc., Krtrima Karpura- Synthetic variety. Camphor may be obtained even from Ocimum kilimandscharicum and Limnophila gratioloides. Nowadays camphor is being synthetically prepared by using turpentine. This is however used for offerings to god and is known as Harati Karpura in Telugu. It will not be used internally. It is used in the preparation of Karpooradi Thailam. However, the naturally obtained camphor which is known as Paccha Karpuram in Telugu is used as an additive in food items like sweets and medicines used for oral administration. The following are the fourteen varieties of Karpura mentioned by Raja Narahari: Potasa, Bhimasena, Sitakara, Sankaravas, Pamsa, Pinja, Abdosara, Himayuta, Valuka, Jutika, Tusara, Hima, Sitala, and Pakkika.

External morphology of Karpura (Cinnamomum camphora)

Habit: Karpura is a tree i.e labrous in nature

Leaves: Leaves of Karpura are alternate, coriaceous, long-petiolate, ovate or oblong on both ends, 3-nerved, delicately transversely veined on the upper side, shining, 5 to 12.5 cm long, 2.5 to 5 cm broad, uniformly colored on both sides or paler below.

Inflorescence: Inflorescence of panicle, axillary, and shorter than the leaf.

Flower: Calyx is yellow, slightly longer than the pedicel, about 3 mm long.

Fruit: Round, fleshy, 3-5 cm long, and black.

Flowering and fruiting time

Trees shed during February-March simultaneously, with the appearance of new leaves. Fruits ripen in October and turn black after ripening (not fertile).

Distribution of Karpura

It is cultivated to a limited extent at Nilgiris, Mysore, and northern Malabar. Japan and China have grown gardens in India. It is planted as an ornamental tree and commonly also planted as a source of camphor.

Varieties of Karpura

As per Bhava Parkasha Nighantu: 2 Types

  1. Pakva Karpura
  2. Apakwa Karpura

As per Kaiydeva Nighantu: 6 types

  1. Ishavasya Karpura: Two types- Apakwa and Pakva Karpura Pakwa Ishavasa Karpura is further of two types Sadala and Nirdala.
  2. Hima Karpura
  3. Potasraya Karpura
  4. Bhaskara Karpura
  5. Parna Karpura
  6. Chini Karpura

As per Raja Nighnatu: 14 types

  1. Pitasa
  2. Bhimsena
  3. Sitakara
  4. Sankara
  5. Pamsu
  6. Pinja
  7. Abdasa
  8. Himayata
  9. Baluka
  10. Cutika
  11. Tusara
  12. Sahima
  13. Sitala
  14. Pakkika

The Useful Part of Karpura

Camphor- Resinous exudate (Niryasa)

Camphor is a colorless, crystalline solid granular mass known as the flower of camphor. It has a penetrating characteristic odor and aromatic pungent taste followed by a sensation of cold. It is translucent and readily pulverizable in presence of alcohol or chloroform. Camphor gets readily liquified if triturated with phenol, menthol, thymol, chloral hydrate, and resorcinol. It slowly vaporizes at room temperature. It burns with a bright smoky flame. Natural camphor is dextrorotatory whereas synthetic camphor is racemic

Important Phytoconstituent of Karpura

All parts of the tree contain Camphor which is obtained by the distillation of wood chips, leaves, etc. Camphor is a crystalline ketonic substance obtained from wood. Safrole, acetaldehyde, Di pentene, camphor eugenol, D- pinene, eucalyptol, and phellandrene.

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Recent Research on Cinnamomum camphora

  • In this study, the foliar volatiles of Cinnamomum camphora (Lauraceae), which had been collected by air entrainment, exhibited activities toward Graphium Sarpedon nipponum (Papillonidae) in both electrophysiological and behavioral tests. The volatiles were analyzed by capillary gas chromatography with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD). Although the difference between the sexes was not significant, the female butterfly’s preference tended to be more active than that of the male’s Li J, Wakui R, Tebayashi S, Kim CS. Volatile attractants for the common bluebottle, Graphium Sarpedon nipponum, from the host, Cinnamomum camphora. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010; 74 (10): 1987- 90. Epub 2010 Oct 7.
  • To study the anti-inflammatory effects of Naphtha from different chemotypes of Cinnamomum camphora and natural borneol on the rat arthritis model induced by Freund’s adjuvant. The different chemotypes of C. camphora have an anti-inflammatory effect on the rat arthritis model induced by Freund’s adjuvant, but pharmacological activity and mechanism of action are different. The study points out the clinical curative effects of the chemotypes of the kindred medicinal plant are different, and please consider the difference of chemotypepe in clinical application. Li H, Huang L, Zhou A, Li X, Sun J. Study on the anti-inflammatory effect of different chemotypes of Cinnamomum camphora on rat arthritis model induced by Freund’s adjuvant. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2009 Dec; 34 (24): 3251- 4.
  • The study was conducted to investigate seasonal changes in dry mass and CO (2) exchange rate in fruit and leaves of the evergreen tree Cinnamomum camphora to quantitatively determine the translocation balance between the two organs. C. camphora would be adaptive for steadily supplying enough amount of carbohydrates to the fruits, as there was little competition for carbohydrates between the two organs. As assimilates by leaves are used for processes such as reproduction and the formation of new shoots, photosynthesis by reproductive organs is considered to be important to compensate for the reproductive cost. Imai S, Ogawa K. Quantitative analysis of carbon balance in the reproductive organs and leaves of Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Presl. J. Plant Res. 2009 Jul; 122 (4): 429- 37. doi: 10. 1007/s 10265- 009- 0233- 9. Epub 2009 Apr 25.
  • This study, it is aimed to investigate the inhibitory effects of Cinnamomum camphora on various inflammatory phenomena to explore its potential anti-inflammatory mechanisms under non-cytotoxic (less than 100 microg/ml) conditions. The data suggest that the anti-inflammatory actions of Cinnamomum camphora may be due to the modulation of cytokine, NO, and PGE (2) production and oxidative stress, and of the subfractions tested, the EtOAC extract may be further studied to isolate the active anti-inflammatory principles. Less HJ, Hyun EA, Yoon WJ, Kim BH, Rhee MH, Kang HK, Cho of Cinnamomum camphora extracts. J Ethnopharmacology. 2006 Jan 16; 103 (2): 208- 16. E pub 2005 Sep 22.
  • Camphor in the concentration of 500 Mg/ml completely inhibits the growth of Vibrio parahaemolyticus which is one of the causative agents of diarrhea and dysentery (Rujino et al.).
  • The essential oil from the plant possesses potent anti-lingual activity against many fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus. Candida albicans etc. (Thind & Suri 1979).
  • The bark of the plant is used as a sedative, antispasmodic, diaphoretic and anthelmintic (Chaudhuri & Kayal, 197).
  • Kang, Na-Jin & Han, Sang-Chul & Yoon, Seok-Hyun & Sim, Jae-Yeop & Maeng, Young & Kang, Hee-Kyoung & Yoo, Eun-Sook. (2019). Cinnamomum camphora Leaves Alleviate Allergic Skin Inflammatory Responses In Vitro and In Vivo. Toxicological Research. 35. 279-285. 10.5487/TR.2019.35.3.279. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of Cinnamomum camphora leaves on allergic skin inflammation such as atopic dermatitis. We evaluated the effects of C. camphora leaves on human adult low-calcium high-temperature keratinocytes and atopic dermatitis mice. C. camphora leaves inhibited Macrophage-derived chemokine (an inflammatory chemokine) production in interferon-γ (10 ng/mL) stimulated Human adult low-calcium high-temperature keratinocytes in a dose-dependent manner. C. camphora leaves suppressed the phosphorylation of the janus kinase signal transducer and activator of transcription 1. C. camphora leaves also suppressed the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, a central signaling molecule in the inflammation process. These results suggest that C. camphora leaves exhibit anti-inflammatory effects via the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2. To study the advanced effects of C. camphora leaves on atopic dermatitis, we induced experimental atopic dermatitis in mice by applying 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene. The group treated with C. camphora leaves (100 mg/kg) showed remarkable improvement in atopic dermatitis symptoms: reduced serum immunoglobulin E levels, smaller lymph nodes with reduced thickness and length, decreased ear edema, and reduced levels of inflammatory cell infiltration in the ears. Interestingly, the effects of C. camphora leaves on atopic dermatitis symptoms were stronger than those of hydrocort cream, a positive control. Taken together, C. camphora leaves showed alleviating effects on inflammatory chemokine production in vitro and atopic dermatitis symptoms in vivo. These results suggest that C. camphora leaves help in the treatment of allergic inflammation such as atopic dermatitis.
  • The roots are also anthelmintic. The roots and leaves are used for disorders of the spleen and liver (Hartwell 1969).
  • Li, Quan & Wang, Xiao-Xian & Lin, Jin-Guo & Liu, Jing & Jiang, Mao-Sheng & Chu, Lei-Xia. (2014). Chemical Composition and Antifungal Activity of Extracts from the Xylem of Cinnamomum camphora. BioResources. 9. 10.15376/biores.9.2.2560-2571. Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Presl. is one of the most important hardwood species indigenous to China that possesses significant antifungal activity. The chemical composition of the extracts from the xylem parts of C. camphora was examined by various solvent extractions. Thirty different components accounting for 79.8% of the total methanol extracts from the xylem of C. camphora were identified by gas chromatography-mass (GC/MS) spectrometry. The major chemical components of methanol extracts are camphor (14.3%), a-terpineol (9.9%), and trans-linalool oxide (furanoid) (7. 7%). The chemical composition of chloroform extracts is mainly camphor (17.6%), alpha-terpineol (11.8%), tetradecane (5.6%), and (-) – g- cadinene (7.4%). The extracts of C. camphora were tested for resistance to two wood-decaying fungi with hyphal growth. All the C. camphora extracts showed some antifungal activity against the test fungus. The 50% effective concentration of chloroform extracts for Coriolus versicolor (C. versicolor) was 7.8 mg/mL, which was highly toxic, followed by acetone extracts. The methanol extracts with 8 mg/mL concentration had the best suppression effect for Gloeophyllum trabeum (G. trabeum) with an EC50 of 0.3 mg/mL. The results indicated that the major components of the extracts had antifungal activities; thus C. camphora could provide a renewable source of wood preservatives.
  • Ethanolic extract (50%) of fruits showed antibacterial activity against several gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria (Naqvi et al., 1985).
  • Khan, Khalid & Ghramh, Hamed & Ibrahim, Essam & Al-hag, Sadeq & Ahmad, Zubair & Kilany, Mona & Janjua, Hussnain & Al-Solami, Habeeb. (2021). Plant (Cinnamomum camphora) mediated silver nanoparticles: their characterization, mosquitoes larvicidal efficacy, and biological activities. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin. 30. 338-348. The biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) by vegetal extracts is useful because of their biocompatibility, less harmfulness, and environmentally friendly nature. This research work focuses on AgNP synthesis through an ethanol extract of Cinnamomum camphora leaves. Characterization of AgNPs was performed using ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy and functional groups acquired by this process were analyzed through Fourier-Transform Infrared Radiation (FTIR) spectroscopy. The impacts of C. camphora plant extract (CcExt)) and the extract with silver nanoparticles (CcExt- AgNPs) was examined for mosquitoes (Culex pipiens) larvicidal efficacy and various biological activities including splenic cell cytotoxicity/proliferation, acute cytotoxicity on hepatic cells, hemolysis, and antibacterial activities. Both CcExt and CcExt-AgNPs revealed a substantial larvicidal effect against fourth instar larvae of the mosquitos and significant antibacterial activity. Furthermore, a significant effect of CcExt and CcExt-AgNPs was observed on normal splenic cells’ cytotoxicity/proliferation, hepatic cells’ acute cytotoxicity, and hemolytic percentage. The formation of AgNPs was confirmed by all applied characterization methods. CcExt and CcExt-AgNPs had potential biological activities. Current studies revealed that C. camphora leaves extract was safe for vital organs (liver) while the treatment with AgNPs showed a little non-significant increase in liver function markers.
  • Stubbs, Brett & Specht, A. & Brushett, Don. (2004). The Essential Oil of Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Nees and Eberm.—Variation in Oil Composition Throughout the Tree in Two Chemotypes from Eastern Australia. Journal of Essential Oil Research – J ESSENT OIL RES. 16. 200-205. 10.1080/10412905.2004.9698697. The camphor tree, Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Nees et Eberm., is a major environmental weed in parts of eastern Australia, particularly in northeastern New South Wales. It occurs in this region in two chemotype forms, discriminated based on leaf oil: camphor and 1,8-cineole. Oil was extracted from various parts of trees of each of these chemotypes: leaf, fruit, branch, trunk, and root. Analysis of the oil revealed that, for the camphor-type, camphor content was greater in leaves than in other tree parts, where cineole and safrole were also present in substantial proportions; and, for the cineole-type, 1,8-cineole, which with lesser quantities of sabinene and citronellol dominated the leaf oil, is reduced in significance in the trunk where camphor is also an important constituent.

Rasa Panchaka of Karpura

Rasa (Taste)Tikta (bitter), Katu (pungent), Madhura (sweet)
Guna (Virtue)Laghu (light), Teekshna (sharp)
Virya (potency)Sheeta (cold potency) 
Vipaka (post-digestion)Katu (pungent)

Dosha Karma of Karpura

Kapha – Pitta Shamaka, Vata Hara due to Sheeta Virya and Tikta Rasa. Kapha Hara because of Tikta Rasa and Katu Vipaka.

Karma (Actions) of Karpura

Hrdya, Hridayottejaka, Raktavahinisankocaka, Raktabhara-vardhaka, Kaphanihsaraka, Kasaghna, Svasahara, Kanthya, Medhya, Vedanasthapana, Kothaprasamana, Raktotklesaka, Caksusya, Mukhadourgandhyahara, Mukha Shodhaka, Trsasamanakara, Tantughna, Aksepahara, Anulomana-Tiksna, Lekhana, Vantikara, Nadi avasadaka, Shaityakara, Mutrajanana, Vajikarana, Kamottejaka (and also Kamavasadaka), Sveda Shamaka, Dahaprasamana, Visaghna, Stanyaksayakara.

Karma (Actions) of different types of Karpura

  • Chinaka Karpura- Kusthaghna, Kandughna, Vamihara.
  • Isavasa Karpura- Sramahara, Trsnahara, Dahahara, Krimighna, Kasahara, Swedahara, Bhedana.
  • Himakarpura- Vrsya
  • Potasraya- Trsnahara, Dahahara, Vrsya 
  • Bhaskara karpura- Krimighna, Kandughna, Visapaha.
  • Parnakarpura- Mutrakara, Madakaraka
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Prayogarha Vyadhi (Therapeutic indication) of Karpura

Hridroga, Hrdayasaithilya, Sannipatajvara, Hridayasamraksaka, Amavata-Sandhisula, Kasa, Shwasa, Prasava Shula, Kantharoga, Charma Vikara, Vicharcika, Daha, Kshata, Netravikara, Nadisula, Nadi Vedana, Dantasula, Dantapuya, Jirna Pratisyaya, Mastiska Dourbalya, Vatavyadhi, Apatantrak, Kampa, Aksepa, Mukharoga, Aruchi, Agnimandya, Adhmana, Atisara, Vishuchika. Vrikkaroga, Klaivya, Atikamottejana, Medoroga, Visha.

Camphor and Camphor Oil- Camphor is formed in the oil cells distributed in all parts of the tree. These cells are filled with clear yellow oil from which camphor is slowly deposited. The oil progressively becomes colorless and volatile, and irregular light masses of camphor appear. Due to loss of resistance to permeability, the oil passes through the cell walls into other cavities in the tissues. Camphor can be distilled from all parts of the tree i.e., from chips of wood, stem, root, branches, twigs, and leaves (even from fallen leaves).

Method of preparation of Karpura

The wood is reduced into small pieces of chips and subjected to steam distillation. Distillation is performed at 80 to 100 pounds psi pressure. Crude natural camphor oil thus obtained contains a variable quantity of camphor which is then purified by sublimation. About 1 kg of crude camphor is obtained from 40 to 50 kg chips of the crude Drug.

Chemical test for Karpura

A drop of a solution of Vanillin (1:100) and Sulphuric acid when added to powdered natural camphor, produces immediately a yellow color, changing to red, violet, and finally blue. Synthetic camphor does not respond to this chemical test.

Aamyik Paryog (Therapeutic uses) of Karpura

Shvasa (Asthma): Pills made of jaggery, and camphor alleviates asthma immediately. (Siddha Bhaishjya Manni Mala. 4/ 386)

Mutra Kricha (Retention of urine): 

  • If urine is retained, the powder of camphor should be introduced into the urethra. (Chakra Dutta. 33/ 13)
  • Powdered camphor impregnated with goat’s or sheep’s urine, if introduced in the urethra, retention of urine is relieved. (Bhava Parkasha Chikitsa. 36. 32)
  • A cotton wick soaked with camphor solution is introduced into the urethra slowly. It relieves immediately. (Bhava Parkasha Chikitsa. 36. 67)

Netra Roga Shukre (Corneal opacity): Fine powder of camphor mixed with latex of Vata should be used as a collyrium in case of corneal opacity. (Vrinda Madhava. 61/ 97, Vanga Sena. Netra. 175)\

Sadya Kshata (Accidental injury): The wound caused by accidental injury is filled with camphor mixed with ghee and bandaged. By this, it heals free of infection and pus. (Raja Amrittanda. 26, Chakra Dutta. 44 55)

Karna Roga (An ear disease): In the disease of ear-pinna known as Parilehi the spot is frequently fomented with heated cow dung and then pasted with camphor impregnated with goat’s urine. (Yoga Ratnakara Page. 382)

Trishna (Thirst): One should keep powdered camphor in one mouth to check thirst. (Kashyapa Samhita. Visesakalpa)

Kustha Vrna (Leprotic wound): Leprotic wound heals immediately on local application of camphor oil soaked in cotton. (Vaidya Manorma. 16/ 115)

Benefits of Karpura

  • The drug Karpura is an anodyne, aromatic, anti-helminthic, antispasmodic, antipyretic, aphrodisiac, carminative, diuretic, diaphoretic, cardiac stimulant, cooling, depressant, expectorant, insecticidal and rubefacient.
  • It is used in asthma, bronchitis, diarrhea, eye diseases, fever, female diseases, headache, inflammatory conditions, pneumonia, skin diseases, toothache, and urine-genital disorders.

Benefits of Karpura on different systems of bodies

External use: Local application of Karpoor is sharp deodorant, analgesic, and beneficial to the eyes. Initially, it stimulates the local blood vessels but then it constricts them, so one experiences a feeling of cold. It can be used in the form of ointment in wounds; camphor oil mixed with various oils is used for massage in amavata (arthritis), joint pains, cough, chest pain, and other diseases like pneumonia. It is also useful in skin disorders like eczema. Solution of camphor and peppermint etc. helps in local pain (e.g., stinging pain). Various kajals which are used in eye disorders contain camphor; tooth powders are made with camphor or camphor solution is used in pyorrhea and toothache. Nasya helps in chronic rhinitis. Inhalation of camphor helps too. A paste made in milk relieves fever and headache caused by pitta. Various balms used for headaches contain camphor.

Nervous system: In a low dose it is a brain tonic and an analgesic. When administered it causes an initial excitation but then acts as a sedative, thus relieving convulsions. Camphor is used as a respiratory stimulant. It is also used in impairment of brain function, Vata disorders, hysteria, and convulsions.

Digestive system: Being fragrant, it relieves bad breath. In the mouth, it first feels cold then warm. It increases salivation and improves taste. Also improves appetite and digestion by stimulating digestive glands in the stomach. Being vermicidal; it is used in helminthiasis. Higher doses cause nausea and vomiting. It is used in various oral disorders. In addition to diarrhea, colitis, and cholera, it is also used in renal diseases. (Amritadhara – camphor, Asmantara – thymol).

Circulatory system: Cardiac stimulant and protective. It is a vasoconstrictor, so it increases blood pressure. It regulates the heart rate in cardiac arrhythmia or bradycardia. It dilates the subcutaneous vessels, so it is used as a cardiac tonic in cardiac hypertrophy and Sannipataja Jwar i. e. fever caused by all three doshas.

Respiratory system: It increases the blood circulation in the mucus membrane of the respiratory system and is an expectorant; thus, it acts as a demulcent.

Urinary system: As it is excreted through the urinary tract, it increases the volume of urine. Being a diuretic and antiseptic, camphor is used in dysuria and gonorrhea.

Reproductive system: Aphrodisiac in lower dose but higher dose causes the reverse action. It should be given in a lower dose for infertility. The paste is applied on the breast, or it is given orally in galactorrhea.

Skin: It is used in the burning of skin and skin diseases. Ointment of camphor and Sulphur is used in scabies.

Temperature: Due to its diaphoretic property, it is used either internally or externally in fever.

To alleviate thirst induced by fever, camphor is put in drinking water.

Satmikaran: It has a scraping action by Laghu and Tikshna Gunas. It is also an antidote. It is used in lipid disorders and various toxicities either external or internal.

Excretion: Skin, lungs, and urinary tract.

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Classical reference of Karpura

Bhava Prakasha Nighantu Karpuradi Varga- 1


पुंसि क्लीबे चकर्पुर: सितः शभ्रो हिमवालुक: ।

घनसारश्च चन्द्र संज्ञो हिमनामा अपि स स्मृत: ।।

Bhava Prakasha Nighantu Karpuradi Varga- 2- 3

Properties and action

कर्पूर:  शीतलो वृष्यश्च चक्षुष्यो लेखनो लघु: ।

सुरभिर्मधुरस्तिक्तः: कफपित्त विषापह: ।।

दाह तृष्णा अस्यवैरस्यमेदोदैर्गन्ध्यनाशन:। 

Bhava Prakasha Nighantu Karpuradi Varga- 4

Properties and action

चीनाक कर्पूर- चीनाक संज्ञ:  कर्पूर:  कफक्षयकर: स्मृतः ।

कुष्ठकण्डू वमिहरस्तथा तिक्तरसश्च सः ।।

Dhanwantri Nighantu Chandanadi Varga- 30

Properties and action

कर्पूर: कटु तिक्त॑ च. मधुर शिशिरं विदु: ।

तृष्णामेदोविष दोषघ्नं चक्षुष्य मदकारकम्‌ ।।

Kaiydeva Nighantu Aushadi Varga, 1278- 1279

कर्पूरो मधुरस्तिक्त: सुरभि: शीतलो लघु: ।

चक्षुष्यो लेखनो वृष्य:  कफमेदोविषापह: ।।

दाहतृष्णास्यवैरस्यमल दौर्गन्ध्यनाशन: ।।

Kaiydeva Nighantu Aushadi Varga, 1283- 1284

ईशावास कर्पूर- ईशावासो मदोन्मादश्रमतृष्णांग दाहनुः   ।

कृमिकास क्षय स्वेदहरो भेदी य वृष त्वकृत |

तृड्दाहमोहशमन:  स्वेदल:  कटुको रसे ।

Kaiydeva Nighantu Aushadi Varga, 1284

हिमकर्पूर- वृष्यश्च धवल: शीत: कर्पूरो हिमसंज्ञक: ।

Kaiydeva Nighantu Aushadi Varga, 1285

पोताश्रय कर्पूर- पोताश्रयस्तु कर्पूरस्तृष्णादाहास्रपित्तनुत्‌ ।

श्लेष्मघ्न: शीतलो वृष्य: सुस्वादुः कटुतिक्तक: ।।

Kaiydeva Nighantu Aushadi Varga, 1286- 1287

भास्कर कर्पूर- भास्करो विशद: श्लेष्म वातघ्नोष्णाश्रियावह: ।

कटु: कृमिघ्न:  कण्डुघ्न: सरो मेदोविषापह: ।।

कासा स्त्राव  गल स्त्राव सुप्तजिव्ह त्व नाशन: ।

जल स्त्रुति कृमीन्‌ हन्ति दीपन: पित्तकोपन: ।

Kaiydeva Nighantu Aushadi Varga, 1289

पर्णकर्पूर- तिक्तः शुद्धिकरो मूत्रकरश्च उन्माद कारकः ।

पीनसं नाशयत्येव कर्पूर: पर्णसंज्ञकः।। 

Kaiydeva Nighantu Aushadi Varga, 1290

चीनाक कर्पूर- चीनाक: कृत्रिम: सर्व कर्पूर: व्याधिनाशनः ।

कुष्ठकण्डूनमिहरो कृमिघ्न तिक्ता उच्यते ।।

Raja Nighantu Chandanadi Varga, 63

कर्पूरो नूतनस्तिक्त: स्निग्धश्च उष्णो अस्रदाहदः ।

चिरस्थो दाह दोशघ्न: स धौत शुभकृत्पर: ।।

Raja Nighantu Chandanadi Varga

चीनाक कर्पूर- चीनकः कटु तिक्तोष्ण: ईषच्छतिः कफापह: ।

कण्ठदोषहरो मेध्य: पाचन: कृमिनाशनः ।।

Priya Nighantu Haritkyadi Varga, 66

कर्पूर: शीतलो हद्यश्च चक्षुष्यो लेखनो लघु: ।

सुरभिस्तिक्तकटुको दाह दौर्गंध्य छर्दि हत्‌ ।।

Bhava Prakasha Nighantu Karpuradi Varga- 3

कर्पूरो द्विविधः प्रोक्त: पक्वा पक्वप्रभेदत: ।

पक्‍वात्त्करपूरतः प्राहुरपक्व॑ गुणवत्तरम ।।

Kaiydeva Nighantu Aushadi Varga, 1280

इशावासो हिमसंज्ञ: पोताश्रय इति त्रिधा।

अपक्वो कथ्यते भेद: कर्पूरितु भिषग्वरै: ।।

Kaiydeva Nighantu Aushadi Varga, 1286

कर्पूरी द्विविध: प्रोक्तः पकवा पक्वप्रभेदत: ।

पक्‍वात्त्करपूरतः प्राहुरपक्व॑ गुणवत्तरम ।।

पक्वस्तु द्विविध: प्रोक्त: सदलो निर्दलस्तथा ।

दृढश्च पीतवर्णश्च विशेषाल्लघुतां गत: ।।

Raja Nighantu Chandanadi Varga, 62

पीतासो भीमसेनस्तदनु सितकरः शड्डरावसंज्ञ: ।

प्रांशु पिन्जजो अब्दसारस्तदनु हिमयुता वालुका चूटिका च ।।

पश्चादस्यास्तुषारस्तदुपरि सहिम: शीतल: पक्विकाउन्या ।

कर्पूरस्येति भेदा गुणरसमहसां वैद्य दृश्येन दृश्या: ।। 

Raja Nighantu Chandanadi Varga, 64

शिरोमध्य॑ तल चेति कर्पूरा त्रिविध: स्मृत:।। 

Kaiydeva Nighantu Aushadi Varga, 1281- 1282

इशावासो भृशं श्वेता हिमसंज्ञस्तु पाण्डुर: ।

श्वेत: पोताश्रय: सर्वे रसवीर्यविपाक तः ।।

प्रभावेनापि ते प्रोक्ता पूर्वे पूर्वे गुणाधिका: ।

तत्रापि यो न चक्षु: स्यात्‌ स्फटिकाभ: स उत्तम: ।।

Raja Nighantu Chandanadi Varga, 64- 67

शिरः स्तम्भा्र सजात॑ मध्य पर्णतले तलम्‌ ।

च भास्वद्विशदपुलकं शिरोजात॑ तु. मध्यमम्‌ । ।

सामान्यपुलक स्वच्छ तले चूर्ण तु गौरकम्‌ ।।

स्तम्भगर्भ स्थित श्रेष्ठ स्तम्भवाध्ये च मध्यमम्‌ ।

स्वच्छमीषत्‌ हरिद्राभ॑ शुभ्र॑ तन्मध्यमं स्मृतम्‌ ।

सुदृढं शुभ्ररूक्ष॑ च पुलकं बाध्यजं वदेत ।।

स्वच्छ भृंगारपत्रं लघुतरविशदं तोलने तिक्तकश्रते ।

श्वादे शैल्य॑ सुहृदयं बहलपरिमलामोदसौम्यदायि ।

निस्नेहं दाड्यं पत्र शुभतरमिति चेत राजयोग्यं प्रशस्त॑। 

कर्पूरं चान्यथा चेद्हुतरमशने स्फोटदायि व्रणाय।। 

Raja Nighantu Chandanadi Varga, 62- 69

कर्पूरलक्षणानि- कर्पूरभेदा: चीनाक: (कर्पूरविशेष:)

Kashyapa Samhita, Vishesha Kalpa


कर्पूरस्चूर्ण तृष्णायां वदने धारयेत्‌ सदा।

Vaidya manorma, 16/ 115

कुष्ठ व्रणे

कुष्ठोदभवं व्रणमपोहति शीघ्रमेव कर्पूरतैलमसकृत्‌। 

पिचुना निषिक्तम्‌ ।

Siddha Bhaishjya Manni Mala


गुडकर्पूरवटिका श्वासं सच्यो व्यपोहति।

Vrinda Madhava, 61- 97, vanga Sena, Netra Roga, 175

नेत्र रोग शुक्र  

वट क्षीरेण संयुक्त॑ श्लक्ष्णम कर्पूरजं रज: । 

क्षिप्रमज्नतो हन्ति शुक्र चापि घनोज्नतम्‌।।

Raja Amritanda, 26- 1, Chakra Dutta, 44- 55

सद्य:  क्षत 

सद्य: कर्पूरर्पिभ्यां पूरितो वस्त्र यन्त्रित: । 

शस्त्र प्रहार:  संरोहत्यपूय: पाकवर्जित:।। 

Bhava Parkasha, Chikitsa. 36- 67


कर्पूररसजा युक्ता वस्रवर्ति: शनै:शनै:।। 

मेढ्र मार्गान्तरे न्यस्ता मूत्राघात॑ व्यपोहति।। 

Chakra Dutta, 33/ 13

मूत्र विव्धे कर्पूरचूर्ण लिङ्गे प्रवेशयेत्‌ ।

Bhava Parkasha Chikitsa, 36- 32

घन सारस्य चूर्णन बस्तस्याथा विकाम्बुना।

गुण्ड्यित्वा ध्वजे क्षिप्त्वा मूत्ररोधो जहाति तम्‌।। 

Yoga Ratnakara, page 382 (Parilehit Karn Pali Roga)

बहुशो गो मयैस्तपै: स्वेदितं परिलेहितम्‌। 

निसारै: समालिम्पेदजामूनेण कल्कितै:।।

Bhava Parkasha, Mutra Ghata Adhikara, 39- 67

मुत्रघाते कर्पूर वर्ति  

मूत्र कृच्छे अश्मरी रोगे भेषजं  यत्परिकिर्तितं।         

मूत्राघातेषु कृच्छेषु तत्कुर्याद्‌ देशकालवित्‌।। 

कर्पूररसजा युक्ता वस्त्रवर्त्ति: शनै: शानै: ।

मेढ्र मार्गान्तरे न्यस्ता मूत्राघात॑ व्यपोहति।। 

Chakra Dutta Netra Roga Chikitsa, 59- 77

नेत्रशुक्रे कर्पूरयोग:

वटीक्षीरेण संयुक्त॑ श्लक्ष्णं कर्पूरजं रज: ।

क्षिप्रमज्नतों हन्ति शुक्रन्न्चापि घनोन्नतम्‌।

Specific Formulation of Karpura

  • Karpura Rasa for Jwara Atsara, Grahani
  • Karpuradya Churna for Kasa, Shwasa
  • Karpuradya Churna for Visuchika, Udara Vikara
  • Eladi Churna for Aruchi, Prasava Shula
  • Manusmriti Vati for Unmada and Apsmara

Contraindication and Side Effects of Karpura

  • The first thing that should be kept in mind is that one should know the difference between edible Karpura and Non- edible i.e artificial Karpura. As an Artificially prepared Karpura is made up of turpentine and is not suitable for oral use.
  • Oral use of Karpura should be done under medical supervision as it may result in nausea, vomiting, burning sensation in the mouth, etc.
  • Avoid the use of Karpura in pregnant ladies and lactating mothers.
  • For Bahya Paryoga (external use) of Karpura, Camphor concentration should be in the range of 11% not more than this.
  • Karpura is used to treat hypotensive conditions by raising blood pressure, so it is not recommended to use in hypertensive patients.
  • The camphor oil present in Karpura may result in spasms. So, in asthmatic patients, direct inhalation of camphor oil should be contraindicated as it may trigger a spasm in them.
  • Avoid the use of Karpura in Kamp Vata (Parkison’s disease) and Apsmara (epilepsy) patients.
  • Karpura may result in redness and skin irritation. So a skin test should be done before its local application is used.

Suggestive Reading Regarding Cinnamomum camphora Nees.

  • Al-Mamun, Md & Huque, Amdadul & Biswas, Sujit & Bhuiyan, Jamilur & Rashid, Harun. (2014). Toxicological studies of Karpura Rasa based on lipid profile, Liver function, and kidney function in rat plasma after chronic administration. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research. 6. 122- 126.
  • Alam, Khurshid & Nawab, Mohammad & Kazmi, Munawwar. (2020). Pharmacological and Therapeutic profile of Kafur (Cinnamomum camphora (L.) J. Presl)- A Review.
  • Zuccarini, Paolo & Soldani, Giulio. (2009). Camphor: Benefits and risks of a widely used natural product. Acta Biologica Szegediensis. 53. 77- 82.
  • Sikder, Md & Hasan, Rakib & Lopa, Swagata & Abedin, Nayma & Uddin, Mohammad & Sarker, Md. Moklesur Rahman & Chowdhury, Mohammed & Choudhuri, M Shahabuddin Kabir. (2015). TOXICOLOGICAL STUDIES OF AN AYURVEDIC MEDICINE “KARPUR RAS” USED IN DIARRHOEA. International Journal of Pharmacy. 5. 472- 477.
  • Khan, Khalid & Ghramh, Hamed & Ibrahim, Essam & Al-hag, Sadeq & Ahmad, Zubair & Kilany, Mona & Janjua, Hussnain & Al-Solami, Habeeb. (2021). Plant (Cinnamomum camphora) mediated silver nanoparticles: their characterization, mosquitoes larvicidal efficacy, and biological activities. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin. 30. 338- 348.
  • G, Namboothiri & N, Jayaram & P, Namboothiri. (2014). PHYSICAL-CHEMICAL EVALUATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAMPHOR USED IN AYURVEDIC FORMULATIONS. Journal of Biological & Scientific Opinion. 2. 284- 287. 10. 7897/ 2321- 6328. 02564.
  • Upadhyay, Ravi. (2017). Therapeutic and Pharmaceutical Potential of Cinnamomum Tamala. e-ISSN: 2320-1215 p-ISSN: 2322- 0112 www.rroij.com Research Reviews: Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Volume 6. 18- 28.
  • Fazmiya, Mohamed Joonus Aynul, Arshiya Sultana, Khaleequr Rahman, Md Belal Bin Heyat, Faijan Akhtar, Salabat Khan, and Seth Christopher Yaw Appiah. “Current Insights on Bioactive Molecules, Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Other Pharmacological Activities of Cinnamomum camphora Linn.” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2022 (2022).
  • Guleria, Sanjay, and A. Kumar. “Antifungal activity of some Himalayan medicinal plants using direct autography.” J. Cell Mol. Biol 5 (2006): 95- 98.
  • Di Girolamo, Alice, Janani Durairaj, Adèle van Houwelingen, Francel Verstappen, Dirk Bosch, Katarina Cankar, Harro Bouwmeester, Dick de Ridder, Aalt DJ van Dijk, and Jules Beekwilder. “The santalene synthase from Cinnamomum camphora: reconstruction of a sesquiterpene synthase from a monoterpene synthase.” Archives of biochemistry and biophysics 695 (2020): 108647.
  • Fazmiya, Mohamed Joonus Aynul, Arshiya Sultana, Khaleequr Rahman, Md Belal Bin Heyat, Faijan Akhtar, Salabat Khan, and Seth Christopher Yaw Appiah. “Current Insights on Bioactive Molecules, Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Other Pharmacological Activities of Cinnamomum camphora Linn.” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2022 (2022).
  • Di Girolamo, Alice, Janani Durairaj, Adèle van Houwelingen, Francel Verstappen, Dirk Bosch, Katarina Cankar, Harro Bouwmeester, Dick de Ridder, Aalt DJ van Dijk, and Jules Beekwilder. “The santalene synthase from Cinnamomum camphora: reconstruction of a sesquiterpene synthase from a monoterpene synthase.” Archives of biochemistry and biophysics 695 (2020): 108647.
  • Das, Manosi & Suvra, Mandal & Budhimanta, Mallick & Hazra, Jayram. (2013). Ethnobotany, phytochemical and pharmacological aspects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume. International Research Journal of Pharmacy. 4. 58- 63. 10. 7897/ 2230- 8407. 04409.
  • Bhardwaj, Ankush. “Mukha Swasthya Upaya-A Conceptual Study.” Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences 4, no. 03 (2019): 122- 125.
  • Abdul Shukkoor, Mohamed & Rafiullah, Mohamed & Bharathidasan, P. (2006). Chemical and pharmacological evaluation of Karpura shilajit bhasma, an Ayurvedic diuretic formulation. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines (ISSN: 0189- 6016) Vol 3 Num 2. 3. 10. 4314/at cam. v3i2. 31154.
  • Stubbs, Brett & Specht, A. & Brushett, Don. (2004). The Essential Oil of Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Nees and Eberm.—Variation in Oil Composition Throughout the Tree in Two Chemotypes from Eastern Australia. Journal of Essential Oil Research – J ESSENT OIL RES. 16. 200- 205. 10. 1080/ 10412905. 2004. 9698697.
  • Sharma, Neeru & Yadav, Yadevendra & Kumar, Vipin. (2021). Folklore and Modern Pharmacology of Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora Nees & Eberm): Review. 10. 36348/system. 2021. v04i07. 001.
  • Sud, Sushant & Khyati, Santwani & Sud, & Vinay, T. (2016). UNDERPINNING THE CLASSICAL PREPARATION RASAKARPURA (MERCURIAL SALT) -A REVIEW. WORLD JOURNAL OF PHARMACY AND PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES. 5. 251- 279. 10. 20959/ wjpps 201610- 7766.
  • Campbell, P., & Geering, A. (2011). Biosecurity capacity building for the Australian avocado industry– Laurel wilt. In VII World Avocado Congress. (https:// www. researchgate. net/ publication/ 267372740_ Biosecurity_ Capacity_  Building_ for_ the_ Australian_ Avocado_ Industry_-_Laurel_ Wilt).
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Ayurveda is an Indian system of medicine that is popular since ancient times. Dr. Gupta’s IAFA® has been conducting research studies to find out different phytoconstituents of herbs and their action in the body. Such knowledge acquired by our experts is used in the preparation of medicines and providing the treatment facilities safely and effectively. IAFA® is the provider of safe and effective treatment for a wide range of diseases, mainly allergic diseases all based on Ayurveda.

Dr. Sahil Gupta completed his Bachelor of Ayurveda in Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) and Master’s Degree in Health Administration (MHA) India. He is Registered Ayurvedic Doctor & Vaidya in India having Registration No. 23780. He is the CEO and founder of IAFA. After completing BAMS, Dr. Sahil Gupta started practicing Ayruveda by giving prime importance to allergic disorders management. He became the first Ayurvedic doctor to cure Food Allergies through Ayurveda. Read More About Dr. Sahil Gupta.

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