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A question of names[edit]

"Camphor laurel" or "camphor tree" are used occasionally, but it seems the most commonly used name for the tree is just "Camphor". Either this article should be about both the substance and the tree, or we should come up with another solution, perhaps under Cinnamomum camphora or Camphor (tree), but not camphor laurel, for the tree. Does anyone else have an opinion? -- WormRunner | Talk 18:13, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

is sniffing camphor safe? please respond at napspit2's talk page.

There is also the mysterious "hence its alternate name", with no alternate name for camphor given. Anyone?Czrisher (talk) 12:46, 25 December 2008 (UTC)


Can someone at least edit the ghastly English? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:02, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Etymology of the word camphor and a few other things[edit]

I have noticed that this article mentions that the word camphor was derived from the Malay word. But, the word was actually derived from the Sanskrit word "karpuram".

Also, camphor is a substance used in Hindu worship rituals. No mention of that has been made.

It is also used as a flavouring agent in sweets in India. A specific type known as "pachha karpuram [Telugu]" which translates literally into "green camphor" is used for this particular purpose.

Also, I am interested in knowing a little more about the ancient methods of synthesis of camphor.

I refrain from writing anything in the article itself since I this is not field of expertise. I hope someone competent could be so kind to complete this article.

I would like to know something about the alchemical use of camphor.

A clear distinction between 'karpuram' and 'pachha karpuram' should be made perhaps by analyzing the two samples. This way atleast we can have something more to say about it. The 'theertha' (water infused with Paccha karpuram)offered to the devotees at hindu temples usually contain 'pachha karpuram' possibly for its anti-microbial properties. The other 'Camphor' is used in 'aratis', mini flames used to light up the idols in the dark 'sanctum sanctorums' of the hindu temples to show to the devotees the many splendered ornaments on the idols. These flames in small metal holders are passed around later to the devotees who partake in the warmth(therefore the blessings) by waving their hands lightly over the flames(Jayaram Krishnaswamy).

Sex drive inhibitor[edit]

I've heard camphor oil is added in small amounts to soldiers food in some armies due to its supposed effect as a sex drive inhibitor. Anyone know anything about that? Thank you.

Camphor is not the only substance that has this legend circulating about it. In reality, the extreme physical exertion alone is enough to decrease testosterone levels. --Vuo 16:46, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm not surprised. As stated in the article, camphor is mildly toxic- any toxin is likely to inhibit sexual behavior. MissMeticulous (talk) 03:30, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Just an urban legend. Camphor works the opposite way and this is the truth with a lot of "toxins" (alkaloides like cocaine or caffeine; amphetamine an so on). And if you knew the strong odor of this stuff you'd not expect anyone putting camphor in your food without your notice. --FK1954 (talk) 18:55, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

"Calming properties"[edit]

"It has calming properties." -- I moved this to Talk until we can get a cite. -- Writtenonsand 20:30, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

It has a pleasing smell, to some. Also keeps the insects away, that's bound to be calming GreatMizuti 16:23, 29 May 2006 (UTC) why chmphor gives sooty flame though it is aliphatic ketone.

The word "properties" however, has more of a chemical connotation. Unless a source can be found that states that camphor releases some sort of chemical that perhaps triggers some sort of "calm hormone" release, said quote should be left out. MissMeticulous (talk) 03:25, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Film Preservation and Restoration[edit]

Camphor ia also apparently useful in the preservation and restoration of old movie film. See the thread at .

Culinary uses[edit]

I'm concerned that much of the material in this article pertaining to culinary uses of camphor actually refers to plants such as the Camphor Laurel, and not the chemical itself. The distiction is not going to be clear however because it is likely that the chemical camphor is a significant flavorant in the plant camphor. With the recent additions of the plant taxobox, etc. it's clear that there is some conflation of the the two meanings of camphor and I'm not sure that it has yet been cleared up completely in this article. --Ed (Edgar181) 16:12, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

This is thoroughly confusing because on the one hand the article says that camphor has been used in cooking for millenia and on the other hand says that it is extremely toxic and in some cases banned by the FDA. This should be cleared up by someone who understands the nuances. Ileanadu (talk) 04:19, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Painful English[edit]

"strong penetrating pungent aromatic odor"--Got enough adjectives there? And each one almost means the same thing as the next. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Yes, I suspect it was a vandal trying to be amusing. We also had "waxy crystalline solid" and "white transparent.." I cleaned it up - please tweak it some more if you think it needs it. Thanks a lot for flagging this! Walkerma 05:18, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

"[W]axy crystalline solid" and "white transparent" should have been left alone, as each word brought more to the description of camphor instead of serving only as repetition. MissMeticulous (talk) 03:23, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


Hi, Isn't there an error in the 3d model of the molecule? If the structural formula is correct one C-atom is missing in the 3d model (take a look at the carbon atom "left" of the carbon atom bound to oxygen). Skitnik 19:16, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Solubility data in Chembox[edit]

In the Properties section, the use of multiple parameters SolubilityOther / Solvent, as reported below, results in rendering only the last data (chloroform) :

| SolubilityOther = ~200 g in 100 ml
| Solvent = acetic acid
| SolubilityOther = ~100 g in 100 ml
| Solvent = ethanol
| SolubilityOther = ~250 g in 100 ml
| Solvent = acetone
| Solvent = ether
| SolubleOther = ~100 g in 100 ml
| SolubilityOther = ~200 g in 100 ml
| Solvent = chloroform

Does anyone knows how to fix that ? (BTW, fields & data are messy around ether)

Perhaps the best solution is to use an external table --Duckysmokton 16:57, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Hey, that one is funny. That is something not supported by {{chembox new}}. I guess an external table would be better here. This is a bit 'table creep'. Indeed, maybe something for a data-page? --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:13, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
It used to be quite commonplace to include data for several solvents like this - the Merck Index gives such data - we should try to make the template accommodate this if possible. (Please don't ask me to do this....!) Walkerma 03:43, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

This article talk page was automatically added with {{WikiProject Food and drink}} banner as it falls under Category:Food or one of its subcategories. If you find this addition an error, Kindly undo the changes and update the inappropriate categories if needed. The bot was instructed to tagg these articles upon consenus from WikiProject Food and drink. You can find the related request for tagging here . Maximum and careful attention was done to avoid any wrongly tagging any categories , but mistakes may happen... If you have concerns , please inform on the project talk page -- TinucherianBot (talk) 01:02, 4 July 2008 (UTC)


The Online Etymological Dictionary actually says that kapur is Malay for "camphor tree", not "chalk". --Vuo (talk) 17:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Snake Repellent[edit]

In the "Uses" section:

It is also believed[by whom?] that camphor will deter snakes and other reptiles due to its strong odor. Similarly, camphor is believed to be toxic to insects and is thus sometimes used as a repellent.[citation needed]

By Googling the Japanese words for "camphor" and "centipede" I came across a multitude of blog entries that either confirm, disprove or report on the use of camphor as centipede repellant by Japanese bloggers troubled by centipedes. I don't think that would count as a citation, but the belief seems to be out there. Fujisawa Shono, a maker of refined natural camphor (currently a subsidiary of Daiichi-Sankyo pharmaceuticals) lists insect repellant qualities and anti-fungal qualities as its applications (mostly for the protection of clothes), but does not list centipedes (or snakes for that matter) as targets. In Panchatantra, a collection of mythical Indian stories, there is a short story about a crab protecting a traveler from a snake that is attracted by camphor, not repelled.Tsumugi (talk) 12:20, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

This language has been improved somewhat, as it now reads:

Some folk remedies state that camphor will deter snakes and other reptiles due to its strong odor. Similarly, camphor is believed to be toxic to insects and is thus sometimes used as a repellent.

Also kudos to whoever found the citation to the 1840 publication. That being said, I'm somewhat concerned by the use of the present tense in reference to these folk remedies and beliefs: "folk remedies state ... camphor will deter" and "is believed to be toxic ... is thus sometimes used as a repellent."

If it is still being used as a repellent, then there must be a more recent reference than the 1840 article. More troubling however is the indication that camphor "will deter" (or that it is believed by some to deter) snakes, without any indication of whether these hypotheses have been tested and proved. If these beliefs are no longer held, then perhaps the past tense should be used; if these are current beliefs, then there should be something more trustworthy than the folk remedies themselves to back them up, else it should be made clear that these are not substantiated lest someone decide to "try this at home."

Does the 1840 citation also cover the use of Camphor in insect collections? If not, is this a widely known use among insect collectors or is a citation needed here? Ileanadu (talk) 04:36, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Please do not include its isomers into this article[edit]

In the society of chemistry, professionals all know that the compound is usually directed to (±)-Camphor, instead of listing all the isomers to this molecule. I bet that the writers of this article do not have such disciplinary knowledges. Since the article is using trival name which is unstandardized, wiki admin needs to set a standard to avoid such confusions by either regulating of using chemical trival name as approved article title name, or using IUPAC name as the article title related to chemicals-- (talk) 03:15, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I came here specifically looking for stereoisomer information on camphor and found it missing. An expert should add it back in. Also the alternate 3d structure needs to be added anyway. All chemists refer to the d- or l- form unless they specifically need a racemic mixture. Cowbert (talk) 02:31, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Please create another article for ...[edit]

d-Camphor -- (talk) 03:39, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Injections of camphor[edit]

My Great Grandfather was treated with injections of camphor during periods of high temperature while suffering from typhus during the Russian Revolution. How common was it for camphor to be administered by injection? Is this ever still practised?

Leo Tolstoy was given camphor along with morphine shortly before he died of pnemonia, and it is often used to help horses which experience breathing difficulties.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:08, 3 July 2010 (UTC) 

I am reading a book called Fifty Russian Winters: An American Woman's Life in the Soviet Union, a memoir by Margaret Wettlin in which there are several accounts of people receiving camphor injections for things such as heart attacks and high fever. The timeframe of these occurences is in the 1930s and 1940s, in Russia. Strawbaby (talk) 12:56, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Military Use[edit]

The United States Military used camphor in a chamber to test the fit and seal of protective (gas) masks before Soldiers are led into the CS (tear gas) chamber to gain confidence in their protective equipment. The standard military filters would filter out the camphor smell so if a Soldier still smelled camphor, his/her mask was not sealed properly or the mask had a leak. As I recall, a small block of camphor was placed on top of an inverted steel can with a candle inside and the block slowly vaporized. This same set up was used to vaporize CS in another chamber. This type of training has fallen out of favor with the advent of mask leak testing devices and is rarely seen today. However Initial Combat Training (formerly known as Basic Training)still includes a trip to the CS chamber.

This is based on my experience as an Army Chemical Officer for the past 20+ years. Here is a link to an Air Force Document that includes camphor chamber training procedures (the Army used roughly the same procedures).

Nylotic (talk) 15:47, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Probably should go into gas mask instead of this article, this use not being the primary. Mention of CS, CN, "banana oil", and stannic chloride as a challenge agent should probably be made there as well. --Rifleman 82 (talk) 02:28, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Source for uses in medicine is a dead link; reorganization of "Uses" is needed[edit]

I noticed the link for reference number 7 (National Agency for Medicines) is a dead link:

This is apparently the sole source for the second paragraph under the "Uses" heading, on medical uses for camphor.

I see now that there is a subsequent subheading under "Uses" for "Medicinal". However, most of the medicinal uses are mentioned in the main section under "Uses" starting with the second paragraph.

We might want to redo these subheadings under "Uses". Looks like we need one for "Religious" also. Frappyjohn (talk) 01:48, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Unreliable source update[edit]

Links nos 5 and 10 to "An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century" had better refer to "Huici Miranda, A. (1965). Kitâb al-Tabîkh fi'l-Maghrib wa'l-Anndalus fi'asr al-Muwahhidin: La cucina ispano-magrebina in epoca almohade secondo un manoscritto anonimo.", which is the Spanish original. Charles Perry translated that text into English, and David Friedman published that translation on his website - to which the original links refer.

Please also check the Spanish Wikipedia page on Ambrosio Huici Miranda (, which mentions among the "Ediciones, traducciones": "Cocina hispano-magrebí durante la época almohade: según un manuscrito anónimo del siglo XIII. (2005) Ediciones Trea, S.L. ISBN 84-9704-175-5 (edición original 1956-1957)(traductor)". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Many of the above assumptions by unsigned are incorrect. Charles Perry did NOT translate Huici Miranda's often flawed Spanish translation into English. That is the sort of thing -- a translation of a translation -- that can lead to even more inaccuracies than just translating from the original source. Charles Perry translated from the original Arabic manuscript. Perry is a reliable translator, as quite a few of his translations of other medieval Arabic language cookbooks have been published in "real" books, such as "Medieval Arab Cookery" (Prospect Books (Totnes, Devon, England), 2001, ISBN-10 0-907325-91-2 / ISBN-13 978-0-907325-91-8) and "A Baghdad Cookery Book" (Prospect Books, 2005, ISBN-10 1-903018-42-0 / ISBN-13 978-1-903018-42-2). Ellenois (talk) 03:13, 26 June 2011 (UTC)


The article contained two unreferenced contradictory statements about the toxicity of camphor:

  1. "Lethal doses in adults are in the range 50–500 mg/kg (orally)."
  2. "Generally, 2 g causes serious toxicity and 4 g is potentially lethal."

If either can be confirmed by reference to a reliable source, it can be added back in. -- Ed (Edgar181) 21:11, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

skin sensation[edit]

Hi, i have personally worked with camphor, menthol and other substances, and can ensure that the sensation you get when applied to the skin is WARM not cool as menthol. See this references as example:, Could you correct that? thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:14, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

CAS Registry Numbers[edit]

I've noticed that camphor has multiple CAS numbers, including some that aren't listed in the info box. How do we determine which ones to list? --Zaryn (talk) 00:37, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

What is your source? Plasmic Physics (talk) 00:48, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Addition to History Section[edit]

The Wikipedia page Economy of Hispania mentions several times the production of camphor in Baetica, southern Spain during Roman times, and probably even pre-Roman. Apparently it was used for packaging/preserving food products (oil, fish) and its presence throughout the Mediterranean has been taken as evidence for commercial links throughout the Roman Empire. This page doesn't list references for this research however. No other language's Wikipedia page for camphor mentions the substance's use in the West before medieval times when it was brought from the Middle East. The Latin Wikipedia page for camphor mentions an alternate name formosa for the product...

If anyone has info about historical knowledge of Camphor outside of the areas the word etymologically originated, it would be nice to add.

J'odore (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 18:40, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Use in steam baths[edit]

Whenever I use a steam bath, it seems like the steam is infused with what I believe is camphor oil. Is there some known effect on the lungs or skin from inhalation of camphor-infused steam?Ronnotel (talk) 00:32, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Camphor used to induce seizures[edit]

A seminal, historical use of camphor by Paraculsus in the 16th century and Ladislas Meduna in 1934 was to induce seizures in patients with psychotic disorders. This seizure induction often cured patients of their "phycosis" and these treatments were the early predecessors of current Electroconvulsive Therapy. I don't have sources with me but this is a needed addition to this page. Anyone else have sources that could add this info in?

Sehamilton (talk) 13:39, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Aromatic odor???[edit]

Maybe this should be worded differently because while camphor does have a strong smell, it is most definitely not aromatic nor does it smell similar to any aromatic compound I've encountered

Identifying the enantiomers[edit]

The figure shows both enantiomers, but without indicating which is which. I believe the natural (R) enantiomer is on the right, but the chembox figure should say so. I don't know how to make it do that.CharlesHBennett (talk) 04:05, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

I agree that this information should be in the article. Clicking on the figure leads to the image file, which says Chemical structures of (R) and (S)-camphor, respectively.. So the (R) form is actually on the left, in agreement with my Merck Index. Also the figure seems to have been drawn for the Spanish article es:Alcanfor, which does say explicitly Fórmulas estructurales del (R) y el (S)-alcanfor (with R first so on the left). I don't know either how to make this information appear in the English infobox, so I will place it in the article text at the end of the intro. Dirac66 (talk) 00:36, 8 July 2016 (UTC)