Camphor - Cinnamonum camphora

Color&Appearance: Camphor is White, translucent masses, of a tough consistence and a crystalline structure, readily pulverizable in the presence of a little alcohol, ether, or chloroform.

Odor: having a penetrating, characteristic odor, and a pungently aromatic taste.

Specific Gravity : Specific gravity: 0.995 at 15° C.

Solubility: Very sparingly soluble in water, but readily soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform, carbon disulphide, benzin, and in fixed and volatile oils. When camphor is triturated, in about molecular proportions, with menthol, thymol, phenol, or chloral hydrate, liquefaction ensues. It melts at 175° C. (347° F.), boils at 204° C. (399.2° F.), and is inflammable, burning with a luminous, smoky flame.

Chemical Components : Camphors are products of oxidation of the group of hydrocarbons, known as terpenes. cymol (cymene) (C10H14), having the graphic formula C6H4.(CH3).(C3H7). 'camphor may be converted into cymol by distillation with zinc chloride, or with phosphoric anhydride. On the other hand, camphor may be obtained (in small amounts) by the oxidation of terpenes.

Precautions : Camphor is present in several over-the-counter compounds of questionable use and therefore may be ingested by small children. Because seizures may follow ingestion of certain amounts, appropriate treatment is needed, including the use of anticonvulsants.

Therapeutic properties: In large doses camphor is a narcotic and irritant; in small ones, sedative, anodyne, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, and anthelmintic. Very small doses stimulate and large doses depress. Large doses cause oesophageal and gastric pain, vomiting, slow and enfeebled and subsequently intermittent pulse, dizziness, drowsiness, dimness of sight, pallid, cold skin, muscular weakness, cyanosis, spasms, muscular rigidity, and convulsions.

Uses: Camphor is used in medicine internally for its calming influence in hysteria, nervousness and neuralgia, and for serious diarrhoea, and externally as a counter-irritant in rheumatisms, sprains bronchitis, and in inflammatory conditions, and sometimes in conjunction with menthol and phenol for heart failure; it is often given hypodermically, 3 to 5 grains dissolved in 20 to 30 minims of sterile Olive oil - the effect will last about two hours. In nervous diseases it may be given in substance or in capsules or in spirit; dose 2 to 5 grains. Its great value is in colds, chills, and in all inflammatory complaints; it relieves irritation of the sexual organs.

Storage: Camphor kept in umber tightly closed glass bottle .


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