The Camphor tree is a native to China and Japan. It is also found in Argentina, Brazil, Madagascar, and the United States. It is a non-deciduous tree, which grows to a height of about 100 feet. Originally, the color of the leaves is red, but they turn dark green on ripening. Camphor is derived by steaming the bark of the tree. The process of steaming, leaves behind a white, crystalline, and odorous substance. In ancient times, it was believed that the white substance had magical properties. It has now been proven to have medicinal qualities.
These trees grow very slowly. There is a belief in China, that camphor should not be extracted from the trees till they are at least fifty years old.
Camphor is an integral ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines, the oil of which is used to strengthen the heart. It is also used for muscle pain relief, and is known to alleviate arthritic as well as rheumatic pain. Latest studies suggest that a topical application of camphor-based preparations helps in reducing knee osteoarthritis-associated pain. This oil is used in analgesic oils, ointments, and sprays. It is also used to treat asthma. In addition to this, it can be used in steam vaporizers to control coughs, and also in ointments which help loosen mucus and relieve airway congestion (by rubbing it on the chest, throat, and back).
An important use of camphor oil is treating acne. It is also used for skin care. Some of the problems it helps relieve are dry skin, itchiness, or dermatitis symptoms. It also helps in improving blood circulation.
Camphor oil helps in revitalizing and rejuvenating the skin. Hence, it is used in a number of professional acne skin care products. Being rich in antioxidants, it helps in maintaining the general health of the skin.
It can effectively be combined with castor oil to treat pimples. This is a simple and natural remedy which can be made at home. It involves mixing half a cup of castor oil with half a cup of almond oil and then adding one teaspoon of camphor oil to the mixture. Shake it well before you apply it on the zits. Prior to applying the oil, wash your face and pat it dry. Leave this oil on overnight for better results. You can wash your face first thing in the morning.
Another method you may want to try is taking steam on your face for about 20 minutes. Wash your face before you take the steam, so that your skin is cleared of the impurities. Then massage the oil onto your skin.
It is recommend that you reduce the intake of fried, oily, and greasy food items, as they invariably have an adverse effect on the skin. Your diet should primarily consist of green leafy vegetables, fruits, and other similarly healthy foods. Hence, in short, a proper diet is what you should concentrate on. Regular exercise also helps in giving the skin the required glow.