Sep 19, 2009, 2:10:05 AM9/19/09
Camphor - Hindi name :- Kapoor ; Sanskrit - Karpur ; Tamil- Karpooram
Camphor is a white crystalline substance used as a culinary spice, as a
component of incense, as medicine, as bug repellant. Hindus use it in rituals.
Particularly after Pancha-arati, karpoor arati is always done in shrines and in
pujas.. This is a common commodity, but what is its source ?
A few days before ID for Cinnamomum camphora was sought. Mahendra Prasadji
asked -' Is this the source of camphor we use in religious rituals'. In absence of
a direct answer i searched the net and would like to share it with you.
The answer is - yes. Cinnamomum camphora is a large tree , grows upto 20-30 m
tall. It is native to Taiwan. South Japan, South-east China , Indochina. The production
of camphor from it was a major industry in Taiwan.
Camphor is obtained in Japan by cutting the wood, roots etc in small pieces and
boiling them in large iron stills for 48 hours. The camphor sublime and settles in
crystallization box. This is sold in market as Japan camphor.Its formula-C10H16-O
There is the other type called Borneo camphor : C10H18-O. This is obtained from
a huge tree, Dryobalanops camphora/aromatica growing upto 65-75 m . This is so
much prized by the natives that it hardly appears in the market.
It is cultivated in Australia where it is called camphor laurel.
Camphor can be synthesized from turpentine - C10H16
Will somebody kindly enlighten us on its position in India ? Do we produce or import?