Camphor. A concrete volatile oil obtained by sublimation from the wood of Camphora Officinarum (Laurus Camphora of Linna?us), a native of China and Japan. Nat. Ord. Lauraceae. Linn. Syst. Enneandria Monogynia. It is also found in white crystalline fragments in the wood of Dryobalanops Camphora. It is found in small quantities in other plants; that used in the Tenasserim Provinces is obtained in considerable quantities, and of fair quality, from the leaves and stalks of the Blumea Grandis (De Cand.). Comp. 20 Eq. Carbon = 120 + 16 Hydrogen =16 + 2 Oxygen = 16 = 152, Eq. Wt.
Med. Prop. and Action. In doses of gr. ij. - v. - x. Camphor acts as a stimu-lant: it increases the action of the heart and arteries, exhilarates the spirits, excites warmth of body and diaphoresis; the pulse is rendered softer and fuller. These effects are very transitory, and are followed by depression. In somewhat larger doses, it allays spasm and pain, and induces sleep. In poisonous doses, it produces vomiting, vertigo, delirium, and convulsions. It acts chiefly on the nervous system; and, like Sulphur, it transudes through the skin, and is exhaled by the lungs. Camphor is an extremely diffusible stimulant, being rapidly extended over every part of the system, and disap-pearing sooner than any other narcotic. When it is desired to exert a stimulant influence, it should be given in small doses, frequently repeated. When its sedative effects are required, it should be administered in large doses, and at long intervals.* It exercises a powerful influence on the genito-urinary system; occasionally it causes strangury, yet by some it has been advised to relieve the strangury produced by Cantharides. It has also been recommended as an antidote in poisoning by Opium. Externally, dissolved in oil, it forms a valuable anodyne embrocation. It is acommon ingredient in toothpowdns. but it is stated, perhaps without sufficient reason, that its continued use in this way renders the teeth brittle.
Offijc. Prep. 1. Aqua CamphorAe. Syn. Mistura CamphorAe (Camphor oz. ss.; Distilled Water Cj). Dose, fl. oz. j. - fl. oz. iij. Used as a vehicle.
j.; Olive Oil fl. oz. iv ).
iiss.; Oil of Lavender fl. drm. j.; Strong Solution of Ammonia fl. oz. v.; Rectified Spirit fl. oz. xv.).
j.; Rectified Spirit fl. oz.ix.). Dose, ex. - fl. drm. ss., suspended in water by means of mucilage.
6. Tinctura Camphor® cum Opio (Opium grs. xl.; Benzoic Acid grs. xl.; Camphor grs. xxx.; Oil of Anise fl. drm. ss.; Proof Spirit Oj.). Syn. Tinctura CamphorAe Composita. Paregoric Elixir. Dose, fl. drm. ss. - fl. drs. iv.
Dote of Camphor, gr. ij. - gr. xx.
Modes of Administration. Camphor may be given in substance, in the form of pills, or suspended in mucilage. Raspail advises other methods: - 1, Cam-phor reduced to an impalpable powder for snuff; - 2, small lumps are impacted in quills, the end stopped with blotting-paper; these " Cigars" are to be smoked cold; i.e. the air is to be sucked through them, and the saliva swallowed; - and 3, in the form of lotion. ℞ Liq. Ammon. 100 parts, Aq. Dest. 900 parts, Sodii Chlor. 20 parts, Camphor 2 parts, Ol. Ros. q. s. This " Bau Sedative" has obtained great celebrity as an anodyne application. Another mode of applying Camphor is by fumigation. The patient is covered with a blanket, which should be pinned close to the throat, and from oz. ss. to oz. j. of Camphor is placed on a heated iron plate within the blanket. In a few minutes it produces a profuse perspiration.
* Cyc. Pract. Med., vol. iii. p. 159.
Lond. Med. Gaz., vol. iii - iv. 1847.