Common designation of a large,
broadleaf evergreen tree, with the botanical name Cinnamomum camphora,
and which is also commonly known as Camphorwood and Camphor Laurel. It
grows up to around 25 meters tall and has fragrant, glossy, ovate to obovate leaves, that are green in colour and have a waxy appearance.
They smell of camphor when crushed and are arranged alternate, whilst
their venation is pinnate.
produces clusters of berry-like fruits with a diameter of around 1
centimeter, and which turn black as they ripen. It
has a pale brown bark, that is very
rough and fissured vertically.
This tree is native to
south of the Yangtze River, Taiwan, southern Japan, Korea, and Vietnam,
and has been introduced to many other countries, such as Indonesia and
Malaysia. From it, camphor is gained, a substance which is used as a
culinary spice, a medicine, and as a component of
In Thailand, where it is known as
camphor is used in
perfume bags, often sold
in the form of a small cotton dolls, known in Thai as
kaanboon hom, i.e. Ďaromatic camphor dollsí. In
Myanmar, the dark
wood chips hacked from the root of the Camphor Tree, dug out from around
the base, are used in herbal teas. The essential oils in the root are
said to aid blood circulation and also are a remedy against
bronchial problems. The digging and
chipping has to be done very carefully as to not damage the root so that
the tree would die and in order to be able to keep harvesting the root.