Camphor signs and symptoms from the Characteristic Materia Medica by William Burt of the homeopathic medicine Camphor …

Sphere Of Action.

All effects of Camphor are produced through the cerebro- spinal system. Upon the sensorium it causes vertigo, confusion of ideas, maniacal delirium, convulsions, frothing at the mouth, and insensibility; when reaction sets in there is great heat and vascular excitement in the head.

The coldness and torpor which Camphor causes in the stomach and bowels are characteristic of its primary action upon the mucous coating of those viscera. This is caused by its action on the cerebro-spinal nervous system, and not, as Hempel says, through the ganglions. The great coldness of the skin is caused from its action on the sentient nervous system.

Upon the Genital Organs its primary effect is impotence, with coldness and relaxation of the parts.

It causes inflammation of the urinary organs and suppression of urine.

Its greatest field of usefulness appears to be in its primary symptoms, that is, its chill-producing powder. It appears that Camphor exerts its action chiefly upon the cerebral lobes, causing at first depression of mental powers, giddiness and somnolency. The corpora striata appear to share the general sedation of the intellectual centres. Delirium comes on later, and in some cases there is considerable vivacity. If the use of the drug be continued for some time, it produces great depression of muscular power and intellectual lethargy. In the fullest medicinal doses it does not affect any of the organic functions, excepting such depression of the sexual as may fairly be considered a secondary effect of its depressing influence on the motor and intellectual centres. In all medicinal doses, from the lowest to the highest, it certainly does not exercise a depressant effect on the circulation. On the contrary, decided stimulation is occasionally to be observed, after large doses, and this is attended with a diffused feeling of warmth throughout the body, and a slight rise of temperature of the surface. Given in solution I have every reason to believe that the Camphor is rapidly and completely absorbed, for I always failed to detect a trace of Camphor odor in either the urine or the exhalations from the skin and lungs.-Dr.J. HARLEY in The Practitioner.


Sudden and complete prostration of the vital forces, with great coldness of the external surface.

Long-lasting chills.

Great coldness of the skin, yet the child cannot bear to be covered.

Extremities cold and blue, with cramps.

Skin cold as marble, yet the child cannot bear to be covered; rattling in the throat; hot breath.

Sometimes those cold spells only come on at night and pass off in the morning, with much prostration and diarrhoea.

Especially adapted to choleraic diseases, and to the first stages of catarrhal affections.

Head:-Throbbing pains in the cerebellum, like the pounding of a hammer; synchronous with the beats of the heart.-RAUE.

Features distorted; eyes sunken; face, hands and feet icy cold; great anguish, as though he would suffocate; half stupid and senseless; groans and moans; hoarse, husky voice, burning in the stomach and oesophagus; cramps; touching the stomach causes him to cry out; great faintness and prostration.-RAUE.

Digestive Organs.-No thirst, no nausea, no vomiting, no diarrhoea, with cramps in the legs.-RAUE.

Burning heat in the stomach.

Involuntary diarrhoea; stools blackish.

Many cases of diarrhoea at the first start; a large dose or two of Camphor will arrest it at once.

Urinary Organs.-Strangury not relieved by urinating, especially if caused by Cantharis.

Retention of urine, or it is discharged in small quantities; deep red, and depositing a thick sediment.

Sometimes the urine is green.

Male Generative Organs.-Impotence, with coldness, weakness, and atrophied condition of the sexual organs, from large doses.

Female.-Her labor pains have ceased, and her skin is cold and blue.

Excellent in dysmenorrhoea.

Chest.-Suffocative catarrh, with paralysis of the lungs, from its paralyzing effect upon the pneumogastric nerve; first stage.

Skin.-Sudden retrocession of eruptions, with cold skin and great prostration.

Epilepsy, with much congestion of blood to the brain.-MARCY and HUNT.

William Burt
William H. Burt, MD
Characteristic materia medica Published 1873
Physiological materia medica, containing all that is known of the physiological action of our remedies; together with their characteristic indications and pharmacology. Published 1881