CAMPHOR Medicine

CAMPHOR symptoms of the homeopathy remedy from Plain Talks on Materia Medica with Comparisons by W.I. Pierce. What CAMPHOR can be used for? Indications and personality of CAMPHOR…


      Camphor is obtained from the Camphor-tree which is found especially in Japan, including Formosa. The root, trunk and branches of the tree are cut in small pieces and these, with a small amount of water, are heated and the vapor of camphor condensed on straws placed at the top of the vessel.

This is refined and one part of this gum camphor is dissolved in nine parts of 87alcohol to make our tincture, which is, strictly speaking, the 1st.

Camphor is very slightly soluble in water, 1-500. The alcoholic solution combined with tepid water in the proportion of 1-400, but it must be well shaken to do so (from Mat. Medorrhinum Pura). If you put out tincture in cold water, the camphor will separate and appear as flakes. This will not harm it as a medicine, but it will be remarked upon by your patient.

Camphor Rubini, which is sometimes referred to in our literature, is so-called after the Italian physician Dr. Rubini, who introduced Cactus into our materia medica, and is simply a stronger solution than our tincture. It is, I believe, a saturated solution.

Camphor was first proved by Hahnemann, who says : “The rapid exhaustion of its action and the quick change of its symptoms render it incapable of curing most chronic diseases” (Mat. Medorrhinum Pura). As its action is short it must be repeated at frequent intervals. Hahnemann tells us that he “can testify from experience” that Camphor “removes the too violent action of very many drugs, whether unsuitably employed or given in too large doses.”

While in such cases its antidotal powers are of benefit to us, be on your guard that from its universal use it does not cause our undoing by destroying the effects of our medicines. The only safe method that I know of is to throw the camphor bottle out of the window on our first visit and to forbid the use of oil that is camphorated.

Camphor may be used as an antidote to irritant poisons and Allen cites as examples, the effects of poisonous insects (122), tobacco and mushrooms.


      Camphor produces violent convulsions, hysterical and epileptiform, and various phases of nervous excitement. It also produces great coldness of the body, perhaps with a feeling as if a cold wind were blowing against the various parts, and profound collapse (34), with feeble pulse.

As a rule, in cases of collapse requiring Camphor the prostration occurs suddenly and increases rapidly and there is amelioration of the symptoms from profuse sweat.

There is restlessness (160) and often subsultus tendinum (183), and frequently in cases calling for the remedy there is a feeling of general soreness, as if one had been beaten (166).

Camphor is to be thought of in the new-born who are asphyxiated (19) and have spasms in consequence, and for convulsions or collapse the result of suppressed eruptions, in scarlet fever (35) and especially in measles (35), with blueness and general coldness, and dryness of the skin. It may be indicated in the collapsed state due to shock from injuries, etc., with coldness of the surface of the body and weak intermittent pulse (110).

The mental condition is collapsed states is either one of extreme anxiety, restlessness and perhaps delirium, or we have a state of great lethargy, from which they can scarcely be aroused, or a complete loss of consciousness.

It is useful after sunstroke (98), provided there is the general coldness so characteristic of the remedy, and usually with headache, a constrictive pain (105) as if the head were knotted up, and with throbbing (102) in the cerebellum.

The Camphor patient is sensitive to cold and to cold air (5) and takes cold easily (5) and as a remedy it is useful in the first stage of coryza, with chilliness, soreness or aching of the muscles, with, in both instances, a feeling as if cold air were passing over the mucous membrane when breathing.

Willard Ide Pierce
Willard Ide Pierce, author of Plain Talks on Materia Medica (1911) and Repertory of Cough, Better and Worse (1907). Dr. Willard Ide Pierce was a Director and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Kent's post-graduate school in Philadelphia.