Camphor has been used in the Far East for many centuries. It was introduced into Europe by the Arabs, who knew how to purify it through "sublimation". They attributed it with many medicinal properties. At the time, it was a rare perfume. Natural camphor is a pearly white, solid crystalline substance that is made when the essential oil in old parts of the wood hardens. This substance, which has a strong, penetrating scent and then gives a feeling of freshness, was extremely popular in 19th-century western medicine.
Camphor essential oil is distilled from the wood or the leaves of the tree. Camphor essence has cardioactive properties, is a respiratory stimulant, and eases rheumatic pain. It has a general energizing effect and should only be used in small amounts.