Edible Camphor Uses and Health Benefits

Edible Camphor should not be confused with normal camphor which we use for performing pooja and eliminating kan drishti. Normal camphors are made artificially from chemicals, mainly from turpentine.

Edible Camphor enhances the taste of the dishes. It is used mainly in sweets and desserts. We use it in making Sakkarai Pongal which helps to enhance the aroma and flavor. It should be added only a pinch.

Edible Camphor

Is Camphor Edible?

You might have seen some recipes calling for edible camphor. Not all camphors are edible. Only edible camphors are edible and can be used in making food items. The label should have a direct mention that it is edible or else do not use for cooking.

Edible Camphor in different languages:

Scientific Name - Cinnamomum Camphora
Edible Camphor - English
Hindi - Kacha Karpoor or Pachchaa Karpoora
Tamil - Pachai Karpooram
Telugu - Pachchaa Karpoora or Cheen Karpooram

Where to buy Edible Camphor?

Edible Camphor is available in grocery stores. They will be stored in an air-tight box or plastic bags. You have to use the camphor which are marked as 'Edible Camphor' in the label. It is widely available in Tamil Nadu. But my friend who is staying in US says that it is tough to find good quality edible camphor there. So, she always buys from here whenever she visits India.

Pachai karpooram

Mostly it will be available in 1 g or 2 grams pack as people use only a pinch every time. The price of 2 grams pack which I bought is 8 INR. Shelf life of edible camphor differs. The average shelf life is 15 months approximately. Check the label.

Health Benefits of Edible Camphor:

In addition to the nice aroma and flavor, Edible camphor has the following health benefits too.

1. A pinch of edible camphor helps to have a good sleep. You can have it with warm milk.
2. It is used as main ingredient in an ayurvedic medicine called 'Karpoorasava'. The medicine is used to treat diarrhoea, vomiting and digestion problems. Use the medicine after consulting the doctor.
3. Boil a pinch of edible camphor and ajwain seeds in 1/2 cup water. Allow it to reduce to half of the original quanitity. Filter the water and drink it for treating digestion problems.
4. Small amount of camphor can be heated with coconut oil and massaged in the chest for treating cold and cough. You can use normal camphor too. It should be applied externally. Check how to prepare here - Camphor for cold. Camphor and oil catch fire easily. So, pay full attention while preparing it.
5. Camphor essential oil is available in market which can be used for various hair and skin problems. There are different camphor essential oils available. Refer the particular product for its uses.

Edible Camphor Side effects:

Edible camphor should not be consumed in more quantity while a pinch does not harm. It is better to avoid giving it to children, pregnant and lactating women. Over dosage may lead to several health problems like gastritis.

So, when it comes to edible camphor - 'Use a pinch'. It is good to be on safer side.

There are several news I have heard about the toxicity of the camphor on children. Be it synthetic or edible camphor, keep it away from children.
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  1. How much a is pinch? LIke my fingers are big LOL.
    So maybe since I am huge maybe a pinch in my fingers should not be too much for me right?

    Also I wanted to share something. Camphor made from Turpentine is just used because it is cheap. Its is actually fake camphor so "kann drishti" or the purpose of offering it in pooja burning it becomes redundant.
    Burning camphor has some effect on the atmosphere and your environment and the vibrations. So burning turpentine made camphor is nothing but burning kerosene rather a thicker form of turpentine.
    It so sad that people actually have come to believe that this fake camphor is ok to use for poojar rather the norm.
    Pooja will be useless. There was a reason why we used to feel so good going to temple because they burn purified camphor which is from same plant but it is heated and purified. This would make the entire temple energy positive.
    Burning Turpentine made camphor will only cause pollution.
    If you ask people supplying camphor they say this is only used by temples.
    I tell them like you are telling me right now that real one is not available or too costly you must have convinced temple people that way only.
    We have to save our rituals cause they have meaning and purpose. I urge you to confirm what I am saying and spread the news get the temples to use real camphor. Actually many old temples or those who have good management/priests will never use turpentine camphor. They also add to teertha and that also has health benefits so they are very careful. It is from them you can get pure camphor too. After searching a lot I finally found real Camphor both raw and purified one at a local UNANI Medicine shop.
    They also told me that they never sell turpentine made camphor its toxic. They said many temples take from them camphor. They are Muslims they say that those hindus selling Camphor don't care they sell fake one and Temple priests trust them more.

  2. Where can I get original camphor in Bangalore?

  3. Where can I get original camphor in Bangalore?

  4. Camphor is camphor, the same chemical composition, whether from turpentine oil, which is obtained from pine tree or from camphor tree. The synthetic camphor is a pure chemical whereas that from camphor tree may have some other ingredient.

  5. Although if Camphor is not good for health why it is using in temple in Tirth basically I observed it in South India. They are putting camphor in Tirth. So has herba mentioned Camphor is Camphor, is right the same chemical composition.