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.
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.
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. If you like this blog, subscribe with your email address and like us on facebook in the side bar to get instant updates on the posts.