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History of the Utilization of Camphor

Camphor is said to have been first used as a drug in the Arabian Peninsula around AD 600, and, eventually came to be used as a sacred panacea in Greece and Egypt .

In Japan , a camphor production technique was first introduced into the mainland via the Ryukyu Kingdom around 1700.

In those days, camphor was obtained only from camphor wood (this product is known as natural camphor). In the 1920's, however, a mass-production synthesis method was developed in which camphor is obtained from rosin-derived turpentine oil. Currently, virtually all camphor is produced by this synthesis process.

Types and Manufacturing Processes

Camphor can be categorized into natural camphor and synthetic camphor.

  1. Natural camphor
    Camphor wood is subjected to a steam distillation process to obtain camphor.

[Manufacturing process of natural camphor]

Synthetic camphor

Turpentine oil originating from rosin is synthesized and processed into camphor.

[Manufacturing process of synthetic camphor]

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