Camphor: Camphor is a Carvone, one of the Ketones. In the +
isometric form is found in the oil of Caraway seed, in
the - isometric form it is found in feverfew and some lavender subspecies. In
the - form -Carvone is the major constituent in Oil of Spearmint (Mentha
Camphor is commercially extracted in the + isometric form from the wood of Cinammomum Camphora,
the Camphor Laurel
is antipruritic, mucolytic and expectorant. Camphor is also toxic in significant
doses and can cause contact dermatitis.
In the cosmetic and beauty therapy industry Camphor is widely used for its
preservative properties in creams, hair products, after shave lotions and other
skin products as it has the added benefit of giving a cool refreshing feeling to
the skin. Pure camphor oil has been used through the centuries as a moth
repellent and an ingredient in liniments. The FDA has banned Camphor as a
liniment as it is readily absorbed through the skin and is toxic in larger doses
even when applied topically.
In Lavender Essential oil although present Camphor is regarded as
an undesirable constituent thereby increasing the price of Lavandin, Lavender
and even Lavender-Spike (in which higher levels of Camphor is expected) where
the aroma lacks the distinct Camphor smell.
Ketones: Monoterpenoid Ketones are stable molecules formed by
oxidation of alcohols. Monocyclic Ketones like Pulegone and Thujone are toxic
and should be avoided in any significant volumes in any treatment. Ketones are
expectorant and a respiratory tonic.
Parthenolide: Well regarded as a treatment of migraines,
Parthenolide is a sesquiterpene lactone (see below)
Sesquiterpene lactones: There are thousands of sesquiterpene
lactones known. They mostly occur as a combination of several sesquiterpene
lactones and are more prevalent in leaves and flowers.
Commonly valued for
the digestive bitter benefits sesquiterpene lactones are also anti-inflammatory,
antiprotozoal, antibacterial and antimicrobial.
A large majority of
sesquiterpene lactones irritate the skin on contact causing dermatitis and often
Used in China as an infertility agent in men it should
not be used in this context as it could cause permanent infertility in men.
Sesquiterpenes have antifungal, antibacterial and anaesthetic properties.
It is also thought that they
prevent migraines and can be used as antibiotics and to treat Malaria but there
is very little in depth testing results available to support these claims.
Lactones: A lactone is an Ester that's
functional group has become part of a ring structure with carbon atoms.
Lactones are widely present in the plant kingdom and many are expectorants and