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camphor(kăm`fər), C10H16O, white, crystalline solid ketoneketone
, any of a class of organic compounds that contain the carbonyl group, C=O, and in which the carbonyl group is bonded only to carbon atoms. The general formula for a ketone is RCOR′, where R and R′ are alkyl or aryl groups.
..... Click the link for more information. with a characteristic pungent odor and taste. It melts at 176°C; and boils at 204°C;. The natural variety, Japan camphor, is obtained by steam distillation of the wood of the camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora) native to China, Japan, and Taiwan (its chief natural source). Since this source is inadequate, camphor is widely synthesized from α-pinene, which is obtained from oil of turpentine. Camphor is widely used as a plasticizer in the manufacture of celluloid and some lacquers. It is used in medicine as a stimulant, a diaphoretic, and an inhalant. Camphor ice is a mixture, containing principally camphor and wax, used for external application. Camphor is practically insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform, and other solvents. The alcoholic solution is known as spirits of camphor.
l, 7, 7-trimethylbicyclo-(l, 2, 2)-heptanone-2, a ketone of the terpene series; colorless crystals with a characteristic odor. Camphor is highly volatile; it is slightly soluble in water but readily soluble in organic solvents. It exists in the form of two optically active isomers, the (+)- and (−)-forms (melting points, 178.5°-179°C), and in the form of a racemic mixture, the (±)-form (melting points, 178°-178.5°C).
Camphor is widespread in nature; it is a component of many essential oils, such as basil oil, oil of wormwood, and oils of coniferous trees and the camphor tree. Camphor-tree oil is a source of (+)-camphor, or so-called natural camphor. Industrial camphor, in the (±)-form, is produced by processing of turpentine or its basic component, pinene. Camphor is used mainly as a plasticizer of cellulose nitrate and acetate (in the production of celluloid and motion-picture film), as an inhibitor (an additive that increases the storage stability) for smokeless powder, and as a moth repellent.
Camphor is a medicinal substance of the group of nerve stimulants. It stimulates respiration and blood circulation and strengthens the metabolic processes in the heart muscle. It is injected subcutaneously in the form of “camphor oil” (camphor solution in peach oil) or taken internally in powders (ground camphor) and in gelatin capsules in cases of cardiac weakness or collapse, to stimulate respiration, and in cases of infectious diseases and cases of narcotic and barbiturate poisoning. Bromo-camphor (in powder or tablet form) and Kamfotal tablets (containing bromocamphor and phenobarbital) are prescribed as sedatives for the central nervous sytem in cases of high nervous excitability, neurasthenia, and heart neurosis. Camphor is used in the form of camphor oil, camphor ointment, camphor spirits, and Denta drops (dental drops containing camphor, chloral hydrate, and alcohol) as irritants and analgesics, and partly as antiseptics. These preparations are applied as salves in cases of inflammations and rheumatism; the dental drops are introduced into tooth defects.