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Tall 100 ft (30m) tree with waxy glossy leaves that smell like camphor when crushed. Masses of small white flowers, black berry-like toxic fruit. Very rough bark with vertical fissures. The tree has very strong volatile compounds and is considered toxic, but many people make tea from young leaves and shoots. Gum and bark are used for digestive upset, circulation, pain, nerves, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis, skin conditions. Camphor steam used for colds, sinus infections. It is said inhaling too much affects central nervous system. Sometimes used to make “fake Eucalyptus” oil. Be careful. Keep kids away, and definitely do not take if pregnant. Keeps insects away in closet.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz