The concrete volatile oil of Camphora officinarum.—Asia.
Preparation.—Tincture of camphor.
Dose.—The dose will vary from the fraction of a drop to ten drops.
Therapeutic Action.—Camphor is described as narcotics excitant, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, anodyne, anthelmintics expectorant and rubefacient. While some describe it under the class of Narcotics, others refer it to Stimulants, and others to Diaphoretics or Antispasmodics; while some extend a separate notice to it under each of these classes.
Camphor acts specifically on the nervous system, producing an anodyne and exhilarating influence upon it. In large doses it disorders the mental faculties, external senses and volition, causing lassitude, giddiness, impaired vision, drowsiness, delirium, stupor and convulsions.
In small portions it acts as a vascular excitant, increasing the fullness of the pulse, and somewhat its frequency, and the temperature of the body; and if the surface be kept warm, it promotes diaphoresis, especially if conjoined with opium.
Camphor is sometimes useful in fevers and inflammatory diseases, particularly in low grades, or those of a typhoid character, when attended with a frequent, irritable pulse, dry skill, restlessness, morbid vigilance, subsultus, low muttering delirium, etc. In these cases it determines to the surface, and favors diaphoresis; while it augments the fullness of the pulse without materially increasing its frequency. It likewise lessens or arrests the irregular muscular contractions, and seems to calm nervous excitemeut, tranquilize the system and dispose to sleep. Its utility in these cases is often greatly increased by combining it with opium, ipecacuanha, carbonate of ammonia, capsicum, or quinine, according to the indication desirable to be fulfilled. It is also valuable in other forms of fevers, either alone or conjoined with other remedies to promote diaphoresis.
The American Eclectic Materia Medica and Therapeutics, 1898, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.