“Camphor what?” Is what I guess some of you are thinking right now. Those among you that use a vapour rub in the winter to help with decongestion or a vapour nasal stick might think it sounds familiar. That is because that is generally what the oil is used for in Europe due to its decongestive properties. But that is not the only thing it is good for.
Published in the Journal of Food Science, Chinese scientists wanted to see the biochemical effect of adding Camphor seed oil to the food of rats fed a high fat diet. They had already published in the same journal last year reporting that adding Camphor seed oil to the diet of rats reduced body rat deposition and improved blood lipids. This time they focussed on oxidative stress, liver damage and anti-inflammatory responses in obese rats.
They found that the group fed the Camphor oil had reduced oxidative stress, less signs of liver damage and demonstrated less inflammation that the groups fed other oils such as soy or lard.
All sounds very interesting, a quick search on the internet though shows that Camphor oil has some unpleasant side effects including that is toxic in reasonably small doses. To be fair, a lot of the sites do not differentiate between the oil from the seeds or the bark so I do not know if this applies to both, but I think I’ll leave that one out of my food for the moment then.