Zhang Nao (Camphor) has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, and is known for its soothing and cooling properties. Camphor is used for pain relief, as a decongestant, and to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. In addition, Zhang Nao has been used as a natural remedy for skin conditions such as eczema, and to treat insect bites and minor burns. Zhang Nao is also commonly used in aromatherapy as it has a strong, refreshing and stimulating scent. Camphor is also used in the manufacturing of various consumer products such as soaps, lotions, perfumes and candles. Cinnamomum camphora is considered generally safe when used as recommended, but it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional, particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any medical conditions.
Camphor crystals are acrid and hot in energy, and are only to be used externally. This herb interacts with the Heart meridian. Its strong scent is pleasing to some and offensive to others. Being one of the primary ingredients in a variety of commercial analgesic balms, camphor invigorates the Blood and reduces inflammation. It is used in certain recipes for topical application to traumatic injury and stagnation of Blood. While it is naturally ocurring in a number of trees, it can also be produced via the oxidation of Borneol in a laboratory setting.
For EXTERNAL use only!
High Quality Zhang Nao: What does it look like?
Zhang Nao (Camphora officinarum) also known as "camphor" is a waxy, flammable and white or transparent solid with a strong, pungent aroma. It is derived from the wood and bark of the camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora) and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Some characteristics of high quality Zhang Nao include:
- High camphor content, which is the main active component of Zhang Nao.
- It should be white or transparent solid
- It should have a strong, pungent aroma
- It should be free from impurities and should not contain any foreign materials.
- It should be properly processed and stored
- It should be free from any chemical or moldy smell.
It's important to note that Zhang Nao can be toxic when taken internally, and should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. It's best to consult a qualified healthcare professional before taking any herbal supplement.
How is Zhang Nao prepared and processed?
Cinnamomum camphora, also known as camphor tree, is a large evergreen tree that is native to eastern Asia. The tree is widely cultivated for its wood and camphor oil, which is extracted from the leaves, twigs and bark of the tree.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), "Zhang Nao" (also known as "camphor resin") is typically prepared by a process called "dry distillation" of the wood and branches of the Camphora officinarum tree.
The process starts by cutting the wood and branches into small pieces and then drying them in the sun. The dried material is then placed in a sealed container and heated to a high temperature, typically around 200-300 degrees Celsius, without the presence of oxygen. This process causes the camphor oil to vaporize and condense on the walls of the container, where it solidifies and forms a resin. The resulting solid Zhang Nao is a yellowish or white colored, brittle, and has a strong camphor smell.
Zhang Nao is used in TCM as a topical application for treating skin conditions such as eczema, itching and fungal infections, as well as for treating respiratory issues such as bronchitis, asthma and chest congestion. It is also used internally to treat fever, colds, flu and menstrual pain. It is considered a warming and invigorating substance, with a strong pungent taste and a cooling energy.
Popular Recipe for Zhang Nao
Here is a popular recipe that uses Zhang Nao:
- Camphor Oil:
- Mix equal parts of camphor and any carrier oil (such as coconut oil or olive oil) in a small jar and shake well.
- Massage the oil onto the affected area and leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it off.
- Camphor and Menthol Plaster:
- Mix equal parts of camphor and menthol crystals in a small jar and mix well.
- Spread the mixture onto a piece of adhesive plaster or gauze and apply it to the affected area.
- Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before removing it.
It's important to note that Zhang Nao should be used with caution as it can be toxic if ingested in large amounts. It should not be used on children or pregnant women. It's always recommended consulting with a licensed healthcare practitioner before using it.
It’s important to note that this is a general guideline and it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or herbalist to determine the right dosage and usage for you
Safety Precautions for the use of Zhang Nao
When using and handling Zhang Nao (Camphora officinarum), it is important to take the following precautions.
- FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY!
- Consult with a qualified healthcare professional before using the herb, as it may interact with certain medications or have contraindications for certain health conditions.
- Avoid using Zhang Nao during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Do not use it in large doses or for prolonged periods of time as it may cause adverse reactions such as skin irritation, allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and central nervous system depression.
- Keep Zhang Nao out of reach of children and pets.
- Store Zhang Nao in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture.
- Avoid using it in topical form on open wounds, damaged or sensitive skin.
- If you experience any adverse reactions after using Zhang Nao, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.
- It should be used with caution if you have a history of asthma or other respiratory conditions, as it may exacerbate symptoms.
- It should also be used with caution if you have a history of seizures or neurological conditions, as it may have sedative properties.
Additional Information about Zhang Nao:
Common Names: Zhang Nao (Camphor); Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Presl; Camphora
Properties: Acrid, hot, toxic
Channels Entered: Heart