Author Topic: camphor tree  (Read 1123 times)

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  • Guest
camphor tree
« on: July 30, 2004, 11:29:00 AM »
hi everyone, im moving up from meth to mdma/mda now wooohooo! the main reason being that i believe i have about 5 camphor trees on my property, that are over taking my yard! they look very much like all the picture of camphor trees i have seen, but im not positive. here are some pictures of one of my trees. i would greatly apreciate it if you bees could help me out by (positivly) identifying this tree. thanks so much!


  • Guest
Olfactory Identification
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2004, 02:29:00 PM »
Take a few leaves and crush them up in your hand, does it smell like camphor?  The pictures although fairly blurry, look like it may be Cinnammomum camphora




  • Guest
Looks like it
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2004, 04:20:00 PM »
Certainly looks like a laurel. Trunk picture is too blurred to make out texture properly, but looks like a camphor laurel as do the leaves.

(Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen)


  • Guest
location of tree
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2004, 05:13:00 PM »
Is the camphor tree located in the NE US at all? It looks awfully familiar.
EDIT: Maybe i was wrong.


  • Guest
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2004, 02:36:00 AM »
the leaves look like leaves ive seen but the overall structure of the tree soesnt match what i know, thouhg it appears to be cultivated not grown wild so i guess thats why it might look so straight and narrow. do the leaf crush, it should smell really aromatic, quite distinct.

but there are also alot of different species asking where you live seems irrelevant as it not wild but what country are you in?


  • Guest
nice in theory
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2004, 03:22:00 PM »
but you do relise that it is bark and roots you are after..
also - the camphora genus - unless refined, provide a low yield of safrole <10%
so just do some basic calculations..
i admire the organic theme - would love to try it but you gonna have some heavy steam distillation outback

progress report would be amazing


  • Guest
Not so
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2004, 04:34:00 PM »
Safrole is found in the wood also. Concentration depends on the variety.


  • Guest
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2004, 01:52:00 PM »
i stand corrected - happily i might add as i have 1l of C. camphora and was under the impression it wasn't worth refining - so thanks in a kinda indirect way :-)

My reference was:


CAMPHOR OIL is obtained by steam distillation of the wood of the camphor
tree Cinnamonum camphora Sieb. (Lauraceae) growing in China, Taiwan, Japan
[and Australia, where it is classed as a noxious weed]. The main constituent
of the crude oil is camphor (ca. 50%) which can be separated by cooling and

Fractionation of the mother liquor gives two oils:
1) White camphor oil is the first distillation fraction (ca 20% of the crude
   camphor oil). It is a colourless or nearly colourless liquid with a
   cineole-like odour.

2) Brown Oil of camphor is a fraction with a boiling point higher than
   that of camphor (ca. 20%) It is a pale yellow to brown liquid with the
   odour of sassafras oil.

   Density 1.064-1.075; Optical rotation [ND20] 1.51 - 1.55
   [alpha]d 0 to +3°. Flash point 6°C.
   Solubility 1 vol in 2 vols of 90% ethanol.

   The oil contains more than 80% safrole and, like Brazilian sassafras oil,
   is therefore used as raw material for the production of piperonal via
   isosafrole. Camphor oils with a high safrole content can also be obtained
   by steam distillation of the wood of Cinnamonum parthenoxylon Nees.

Three Varieties of camphor oils are produced.

| Formosan Camphor oils | camphor-linalool and camphor-safrole types.
| Japanese Camphor oils | camphor-safrole types.
| Chinese  Camphor oils | cineole-terpineol-camphor (Apopin Oil) type.

Camphor oil "true" is produced by the steam distillation of the wood,
rootstumps and branches of the type of Cinnamonum Camphora known as Hon-Sho,
which grows in Formosa and Japan. [Ed Note: Hon-Sho oil holds 18.1% safrole)

Along with the crude oil comes a solid, partly crystalline mass of crude
camphor. The oil is separated from the crude camphor by filterpressing. This
yields crude camphor oil. The crude oil is subsequently fractionally
under vacuum, and yeilds another 50% of crude camphor. The remaining 50% of
filterpressed crude camphor oil is now free of camphor. It contains light
terpenes, cineole, safrole, terpineol, sesquiterpenes, and sesquiterpene
alcohols. These are separated into various fractions known as:

| White Camphor oil | The light fraction, containing cineole and        |
|                   | monoterpenes.                                     |
| Brown Camphor oil | The medium heavy fraction containing up to 80%    |
|                   | of safrole and some terpineol.                    |

  [Extended Monograph]
  Brown oil of camphor is the medium heavy fraction from vacuum distillation
  of the camphor-free oil (aka white oil, filterpressed and camphor-free).
  Brown camphor oil amounts to 6 or 7 percent of the total oil, or 20-22%
  of the decamphorised oil. Brown oil is produced almost entirely in
  Formosa and Japan, from the Hon-Sho type of cinnamomum camphora, the
  camphor tree.

  This fraction is most interesting from the perfumer's point of view. Its
  main constituent is safrole, and the redistilled brown camphor can be used
  directly in soaps for its magnificent masking effect. The safrole can be
  isolated from the oil and used as a starting material for heliotropine,
  vanillin and other perfume materials. Terpineol is also separated during
  the safrole-isolation and serves as is or may be transformed into terpinyl

  An artificial sassafras oil, "Oil Camphor Sassafrassy" is also produced
  from the brown oil by rectification and adjustment of the content of
  safrole, terpenes, etc.

The extended monograph seems to be where i got things confused -  on reinspection - looks like I may only get 20-22% safrole out..

Oh well still worth it.

as for the trees, hacking them down seems a little extreme to me


  • Guest
Holy crap. I remember making Camphor oil in...
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2004, 08:44:00 PM »
Holy crap.  I remember making Camphor oil in organic chem many years back.  Little did I realise the significance at the time.  I'll have to dig out my old lab book some time and see exactly what it was we did.


  • Guest
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2004, 05:18:00 PM »
but camphor is only good for vicks vapour rub - all the goodness  :)  (safrole - dimethoxy) is somewhat more complicated


  • Guest
im back..
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2004, 08:22:00 PM »
thanks for the input everyone, sorry i was gone for a little bit i couldnt respond.. As for where this picture is from, swim lives in northern california (usa). ill get better pictures up soon as i can, my camera batterys are charging.. has anyone here ever distilled safrole from a camphor tree succesfuly? the whole natural route to mdma sounds so, well natural. i really like the idea. besides camphor trees, and sassafras has anyone made there own essential oils from other plants?


  • Guest
has anyone here ever distilled safrole from a...
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2004, 11:24:00 PM »
has anyone here ever distilled safrole from a camphor tree succesfuly?
Myself, no, but i know another non-hive bee who has.
Refer to rhodiums site for safrole content:

So by all means give it a go, but read the extended into below the table to give you a little more info on how to go about it...