camphor


camphor

Organic compound of the isoprenoid family. A white, waxy solid with a penetrating, somewhat musty aroma, it is obtained from the wood of the camphor laurel (see laurel family), Cinnamomum camphora (found in Asia), or produced synthetically from oil of turpentine. It has long been used in incense and as a medicinal. Modern applications include use as a plasticizer for cellulose nitrate, as a moth repellent, as a flavouring, in embalming, and in fireworks. Camphorated oil is 20% camphor in olive oil.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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