Camphene is a bicyclic monoterpene that exerts a hyperlipidemic action via its effect on MPT and SREBP-1 expression. In a study, it was shown to reduce triglycerides and plasma cholesterol in hyperlipidemia rats independent of the reductase activity of HMGA-CoA.1 The control of hyperlipidemia plays an important role in the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Camphene, a component of Chios mastic gum essential oil, has hypotriglyceridemic and hypocholesterolemic effects, inhibiting the biosynthesis of cholesterol.
Camphene, a colorless crystal with a pungent, camphor-like odor is used as a camphor substitute, a fragrance, in the manufacture of synthetic camphor, and as an additive for food flavoring. It is also used as a plasticizer for lacquers and resins.
Chlorination of the substance produces toxaphene, an organochlorine pesticide. It is soluble in organic solvents but practically insoluble in water. Camphene is industrially produced by catalytic isomerization of alpha-pinene. The composition is similar to that of camphor in the form of a solid white crystalline that imparts a camphor-like fragrance and is commonly used in the production of man-made camphor. When heated the crystals exude vapors that are irritating to the throat and eyes.
The terpene camphene occurs in an enantiomeric form in a range of essential oils. The essential oil that is derived from nutmeg for example, (Myristica fragrans), contains 60 – 80% of either (1R,4S)-camphene or (+)-camphene
Uses of Camphene in Aromatherapy
The word “aromatherapy” comes from the Greek words ‘aroma’, meaning odor and ‘therapia’ meaning care. Aromatherapy uses essential oils, hydrosols, and essences obtained from aromatic plants for the treatment of certain ailments. Aromatherapy is an alternative natural method and should not be considered as medicine for the treatment of disease.
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Camphene is present to a large extent in certain essential oils. An essential oil is derived from water distillation of an aromatic plant to extract its essential essence in the form of an odorous chemical compound. More than a hundred chemical molecules make up the complex chemical compounds of essential oils. The properties of essential oils come directly from the actions of these chemical compounds. For maximum effect, an essential oil must be 100% pure and natural and not modified or mixed with other substances.
The essential essence of a plant is contained in the scented molecules found in the producing organs of the plant such as its leaves, flowers, seeds, and fruits, as well as the plant’s roots, stems, and bark. These compounds are what give the plant its peculiar properties and smell.
Among these odorous molecules, aromatic molecules are found that contain a cyclic system. Most molecules are fragrant but some are not.
Camphene is a monoterpene of the carbide family and an isomer of alpha-pinene which is present in numerous plant species such as lavender, fir, rosemary, and sage. It has a woody, waxy smell of pine which makes it useful for use as a fragrance in the preparation of perfumes, and as a flavoring agent in the food industry.3
Camphene also has medicinal properties and is used as a bronchial stimulant and an antispasmodic.
The Medicinal Properties of Camphene
- Atmospheric antiseptic
Aromatherapy is one of the most effective treatments available in the alternative sector. Essential oils used in aromatherapy are derived from a concentrate of several kilograms of the organic plant material that contains hundreds of different aromatic molecules. The impressive properties of essential oils are extracted by carefully manipulating the essence which contains the smell and taste of the plants. Essential oils are more effective when combined synergistically and that is why certain essential oils that are complementary are mixed together in a blend that treats the ailment most appropriately.4
Therapeutic Benefits of Camphene
The blend of camphene and camphor in Sage oil has antifungal properties that work well in the treatment of athlete’s foot, dysentery, fungal skin infections and dermatitis. It is these properties that make it ideal for use in skin care cosmetics.5
The constituents of camphene, eugenol, and cineole in Tulsi oil is effective in the treatment of fungal, viral, and bacterial infections that affect the respiratory system. When inhaled it clears congestion and is used to great effect in the treatment of respiratory disorders like bronchitis. The active ingredients in Tulsi essential oils have proven effective in treating tuberculosis and lung damage caused by smoking.
Combined with vitamin C camphene is an effective antioxidant that repairs the bodily damage caused by stress. Together they have a soothing effect on the nerves that reduce inflammation, and stress.
The analgesic properties of camphene have been shown to provide a sedative and anti-congestive effect in the treatment of sinusitis, coughs, colds, and migraines. Essential oils of camphor used in a diffuser help to reduce the symptoms of respiratory problems. In aromatherapy, essential oils are used in a vapor-steam inhalation for the suppression of coughs.6
Camphene is used to treat and reduce the symptoms of hyperlipidemia and other conditions associated with cardiovascular problems.
Camphor essential oils are also used as liniments for sprains and sports injuries. Topical application of camphor oil provides relief from pruritic conditions and is effective as a cooling remedy for sore muscles.
Additional Information on Camphene
In the mid-19th century, camphene was used as lamp fuel but its use was limited due to its explosive properties.
Camphor oil can act as a CNS stimulant. Although toxicity from over-the-counter medicinal remedies containing camphor oil is rare, exposure to non-regulated camphor oil products may cause severe toxicity.
Headaches, mild agitation, and a feeling of warmth has been reported with the therapeutic use of camphor oil.
Camphene is a terpene commonly found in the cannabis plant, predominantly in indica strains, and believed to contain certain healing properties. It is one of the terpenes that give cannabis its distinctive aroma and flavor. It has antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties and has shown great effectiveness in controlling the cardiovascular disease. The cannabis plant utilizes terpenes like camphene to repel herbivores and attract pollinating insects. The terpenes in the cannabis plant have been found to contain many health benefits for medicinal marijuana use.
Molecular Formula: 7 C10H16
Molecular Weight : 136.238 g/mol
Boiling Point : 159 °C (318 °F; 432 K)
Classification within Terpenes: Monoterpene