A white crystalline cyclic ketone, C₁₀H₁₆O; r.d. 0.99; m.p. 179°C; b.p. 204°C. It was formerly obtained from the wood of the Formosan camphor tree, but can now be synthesized. It exists in the optically active dextro and levo forms, and as the racemic mixture of the two forms. The principal form is dextro-camphor, which occurs in the wood and leaves of the camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora). Camphor is also synthesized commercially on a large scale from pinene which yields mainly the racemic variety.
Camphor has a characteristic odor; it crystallizes in thin plates and sublimes readily at ordinary temperatures.
Camphor has use in liniments and as a mild rubefacient, analgesic, and antipruritic. It has a local action on the gastrointestinal tract, producing a feeling of warmth and comfort in the stomach. It is also used in photographic film and as a plasticizer in the manufacture of plastics.