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Camphor from your garden

June 8, 2011

Camphor crystals can protect your garden tools from rust, your clothes from insect attacks and be used in balms. A classical source is the camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora, Lauraceae). This tree grows at Dokmai Garden and is commonly seen as a boulevard tree in China.

Another source of camphor is a very common shrub of the daisy family (Blumea balsamifera, Asteraceae). This shrub grows like a weed in dry Chiang Mai habitats, and will provide you with highly fragrant leaves which contains 1-borneol, a precursor of camphor. If you grow it in your garden, be aware you must not water too much, and be prepared for root shoots here and there in your lawn.

Thai people often plant this shrub outside their houses, to protect them from evil spirits.

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