Camphor & Saffron
This strong combination powerfully opens obstructions, promotes and regulates circulation, benefits the Heart, resists Poison and promotes Sweat. It is a very useful cooling medicine to ease pain in Burning Fevers or strong Inflammations.
It was often used for Epidemic diseases including the Plague, but was especially commended for Spotted Fevers including Measles, Mumps and Small Pox, and for all burning Fevers. It is a useful stimulant to promote the eruption of Epidemic Rashes. For these purposes, the two were often used alone as in Elixir of Camphor of Hartman. The Tibetans also have several formulas which combine these two medicines for Fever.
Both of these medicines have been classed as Cool (although both have also been classed as Warm, depending on source), which normally would slow or hinder circulation of both Qi and Blood. However, this combination actively promotes and breaks obstruction of Qi (Camphor) and Blood (Saffron). They are therefore very useful in cases with Heat and obstruction. They are useful for Blood stasis following Trauma with Internal Bruising, as well as for Blood stasis causing chronic fixed stabbing pain. Together, they act as a powerful Heart and circulatory stimulant in chest oppression and angina pectoris.
It is also beneficial for diseases of the Mind and Nerves including Vertigo, Migraine, Paralysis, Apoplexy, Lethargy etc. It is a good stimulant for Fainting. Also useful for Nervous and Mental Exhaustion, Neurasthenia, marked Debility, Hysteria etc.
The Lungs are also benefitted, being useful for Cough, Asthma, and Whooping Cough in children. It may be used as a useful stimulant in chronic Lung disease including Tuberculosis and Bronchiecstasis where it may help relieve breathing.
Both of these medicines individually have been taken for Leukorrhea and Spermatorrhea.
A little of the powder used as a snuff will clear Sinusitis and Rhinitis.
In Ayurveda, these two medicines (Camphor 2: Saffron 1) are taken in 6 grain doses morning and evening for Worms which is said to be very effective.
Externally, they can be applied to the pain of Gout, Neuralgia, Toothache and Rheumatism, and the Elixir was bathed on to Gangrenes. Topically they are also useful for Sprains and Strains, for which the tincture, elixir or wash can be used.
1. This combination is almost always added to larger formulas.
2. Safflower can substitute Saffron, usually in three or more times the dose.
3. If for internal use, Borneo Camphor (Bing Pian in Chinese) should be used.
- Spotted Fevers including Measles, Mumps, Small Pox, and for Burning Fevers
- Pain following Trauma
- Chest Pain
- Vertigo, Migraine, Paralysis, Apoplexy, Lethargy
- Nervous and Mental Exhaustion
- Gout, Neuralgia, Toothache and Rheumatism
1. In Tibet, Sandalwood and Tabasheer are often added for Fevers; Clove and Aloeswood are also often added.
Electuary of Saffron, Confection of Hyacinth, Antidote of Juniper, Electuary of Eggs, Philonium Persicum, Bezoar Powder, Preservative Powder, Abbots Confect of Rose, Troches of Barberry, Troches of Camphor, Troches of Rose, Elixir of Camphor, Hysteric Water;
A number of Tibetan and Unani formulas combine these medicines including nearly all Camphor formulas.
The ELIXIR of CAMPHOR. (Spirit of Wine Camphorated) (Hartman)
Spirit of Wine (Brandy) 1 lb.
Camphor 1 oz.
Saffron 1 scruple
Break the Camphor and dissolve without fire; then hang up the Saffron tied up in a rag. Steep until the S.V. is the color of Gold; keep for use. This is to be kept in a large glass, with a fifth or sixth part of it empty.
It is Cephalic, Cardiac, Anti-arthritic, Alexipharmic, having a great Diaphoretic force. An antidote against the Plague and Pestilential venom, Resisting Putrefaction and Poison, and is a specific in Epidemic and Spotted fevers including Small Pox, Measles, etc. It also strongly abates Lust, and prevails against Hysteria.
It was much commended in the Plague which hit Germany in 1623, which is when this prescription was first made.
Also good for Apoplexy, Lethargy, Vertigo, Migraine, Palsy and other old diseases of the Head, Brain and Nerves.
It cheers the Heart, strengthens Nature, fortifies the Faculties, reviving the Natural, Vital and Animal Spirits; it also expels Wind and may be used for Gout and Rheumatism. Used topically for toothache or earache. Bathed on the part to relieve any inflammation, to preserve from mortification, and also to cease a Gangrene in the beginning.
Dose: 10–20 drops in any Cordial water or suitable Wine