Camphor is a bicyclic ketone. Due to its varied industrial uses a synthetic process for manufacture of camphor was developed. Camphor is now synthesised by the process involving conversion: Pinene —» bornyl/isobornyl chloride —» borneol/isoborneol —» camphor. This is a very cheap process as the starting material pinene (turpentine oil) is abundantly available from conifer wood. The USA and UK synthesise large quantities of camphor for various industrial uses. With the introduction of synthetic camphor the importance of natural camphor declined and the camphor oil gained more importance as a source material for many aromatic chemicals. Now the camphor tree is valued not for its camphor but for its oil.
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You have probably heard the term Aromatherapy and wondered what exactly that funny word, „aromatherapy‟ actually means. It is the use of plant oils in there most essential form to promote both mental and physical well being. The use of the word aroma implies the process of inhaling the scents from these oils into your lungs for therapeutic benefit.