Dryobalanops aromatica Gaertn

[From Greek, drys = oak, balanos = nut, and aromatikos = aroma]

Physical description: It is large timber tree which is recognized miles away by its greyish looking foliage and the shape of its crown, which is best described as being like an umbrella. It is found in primary rainforests up to 800 feet above sea level, in Malaysia and Indonesia. This tree grows to a height of 50 m. Leaves: simple, spiral, up to 10 cm long, leathery, ovate and acuminate.The inflorescences consist of terminal 5 cm long panicles of white and fragrant flowers. The sepals are lanceolate acute, 7.5 mm long and scurfy. The petals are thin, lanceolate, acute, white, and as long as the sepals. The andrecium consists of 35-45 stamens, with short filaments and long narrow beaked anthers. The fruits are oblong, conic, and 2.5 cm long nuts, the sepals forming 8 cm long, obtuse, thick and reddish wings (Fig. 87).

The method of extracting camphor or isi kapur is to split the bark and pick the crystals out of the small cavities. Malays and Indonesians believe that

Synonymy: Dryobalanops camphora Colebr.

Common names: Malay camphor, Borneo camphor; kapur barus, kapur, kayu kapur (Malay); apakva (Sanskrit).

Common names: Malay camphor, Borneo camphor; kapur barus, kapur, kayu kapur (Malay); apakva (Sanskrit).

Dryobalanops Aromatica
Fig. 87. Dryobalanops aromatica Gaertn.

the man who should collect the camphor should speak in a very respectful language, known only to old folks. Oil of camphor known to the Malays by the name of minyah kapur is obtained by making a small cut penetrating into the wood about 10 cm. The resin of Dryobalanops aromatica Gaertn. consists of borneol, camphor, terpineol and other terpenes. The wood contains among other things, dipterocarpol, p-sitosterol, and dryobalanone. Borneol and camphor are known to be responsible for contact dermatitis.

Pharmaceutical interest: Note that borneol of Dryobalanops aromatica inhibits the nicotinic receptor agonist 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenylpiperazimium iodide-induced secretion of [3H] norepinephrine by bovine adrenal chromaffin cells with an IC50 of 70+/-12 |M in a non-competitive way (Oh KS et a/., 2000; 2001, Park TJ et al., 2003).



Uses: The camphor of Dryobalanops aromatica Gaertn. was known from very early times. It is from the Malay word kapur that the word camphor is derived. This camphor was the only kind known in Europe in the Middle Ages and was the Kapovpa of the later Greek physicians, who obtained knowledge of it through the Arab traders. It has been mentioned in a number of Arabian poems of the 6th century, and Marco Polo described it as being superior to any other and worth its weight in gold. In 1851, the price of this camphor in Borneo was 3 dollars a catty (95 shillings a pound), and in Canton 8 shillings a pound. Imported into China from very early times, it was valued for its ability to invigorate health, produce venereal desire, reduce inflammation and body temperature, stimulate appetite, and to aid the physiological pathways of the body. In Malaysia, the powdered oleoresin is used to heal wounds. Indonesians use the kernel of the fruit to assuage pain and to check bleeding. In Asia, camphor is used at funerals and magic ceremonies.

Continue reading here: Hopea odorata Roxb

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