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A Guide To Ravintsara Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

Aromatherapy supplies with the words A Guide To Ravintsara Essential Oil Benefits and Uses and photo of ravintsara leaves.

Ravintsara essential oil (Cinnamomum camphora ct 1,8 cineole) is steam distilled from the leaves of the tree that grows in Madagascar. Due to the similar names, ravintsara has often been confused with the completely different ravensara essential oil (Ravensara aromatica).

More confusion arises because the Cinnamomum camphora tree has three chemotypes that produce different essential oils:

  • Yu-sho (cineole chemotype) produces ravintsara oil (also sometimes called ho leaf oil)
  • Hon-sho (camphor chemotype) produces camphor oil
  • Ho-sho (linalool chemotype) produces ho wood oil, ho leaf oil (different from ravintsara), and shiu oil

Sources: Robert Tisserand and The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1

Basic Ravintsara Facts

Plant family: Lauraceae

Production: Steam distilled from the leaves of the Cinnamomum camphora ct 1,8 cineole tree.

Aroma: Earthy, woody, camphorous

Perfume/Aromatic note: Top.

Is ravintsara safe to use during pregnancy? Consult a professional.

Is ravintsara essential oil safe for children? Do not use near the face of young children.

Main components:

  • 1,8-cineole      56.7–63.7%
  • sabinene          11.4–14%
  • alpha-terpineol  6.9–8.3%
  • alpha-pinene     3.7–4.6%

Safety: Recommended maximum dermal limit of 11%.

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Ravintsara Aromatherapy Benefits

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Use ravintsara to help relieve bronchial congestion, colds, sinusitis, rhinitis, excess mucus, and general fatigue.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Ravintsara supports the respiratory system, helping relieve coughs, colds, flu, laryngitis, and other respiratory problems. The oil may also help get rid of warts and athlete's foot, soothe aching muscles and joints, and relieve nervous debility.

Jeanne Rose: Ravintsara has many of the same uses (like relief of respiratory ailments, especially colds and flu) as eucalyptus. Use ravintsara to make an invigorating massage oil that helps clear the mind and relieve nervous fatigue and depressed feelings.

West Coast Aromatherapy: Ravintsara supports the immune system and may help relieve colds and flu. The essential oil clears the mind and helps relieve nervous fatigue and depression.
Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume I
: Psychologically, ravintsara stimulates the mind and promotes alertness while also promoting motivation and self-confidence. Physically, the essential oil restores and warms hypotonic/weak and asthenic/cold conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of the oil is to tonify the Qi, raise the Yang, and strengthen the Shen.

Ravintsara Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Diffuse ravintsara to support breathing exercises.

Air Clearing Diffuser Blend

  • 2 drops ravintsara
  • 2 drops palmarosa essential oil
  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil

Therapeutic Bath Salt for Cold and Flu

Use these bath salts to relieve the aches, pains, and discomfort of colds, cough, and flu.

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) natural (unbleached) bath salts
  • 20 drops ravintsara essential oil
  • 10 drops gingergrass essential oil
  • 10 drops orange essential oil
  • One 8-ounce PET plastic jar
  • Stirring spoon
  1. Pour bath salts into the empty jar.
  2. Add essential oils to the salt. Use the stirring spoon to mix vigorously for at least one minute.

To use: Add about two tablespoons to your bathwater. Soak and enjoy.

Source: Essential Living

Adult Chest Rub

  • 6 drops ravintsara essential oil
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 3 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) carrier oil

Blend oils in a small glass container. Apply a few drops to the chest every 3 to 4 hours as needed to open up the chest and improve breathing. Store unused blend in the refrigerator.

Source: Plant Therapy

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1 suggests blending the following essential oils with ravintsara:

  • To lessen fatigue and promote alertness: basil, clove, ginger, lemon, peppermint, pine, or rosemary.
  • To relieve arthritis pain: black pepper, kunzea, ginger, peppermint, pine, or rosemary.
  • To help relieve nervous tension and stress-related conditions: bergamot, clary sage, geranium, lavender, neroli, sweet orange, or rosemary.
  • To reduce cold symptoms: atlas cedarwood, eucalyptus, ginger, niaouli, peppermint, pine, tea tree, or thyme.

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Photo Credit: KENPEI, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons