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Ravintsara, or Cinnamomum camphora (in the Laurel family) is also referred to as “Madagascar camphor”, or simply the Camphor tree. It is found in Madagascar and has been used medicinally for millennia. The essential oil is non-skin irritating and non-sensitizing, however, it is prone to adulteration. Because the fragrance is so similar to other camphor-like fragrances, it may be adulterated with White camphor, Aromatic ravensara, Sara, Cajeput, or Niaouli. This would change the therapeutic and healing properties. 

While it is impossible to distill the effectiveness of an essential oil down to the chemical constituents, this essential oil is particularly high in 1,8-cineole which is known for its mucolytic and spasmolytic properties benefiting the respiratory tract. This compound has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for inflammatory airway conditions including chronic COPD and asthma. It is also high in monoterpenes, which have been shown to be strongly antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic.

Ravintsara has been used traditionally by the people of Madagascar for millennia. The name Ravintsara in Malagasy means “Good Leaf”, and has been used historically for treating colds, coughs, digestive disorders and epidemic infection. It assists the body in fighting off a disease in the acute stage of infection as well as effectively expelling long-standing phlegm from the lungs and aids in drying up mucus in the upper and lower airways. Once recovered from fighting an infectious disease, which can leave a body weak and depleted, Ravintsara can help support in revitalizing the Qi and Essence.

To be so strongly antiviral and antimicrobial, to have the strength to fight disease, and have the gentleness to help restore and replenish from a state of depletion is one of Ravintsara’s more unique qualities as a plant medicine. To effectively treat the acute, chronic, and restorative phases of infectious disease is atypical of a medicine.

The essence of this plant is to assist one in their ability to be Restored and Replete – to be filled with themselves (again); to once again be clear in their sense of self. It can assist in bolstering self-esteem and self-confidence. As a person is filled from within, this may serve as an internal “suit of armor”, helping one to create and maintain a clear sense of self and empowerment in their life.

This oil is very safe for inhalation, 3-4 drops in a diffuser or 1 drop in the palm for cupped-hand inhalation (wash hands thoroughly before doing this). Do not ingest internally. 

We have a few bottles of Ravintsara in our office available for purchase. Contact our office and pick up a bottle for yourself today!

Interested in learning more? Schedule an appointment with Heather to get support on your journey to holistic and kind health.   

Written by our nutritionist, Heather Brummer, MS, CN, LAc