Ravintsara Organic Essential Oil from Madagascar - CT 1,8-Cineol
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Ravintsara Organic Essential Oil from Madagascar-CT Cineol
Other names: Ho Leaf CT cineole; in Japan it is known as yu-sho; camphor oil tree
Botanical name: Cinnamomum camphora CT cineole
Interestingly, there are several different subspecies or chemotypes of this tree and it has been found that the chemical profile of the essential oil distilled from the leaves (or wood) will be very different depending on where the tree was grown.
Please note, that ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) has long been confused with Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica), an essential oil that has a very different biochemical composition and properties.
Botanical family: Lauraceae
Method of extraction: steam distillation
Plant part used to extract the oil: leaves
Country of origin: Camphor trees are native to Taiwan, China and Japan, however, ravintsara essential oil is distilled exclusively from the leaves of trees grown in Madagascar.
The camphor treewas introduced to Madagascar sometime before or in the 17th century. Itis now grown in the Highlands, in the centre of the island and also found in the wild in the Centre-East (Anjiro and Moramanga) and the South (Ambositra and Ambohisamosa) of the island.It is known there as ‘Ravintsara’, which in Malagasy means the “good leaf" - the name undoubtedly reflecting its multiple health benefits.
Medicinal properties of ravintsara were first mentioned in the “Histoire de la grande île Madagascar” written by the colonial administrator Étienne de Flancourt (published in 1658, Paris) who observedthelocals use of the leavesin various remedies, such as inhalations and steam baths, for infectious diseases, cold and flu, headaches, asthmatic dyspnoea and rheumatic aches and pains. In 1957 Pernet and Meyer in "The pharmacopoeia of Madagascar" mention the use of Cinnamomum camphora leaves for fever and malaria. In 2019 an ethnopharmacological study of medicinal plants used in Mauritius (published in the South Journal of Botany) mentions similar uses of Cinnamomum camphora leaves - in the form of aromatic baths - as a muscle relaxant, antirheumatic, for body aches, fever, boils, abortifacient and stimulating.
It has been said that ravintsara essential oilwas extracted for the first time in 1775, by a French chemist, pharmacist and scholar Antoine Baumé. Its therapeutic propertieswere later studied by Pierre Boiteau, a French botanist who investigated many Madagascan plants and their medicinal uses.
Biochemical class: oxide
Principal constituents: 1,8-cineole, sabinene, α-terpineol, α-pinene, terpinene-4-ol,β-pinene, γ-terpinene, α-terpinene, p-cymene, limonene, β-caryophyllene, myrcene, others
Aroma strength: medium
Perfumery note: top
Aroma: fresh, eucalyptusy, woody, earthy, peppery
Traditional Aromatherapy Uses:
Traditionally in aromatherapy treatments ravintsara essential oil is associated with the following therapeutic properties:analgesic, anti-infective,anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, expectorant, immunostimulant, restorative, uplifting, vulnerary
Qualified aromatherapists may use ravintsara essential oil for common complaints such as:
- Respiratory complaints - colds, flu, infections, sinusitis, rhinitis, chronic phlegmy bronchitis and cough, whooping cough
- Skeletomuscular issues - pain relief and inflammation in arthritis
- Nervous system related complaints, such as anxiety and nervous tension or fatigue, to stimulate the mind and promote alertness, help with concentration
How we use it:
Inhalation / Vapourisation:
- For mental fatigue - try a couple of drops in an aroma inhaler. Try blended with lemon, fir, ginger, peppermint or rosemary.
- For nervous tension and stress-related conditions - try a couple of drops in an aroma inhaler. Consider blending with bergamot, clary sage, geranium, lavender or sweet orange.
- For symptoms related to respiratory infections, bronchial congestion and cough– try a couple of drops in a diffuser or in an aroma inhaler. Consider blending with niaouli, Eucalyptus globulus or radiata, pine, peppermint, aniseed, tea tree or thyme.
- For muscular or arthritic aches and pains – try blending with oils such as black pepper, ginger, pine or rosemary. Dilute appropriately in a ‘carrier’ oil and massage the affected areas.
Please, also see our How to Use Essential Oils Safely page for more information
Please note, there are many essential oils extracted from Cinnamomum camphora– always check the origins, the oil source (plant part) and the composition of the oil before purchasing/using . Ravintsara oil from the leaves of the trees grown in Madagascar is generally safe, however, Tisserand and Young remind that "essential oils high in 1,8-cineole can cause CNS [central nervous system] and breathing problems in young children." They also caution not to use the cineole-rich oils topically near the face of babies and children. There are no other restrictions for the Madagascan oil. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 304. Please note, it is listed as ‘Ho Leaf CT cineole’].