An essential essential oil in the family first aid kit is the essential oil of Ravintsara (also called camphor tree from Madagascar), pure and natural (preferably organic), known by its botanical and Latin name, Cinnamomum camphora cineoliferum.
Native to Madagascar, the ravintsara belongs to the camphor family, a tree with reddish bark and leaves inserted in helices. Its name comes from the Malagasy (ravina “the leaf” and tsara, “good”), which literally means “tree with good leaves” or “leaf good for everything”.
Its leaf is the distilled part to make the essential oil. Its active constituents are terpene oxides (1.8 cineole), terpene alcohols (terpineol) and terpenes (pinenes). Despite its Latin designation, it does not contain camphor and is, in general, well tolerated. Its botanical family is that of Lauraceae.
A powerful antiviral, antibacterial, Ravintsara essential oil is immunostimulating, notably boosting the adrenal glands. It is expectorant, decongestant and anticatarrhale. It fights pharyngitis, rhinitis, nasopharyngitis, angina, bronchitis, sinusitis … and remains excellent during flu epidemics. It acts like an antibiotic. In addition, it’s also an antioxidant, pro-convalescence, anti-inflammatory, rubefiant, activator of skin penetration, it drains the lymphatic system and fights fat.
The dosages and precautions must be observed. It can be used orally, dermally, in air diffusion and aerosol inhalation. Dermally, it is recommended to dilute it in a vegetable oil. During epidemics of influenza, the dosage is 2 applications on the skin, morning and evening, on the thorax and the arch. To boost immunity, put 2 drops on the wrists every morning (5 days a week).
This essential oil is contraindicated the first 3 months of pregnancy, but also – according to some aromatherapy experts:
- in children under 3 years of age,
- instillation in the nose in children,
- applied to the skin on the chest, neck or face, in children under 4 years of age,
- orally or inhalation in children under 12 years of age,
- orally in people with inflammatory gastrointestinal or biliary disorders,
- people with allergies to its components,
- finally in lactating women.
It is best to seek advice from a naturopath or aromatherapist. This essential oil does not replace any drug treatment. It can interact with medication so seek the advice of a doctor.
Katia Batut Lucas
Festy, Danièle, My Bible on Essential Oils, Paris: Leduc. S Practice, (2008, 2018), 2019.
“Ravintsara essential oil”, Essential oils, Health Passport, accessed December 17, 2019.
Couic-Marinier, Françoise, Perron, Anne, “What camphor against influenza? », Essential oils, Plants and Health, published on 01/12/2018, accessed December 17, 2019.
“Ravintsara”, Hunzaroma, accessed December 17, 2019.
Course Manual 358, Aromatherapy, pp.104-160, Collège des Médecines Douces du Québec, updated version, March 15, 2019.
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