Ravensara is a good oil to have on hand during the winter months. She is one of the first oils I reach for when I’m coming down with a cold.
Synonyms: Madagascar spice, Madagascar nutmeg, clove nut.
Aroma: Fresh, sharp, clear, eucalyptus-like.
Plant: Tree 18 to 20 metres high with reddish grey bark and dark evergreen leaves.
Main Growing Areas: Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius, Australia.
Major Constituents: Pinene, terpineol, linalool, eugenol, estragole.
Interesting snippets: The local people have used the bark, leaves and fruit since ancient times.
The name ravensara means the tree with good leaves in Malagasy.
Part of Plant used / Extraction: Leaves and twigs by very long, slow steam distillation.
Therapeutic actions: Antiviral and immunostimulant, excellent for colds and flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, whooping cough, cold sores, shingles, joint pains, muscular tension and physical fatigue.
Emotional and Spiritual: Setting boundaries, mental fatigue.
Philippe Mailhebiau writes ravensara is for people who no longer enjoy life and doubt everything especially themselves, those who no longer know where they are through lack of aims or ideals and who, their morale affected, suffer various pains as a result.
Robbie Zeck writes Ravensara encourages the setting of personal boundaries. A boundary delineates what is included within as well as what is excluded. Learning to define your boundaries determines your identity and maintaining healthy boundaries is absolutely integral to your self-empowerment. Your emotional and physical wellbeing will be compromised if your boundaries are unstructured. Learn to say no: And remember, ‘no’ is a complete sentence.
Gabriel Mojay writes ravensara is ideal for restlessness and insomnia caused by nervous debility and illness. Like tea tree oil, it is also important in cases where anxiety and depression threaten to weaken the immune system.
Safety: Possible skin irritation, non-toxic.
Note: Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica) is often confused with Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora). They have a different chemical makeup with ravintsara having a large percentage of 1.8 cineole and ravensara very little. Ravintsara is considered gentler to use with children.
Sources: Davis P, Aromatherapy, An A-Z. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Mailhebiau P, Portraits in Oils. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1995)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy Class notes (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)