Description: Ravintsara is a large evergreen tree that grows up to 20–30 metres tall. The leaves have a glossy, waxy appearance and smell of camphor when crushed. In spring it produces bright green foliage with masses of small white flowers. It produces clusters of black berry-like fruit around one centimetre in diameter. It has a pale bark that is very rough and fissured vertically. Camphor is a white crystalline substance, obtained from the tree Cinnamomum camphora. Camphor has been used for many centuries as a culinary spice, a component of incense, and as a medicine. Camphor is also an insect repellant and a flea-killing substance.
Common Uses: This oil is referred to as “the oil that heals” in Madagascar. Another universal oil like Lavender. May be anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic, expectorant and supporting to nerves. Assist respiratory problems, cuts, wounds, burns, anti-biotic, liver, lung infections, rhinopharyngitis, flu, sinusitis, viral hepatitis, cholera, herpes, infectious mononucleosis, insomnia and muscle fatigue. Aromatic Influences: aids with realizing one’s potentials, increasing desire for changes, nervous fatigue and relieves depression. The aroma of camphor is familiar to all, even those who do not use aromatherapy. Camphor has served as a starting material for production of a great number of commercial perfumery chemicals that are used in everyday household products and laundry soaps. Camphor is a strong remedy that while not expensive, should be used wisely, and only when needed. It has almost a duel action of hot and cold, and seems to have a balancing effect on the yin and yang energies. Applied externally camphor numbs the peripheral nerve endings. This analgesic effect of camphor makes it a favorite oil to be used in pain relieving massage blends for sore muscles and arthritic pain. Camphor oil helps stimulate circulation to cold and stiff limbs. The oil is a very useful ingredient in inhalations for coughs, colds and difficulties in breathing. Camphor also acts as an expectorant and a febrifuge, meaning that it cools fevers and helps clear lung congestion. These actions, along with camphor’s anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties make it a very useful and popular remedy for colds, flu, and bronchitis.
Blends well with: Citrus oils, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary, and spice oils
Aromatic Scent: Sharp, Champhorous pungent scent.
History: In the ancient and medieval Middle East and Europe, camphor was used as ingredient for sweets but it is now mainly used for medicinal purposes. For example, camphor was used as a flavoring in confections resembling ice cream in China during the Tang dynasty (AD 618–907). An anonymous Andalusian cookbook of the 13th century contains a recipe for meat with apples, which is flavored with camphor and musk. A 13th century recipe for “Honeyed Dates” is also flavored with Camphor. By the time of the Renaissance, camphor as a culinary ingredient had fallen into disuse in Europe.
Today, camphor is widely used in cooking (mainly for dessert dishes such as kheer or paal paayasam) in India where it is known aspachha karpooram (literally meaning “green camphor”). It is widely available at Indian grocery stores and is labeled as “edible camphor”. In Hindu poojas and ceremonies, camphor is burned in a ceremonial spoon or plates for performing aarti. This type of camphor is also sold at Indian grocery stores but it is not suitable for cooking. The twigs and leaves of the camphor plant are used in the smoking and preparation of Zhangcha duck, a typical banquet and celebratory dish in Szechuan cuisine.
Which one are you getting?
There is a lot of confusing information, out there, between Ravensara (R.aromatica) and Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora). Some Essential Oil company’s will even sell one under the others name. So how do you know which one you are getting? Follow your nose! There are distinct scents, between them, that will help you determine which one you have received.
- Ravensara (R.aromatica) smells of a Cinnamon-Eucalyptus, and is also considered not as Therapeutic, but is used a lot for its Fragrance.
- Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) smells more of a Champhor-Eucalyptus, and is used when it is needed for Therapeutic purposes like respiratory help or shingles.
What do you want to use it for?
Ravensara (R. aromatica) (sometimes called clove nutmeg) is a member of the Lauraceae (laurel) family, and originates in Madagascar. Technically named Agatophyllum aromaticum, the oil contains 3-6% of the methyl eugenol, and has been identified as a potent rodent carcinogen. It has a warm, spicy eucalyptus scent and is widely sold to perfumers for its fragrance, to use on a diluted level.
Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) is referred to as “the oil that heals” in Madagascar. Another “universal oil” like Lavender because of its many uses. May be anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic, expectorant, supporting to nerves. Assist respiratory problems, shingles, cuts, wounds, burns, anti-biotic, liver, lung infections, rhinopharyngitis, flu, sinusitis, viral hepatitis, cholera, herpes, infectious mononucleosis, insomnia, muscle fatigue.
Ravintsara has strong anti-infectious, antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, antispasmodic, analgesic, carminative, expectorant and immune stimulant properties. Ravintsara is less irritating to the skin and is a gentle anti-viral essential oil. This anti-viral oil is the oil of choice for respiratory viruses and or bronchial problems. It’s high content of 1.8 cineole ci will help ease breathing and congestion. This oil is devoid of any toxicity (at physiological doses)