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Cinnamomum camphora

Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) is a medium-sized tree from the Lauraceae family. It has reddish bark and its helically arranged, glabrous and coriaceous leaves are the same as those of the bay laurel (Laurus nobilis).

Native to Japan and Taiwan, it was introduced into Madagascar, where grew a related species, but with different properties (Ravensara aromatica).

The essential oil extracted from it is remarkable when it comes to fighting viral diseases.

Main aromatic molecules: Terpene oxides (1,8-cineole or eucalyptol), monoterpenols (α-terpineol), monoterpenes (α and β-pinenes).
Family: Lauraceae.
Productive organs: Leaves.
Yield: 1.5 to 2 kg of essential oil per 100 kg of leaves.
Equivalence: 1 ml → 39 drops (dosage calculated for a calibrated dropper European Pharmacopoeia).


Skin application

Oral route

Respiratory route

Madagascar, island of perfumes, is a hub of world phytotherapy as more than six thousand of the island’s plants are studied and some are used by ethnopractitioners according to the database of the Madagascan institute of applied research (IMRA). This prodigious biodiversity was revealed to Europeans during the mid-18th century by the Frenchman Etienne de Flacourt ”resident governor” in his History of the island Madagascar (1658). During the 20th century, the botanist Pierre Boiteau scientifically explored this wealth and studied the therapeutic effect of ravintsara. This tree has always been, and remains to this day, the ultimate ”medicine tree” of Madagascan populations, its local name meaning ”leaves good for everything”. The essential oil extracted from these leaves is remarkable for combating viral diseases.


Extracts from the book ’Aromatherapia – All about essential oils’, by Isabelle Pacchioni, watercolors by Patrick MORIN, Aroma Thera Editions . Extracts from the book ’41 essential oils essential for treating yourself differently’ and ’48 essential oils which every home needs to be healthy’ by Isabelle Delaleu and Isabelle Pacchioni, Publications of the Mandadori France group. Botanical illustrations by Agathe Haevermans.

The properties, benefits and method of use are given for information; they cannot in any case constitute or replace medical information that only health professionals can provide. For any use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, please consult your GP or pharmacist.

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