Plant Origin: Madagascar
Method: Steam distilled from leaves
Cultivation: unsprayed (grown organically but not certified)
Chemical Family: Monoterpenes, Monoterpenols, Sesquiterpenes
Aroma: Spicy, herbaceous, slightly camphorous and citrusy
delta 3-carene 9.78%
caryophyllene <trans> 5.17%
pinene <alpha> 4.13%
phellandrene <alpha> 3.48%
copaene <alpha> 1.45%
ocimene <Z-beta> 1.40%
terpinene <alpha> 1.13%
elemene <beta> 0.94%
thujene <alpha> 0.79%
cymene <para> 0.62%
candinene <gamma> 0.27%
~ For clarification about the differences between Ravensara Leaf and Ravintsara, scroll down ~
Children? Suitable at 1% dilution topically based on 11.9% estragole content.
Pregnancy/Breastfeeding? No known hazards or contraindications.
Properties and Usage
Ravensara essential oil has strong anti-microbial, anti-viral components. Don't confuse RavENsara with RavINTsara, as they are very different chemically speaking. Ravensara has a spicy, herbal aroma, whereas Ravintsara has a strong Eucalyptus aroma because of the high 1,8-cineole content. It is the 1,8-cineole that makes Ravintsara more effective for respiratory issues.
Ravensara is used for all kinds of pain such as toothaches, headache, muscular and joint pain and earaches. It is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-depressant, anti-fungal, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral. It makes a good disinfectant. It is a diuretic, thus improves rheumatism, gout, arthritis, acne, boils and edema. It has been used for shingles, herpes virus, viral infections, colds, throat and lung infections, cancer and pneumonia. Ravensara has been used to treat improper blood and lymph circulation.
Blended with Tamanu Oil (Calophyllum), Ravensara has been used by family and friends for years to ease the pain and inflammation of shingles and all forms of herpes.
Application Suggestions (See Essential Oil Usage): for more information and a dilution chart.)
Topical: Dilute with a carrier oil and apply 2-4 drops on location or as desired. Tisserand bases his maximum dermal use level at 1% per 11.9% estragole ratio.
Internal: Ravensara is suitable for internal use within safe parameters if such use is deemed appropriate.
Tisserand recommends that the maximum adult daily oral dose is 1 drop (29 mg).
We feel that internal use is rarely *needed* and should only be used with respect for how concentrated the oils are. HEO does not advocate internal use of essential oils without appropriate knowledge and understanding of how to administer, for what purpose, how much, which essential oils, safety concerns and so on. In our experience, essential oils are generally more effective used topically with proper dilution or inhaled. Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D. notes that "French aromatherapy literature contains many references to using oils orally." He goes on to note that "generally 1 drop is always enough when ingesting essential oils." A potential toxicity hazard could occur when untrained people use essential oils orally and ingest too much. Keep in mind that while medical doctors or health care practitioners may prescribe essential oils for internal use, they are trained and experienced in the safe application of essential oils. It is not a matter of using "French" or "British" methods, it's a matter of experience and appropriate application.
Kurt Schnaubelt suggests that "For the treatment of acute flu, Ravensara is best taken internally (1 drop every 2 hours for acute flu) and/or applied externally. Tisserand lists Ravensara Leaf's Maximum Adult Daily Oral Dose to be 29mg (based on 11.9 estragole ratio), which is about a drop.
Click here for more information about internal usage.
1. I am close to four people who have bouts with Shingles, and in every case they have found relief with equal parts of Plague Defense and Ravensara in a capsule ever few hours. For three of them, it took less than a day for relief, and the other one was much better after 2 days. [Hopewell Blend: SHINGLES DEFENSE]
2. We have had great results using your SHINGLES DEFENSE blend in a capsule two-to-three times daily. Blood tests were done before and after, and my doctor was astounded at how significantly the herpes zoster count dropped. I shared this with a friend, and she reported relief within minutes of taking the blend internally. After 3 doses (1 day) the breakout was over and has never reoccurred (in three years). [Shingles Defense is a blend of Ravensara, Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata and Rosemary.]
3. After 3 applications of Ravensara in a 16 hour period, my daughter's shingles look about 90% better! Everything looked so angry and painful. After the 3rd application, she ran to me after a 1/2hr telling me to look, and I could not believe the difference. Just amazing. It stated to dilute with Tamanu oil, but I did not have that, so I used coconut oil instead. I am so thankful for essential oils. - Kim
4. My husband has been using an OTC cold sore medication for as long as I can remember whenever he has a breakout. After doing some research, I suggested that he try Ravensara to see if it might help him. I had him apply a drop to a Q-tip then dab it directly on his lip as soon as he felt the beginnings of a cold sore. It immediately gave him relief, and he never even had a full outbreak. Usually his lips get very cracked, bleed and then scab during an outbreak, but not this time. He had a small red area where the cold sore should have been, but that is it. It was completely gone in 2 days, when it usually takes him 7-10 to recover. I was able to get him to give up his OTC meds for a natural alternative that works even better! Thank you so much! - Teresa
5. I use Ravensara when I think I have a spot that might develop into shingles, and it immediately stops all the itching with only a couple of applications. The shingles, or whatever it was, never did develop. I had a few more spots occur, and each time the Ravensara did the trick. I have also taken a capsule of it when I felt I needed to. I think this might help others who have itchy rashes.
Let’s Settle the Confusion: RaVENsara or RaVINTsara?
Many years of teaching and literature written about Ravensara have actually served to heap confusion on the distinctions between Ravensara and Ravintsara. In many cases, when one speaker or author spoke or wrote about Ravensara, they were actually referring to Ravintsara. These are well respected people who have mistakenly believed that the oil they referred to and sold as Ravensara was truly Ravensara, where instead it was Ravintsara. Therefore, be aware that many books and testimonials online about Ravensara actually describe Ravintsara!
“Cinnamomum camphora [Ravintsara] from Formosa is also confusingly called “ravensara” by oil sellers, and even worse, is often incorrectly described as Ravensara aromatica . . . As the plant has become adapted to the Malagasy climate, it has lost the ability to produce camphor, and the oil is mainly composed of sabinene (13-15%) and over 50% of 1,8-cineol.
(International Journal of Aromatherapy Vol 11. Number 1, edited by Robert Harris)
The confusion is easily remedied once these oils are tested by a reputable chemist. Both of these oils we sell are organically grown and GC/MS analyzed so there is no doubt that what we sell as Ravensara and Ravintsara will live up to their names.
Ravensara - high in limonene, delta 3-carene and sabinene (monoterpenes that support immune response, are anti-inflammatory and analgesic), making it the preferred choice for shingles, herpes and other viral issues. Ravensara is one of the most powerful anti-viral oils and has been used by our family and friends blended with Tamanu oil to ease the pain and inflammation of shingles and all forms of herpes. Aromatherapist, Valerie Worwood includes Ravensara in the basic care kit for children (Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child page 34). Kurt Schnaubelt mentions the effectiveness of Ravensara for shingles in Medical Aromatheapy.
Ravintsara - high 1,8-cineole makes it similar to Eucalyptus Globulus, having respiratory and immune-boosting properties. Ravintsara contains at least 45% 1,8-cineole rather than the 5% found in Ravensara aromatica. Kurt Schnaubelt mentions the effectiveness of Ravintsara for shingles in The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils.
Battaglia, Salvatore, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2002, pages 293-294.
Schnaubelt, Kurt, Advanced Aromatherapy, 1999, page 86.
Schnaubelt, Kurt, The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, 2011.
Schnaubelt, Kurt, Medical Aromatherapy, 1999.
Tisserand, Robert; Young, Rodney, Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, Elsevier Health Sciences UK (2013-12-02), page 403.
Worwood, Valerie, Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child, page 34.
Avoid contact with the eyes and other sensitive areas. Essential oils are both lipophilic and hydrophobic. Lipophilic means they are attracted to fat— like the membranes of your eyes and skin. They are also hydrophobic, meaning they do not like water. Flushing with water will only send the essential oil back to the eye's membranes. Applying a carrier oil will create another fat for the essential oil to be attracted to other than the membranes of the eyes or skin. Tisserand suggests: "With essential oils, fatty oil has been suggested as an appropriate first aid treatment, though the advantage of saline [eyewash] is that the eyes can be continually flushed, and this is less easy with fatty oil." We’ve not known this to cause permanent injury or long-term discomfort, but if you feel concerned, please call your health care provider.