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Ravensara vs. Ravintsara

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

With much appreciation to Marge Clark, owner of Nature’s Gift, for her permission to share this informative article on our BLOG.

" There has been much confusion over the years with the essential oils of Ravensara and Ravintsara. The years of literature written on the subject only deepen the confusion. Never have I seen more contradictions about the chemical analysis of these essential oils. After researching every bit of information available, I've decided that in many cases, when an authority wrote about one of the oils, they were often describing the other."

"I'd like to thank Beverley Hawkins, principal of the West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy, Michel VanHove of Cevenat Sarl, Tony Burfield of Cropwatch, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, and Kathy Duffy, instructor par excellence, for helping me reach clarity. I've waded through, and present, a LOT of information about the two oils, but if you are interested primarily in which oil to use for which circumstances, we'll cut to the chase immediately." Marge Clark

Therapeutic Recommendations Which one should I purchase? (Because this is the basic bottom-line question for the end-user wishing to maintain health and well-being.)

For years we have used true Ravensara (Cryptocarya agathophylla) oil for all the uses recommended by the authorities cited, whether they were describing true Ravensara. Ravensara aromatica has been considered a synonym for Ravensara since 2012. Or, the oil now recognized as Ravintsara oil distilled from the leaves of Cinnamomum camphora and is sometimes known as Ho Leaf Oil. The oil from the bark of this tree is commonly called Ho Wood.

For healthy adults, who wish to remain so, I would continue to buy and use true Ravensara (Cryptocarya agathophylla) for treating shingles, herpes, and other viral ailments or for diffusion to kill airborne viruses. HOWEVER, if I were dealing with children, pregnant women, or nursing mothers, I would substitute the gentler and safer Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora).

For personal use, in the future, I will probably use a blend of Ravensara (Cryptocarya agathophylla) AND Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) in my diffuser.

For respiratory or bronchial problems, it seems self-evident that RavINTsara, with its high component of 1,8-cineole, would ease breathing. (In the past, we've received rave results from practitioners using our Ravensara (Cryptocarya agathophylla) to assist cases of whooping cough. Hindsight being 20/20, I would use Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) for this situation.)

I have received an unpublished case study in an elementary school where the use of Ravensara (Cryptocarya agathophylla) in an aloe vera gel as a "hand cream" three times a day dramatically lowered the absenteeism rate in the classrooms studied. For use like this, I would use RavINTsara (Cinnamomum camphora) with school-aged children, both because it may be safer for small children and because it is less apt to be a skin irritant.

(But, if I EVER develop shingle