Ravintsara Essential Oil Benefits, Uses, Precautions, and More
The origins of ravintsara essential oil trace back to the 17th century when camphor trees were introduced to Madagascar from China. The climate and terrain in Madagascar allowed the plant to develop new properties and opened doors for therapeutic applications. Among the locals, this variety of camphor trees became known as ravintsara, a Malagasy word meaning ‘good leaves.’
The ravintsara variety of camphor trees contains no camphor; instead, it contains a compound known as eucalyptol or 1,8 cineole. The presence of eucalyptol in the Madagascar variety enhanced the therapeutic effects of the camphor tree and made it a sought-after remedy. The locals used it for various respiratory ailments, colds, the flu, and diarrhea.
This article discusses everything you need to know about ravintsara essential oil, serving as a complete guide to its origins, benefits, application, and FAQs.
How Is Ravintsara Essential Oil Extracted?
Ravintsara essential oil is derived from the eucalyptol variety of the Cinnamomum camphora plant, otherwise known as ravintsara. The genus Cinnamomum belongs to the Lauraceae family and consists of other medically important plants, such as cinnamon, camphor, and bay.
Ravintsara trees are evergreens that grow to heights of 30 meters. For essential oil harvesting, the trees are generally clipped to human height to facilitate easier access. The harvested leaves are steam distilled to extract pale yellow essential oil.
The essential oil has a woodsy scent with peppery and spicy notes. The compound eucalyptol is responsible for the camphoraceous character of the essential oil aroma. It is also found in tea tree, cajeput, and eucalyptus essential oils, resulting in similar scent profiles. Blending ravintsara essential oil with citrus and herbaceous oils will enhance the overall scent while adding depth and complexity.
The Chemical Components in Ravintsara Essential Oil
Compared to other species in the camphor plant family, the ravintsara variety grown in Madagascar has different properties. The chemical composition of ravintsara is affected by several factors, such as the climate, soil, and the method of extraction. As a result, the essential oil from Cinnamomum camphora contains no camphor and is instead dominated by 1, 8 cineole. Other compounds in the oil are pinenes, terpineols, and linalool.
Eucalyptol, also known as 1, 8 cineole, is a monoterpenoid that is known to be efficient in providing respiratory relief. It has potent mucolytic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties that make it a key compound in therapeutic preparations. A 2016 research study highlighted the mechanism of action through which eucalyptol provides its beneficial effects.
Eucalyptol blocks certain signals and molecules from triggering inflammation. In addition, it scavenges for free radicals, improving antioxidant activity.
Alpha and Beta Pinenes
Alpha and beta pinenes, termed by researchers as ‘miracle gifts of nature,’ are naturally occurring monoterpenes. These compounds are used as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, insecticidal, gastroprotective, and anxiolytic agents.
Furthermore, a study published in the journal Biomolecules expanded the excellent suitability of alpha and beta pinenes for dermal application and aromatherapy. These compounds are lipophilic, or fat-loving, which means that they absorb into the skin’s layers very well. When inhaled, pinenes enter the body through the bloodstream as they are soluble in the blood and fat tissues.
This compound is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for its several biological properties. It has the potential to induce hypotensive effects by relaxing the blood vessel walls. It also exhibits notable antioxidant, nociceptive, antiulcer, sedative, and anti-bronchitis activity.
It is also a chemical penetration enhancer, improving the permeability of substances to the skin’s epidermis.
After the surge of commercial interest in the compound, linalool has been researched extensively for its health benefits. A 2021 review notes that it has anxiolytic, anti-depressant, anti-stress, anti-cholesterol, and sedative effects. It also demonstrated kidney and lung protective properties, owing to its high anti-inflammatory potential.
Benefits of Ravintsara Essential Oil for Health
With wide-ranging benefits for health, ravintsara essential oil is a must-have in your aromatherapy kit. In alternative medicine, this all-purpose essential oil is used for respiratory health, pain relief, the flu, bronchitis, anxiety, and stress management. The following sections explore research findings regarding the benefits of ravintsara essential oil.
Supports Respiratory Health
Ravintsara is famed for its potential to treat respiratory issues, such as congestion, cough, bronchitis, and asthma. It is an excellent mucolytic, bronchodilatory, and decongestant due to its high eucalyptol content. Other components, such as limonene, linalool, and pinenes, reduce inflammation in the respiratory system, reducing symptoms of inflammatory conditions, such as bronchitis and sinusitis.
According to a study published in the Journal of Essential Oil Research, eucalyptol provides several pharmacological benefits for respiratory health. It displays positive effects on symptoms of respiratory conditions, such as rhinosinusitis, bronchitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive lung disease. It does so by breaking and thinning down mucus, making it easier to expel from the respiratory tract. It also relaxes the airways, widening them and facilitating easier breathing.
In addition, ravintsara essential oil may be useful for dealing with respiratory infections as it has antimicrobial properties. Inhaling the essential oil may improve immune system response by aiding the body in fighting pathogens.
To use, you can add ravintsara essential oil to your diffuser and allow the essence to fully disperse in your environment. Combine ravintsara essential oil with peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil for enhanced effect and incorporate this blend into your aromatherapy routine.
Boosts Immune Health
The immune system is responsible for protection against common illnesses such as the flu, viruses, and colds. Ravintsara essential oil supports immune health through many mechanisms, including boosting antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory activity, modulating immune cells and cytokines, and reducing stress.
The compound 1, 8 cineole that is abundantly present in ravintsara essential oil is proven to influence the activity of white blood cells and macrophages. A 2022 study investigated the role of this compound in chronic illnesses. It concluded that cineole was actively involved in regulating the polarization of the M2 macrophage, in turn, regulating the immune system response.
Moreover, the compounds in ravintsara essential oil exhibit antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals in the body and improve immune system function. Linalool, pinenes, and eucalyptol have notable antioxidant effects that reduce oxidative stress and prevent impairment of immune system response.
To use ravintsara essential oil to potentially improve immune health, you may diffuse it or apply it topically. Infusing the essential oil into your environment during flu season can help reduce the risk of catching a cold.
May Aid Arthritis Treatment
Arthritis is a common ailment that manifests in the form of swollen, painful joints due to many medical reasons. Ravintsara essential oil can be used as a complementary treatment to ease discomfort and pain caused by arthritis. It contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds that work together to reduce pain and stiffness in arthritic joints.
Nearly all of the major chemical constituents in ravintsara essential oil exhibit strong anti-inflammatory effects. In arthritis, inflammation is the chief factor that determines how pain and discomfort manifest. Compounds in ravintsara essential oil, specifically eucalyptol, may reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, thereby reducing inflammation.
Ravintsara essential oil may also be used to reduce cell and tissue damage in certain types of arthritis exacerbated by an overactive immune system response. One such example is rheumatoid arthritis, a condition where the immune system attacks healthy joints. Topical application of ravintsara essential oil may reduce the polarization of M2 macrophages and hence curb the excessive immune system response.
Adding to its merits, the essential oil is also a strong analgesic, relieving pain by directly acting on pathways that control pain perception. This makes ravintsara essential oil a promising treatment that can complement medical intervention and provide symptomatic relief from arthritis.
May Offer Natural Pain Relief
Natural analgesics have now become popular as an alternative to over-the-counter painkillers. They have fewer long-term effects and a relatively lower risk of adverse effects when used correctly. Ravintsara essential oil has phytochemical properties that make it suited to be used as a natural painkiller. It contains alpha-pinene, linalool, and eucalyptol: compounds that can commonly be found in pain relief ointments.
An extensive research study examined how linalool acts on the nervous system to induce pain relief. Researchers tested linalool on models of inflammatory pain and neural pain. Both tests concluded that linalool interacted with the opioidergic and cholinergic pain systems to reduce the perception of pain. The study also found that linalool did not affect locomotor activity in subjects, suggesting that the mechanism of action does not involve sedation.
The study concluded that linalool provides pain relief through mechanisms that can be compared to those of opioids, such as morphine. As ravintsara essential oil contains a notable percentage of linalool, it demonstrates significant analgesic potential.
To use ravintsara essential oil as a natural painkiller, dilute a few drops in a warm carrier oil and apply it to the site of pain.
Potentially Alleviates Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions are caused by substances called allergens that trigger an immune system response. This immune system response is characterized by inflammation, the extent of which is directly related to allergen exposure. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as the chemical compounds in ravintsara essential oil, may dampen immune system response and relieve itching and discomfort.
In 2019, researchers conducted a study on the anti-allergic potential of alpha-pinene, a prominent compound in ravintsara essential oil. They tested alpha-pinene as both a preventative and corrective treatment for allergic reactions.
Results showed that when subjects were treated with alpha-pinene prior to allergen exposure, there was a marked decrease in the immune system response. Symptoms such as runny nose and itching of the eyes, nose, and ears subsided. Researchers also noted that the subjects had less immunoglobulin at the site of allergy, an antibody compound that signals immune overreaction.
Other compounds, such as linalool and eucalyptol, are also known for their anti-allergy properties. Eucalyptol has been found to influence mast cell degranulation, a process that modulates allergic responses such as redness, swelling, and itching. A study published in the journal Scientific Reports confirms this and establishes the potential utility of eucalyptol as an anti-allergy agent.
To use ravintsara essential oil to mitigate the symptoms of an allergic response, you can apply it to the area of the allergy. For topical application, dilute the essential oil in a cream or carrier oil and perform a patch test before use.
FAQs Regarding the Use of Ravintsara Essential Oil
Ravintsara essential oil is among the less popular essential oils despite having a highly effective therapeutic effect. As a result, there isn’t a lot of credible information about the safe and proper use of the essential oil. The following sections answer some common queries that you may encounter before using ravintsara essential oil.
How Does Ravintsara Oil Compare to Other Essential Oils, Like Eucalyptus or Tea Tree?
Ravintsara, eucalyptus, and tea tree essential oils share some common properties, such as antimicrobial and respiratory benefits. However, they are all derived from different plant species and have differing chemical compositions.
Eucalyptus essential oil, derived from Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiata species, is known for its anti-inflammatory, decongestant, and relaxing effects. It is also used to provide relief from muscular aches and is often used in massage blends.
Tea tree essential oil comes from the Melaleuca alternifolia plant and contains a high percentage of terpinen-4-ol. The essential oil has powerful antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties that support its use for the treatment of conditions such as acne, dandruff, and eczema.
Ravintsara essential oil has the potential to modulate and influence immune system response. It is also useful for respiratory issues, pain relief, and arthritis. All three essential oils have distinct uses and should be used according to specific needs and preferences.
Where Can I Purchase High-Quality Ravintsara Essential Oil?
When using essential oils for therapeutic purposes, such as pain relief and improving health conditions, it is important to ensure that you use high-quality essential oils. Essential oil that is derived from high-quality plants and extracted correctly retains the phytochemical properties of their constituents.
To ensure that you purchase high-quality ravintsara essential oil, buy from a seller with transparent sourcing processes. The ravintsara essential oil at Wholesale Botanics is sourced through ethical and sustainable methods that are documented on the website, making it a reliable choice.
Furthermore, you can look for labels on the essential oil bottle to ascertain that the product originates from the correct plant, Cinnamomum camphora, in this instance. Labels with vague wording may indicate that the essential oil is not 100 percent pure and may contain additives.
Can Ravintsara Essential Oil Be Used as a Primary Treatment for Health Issues?
Despite its many therapeutic benefits and potent chemical compounds, ravintsara essential oil does not qualify to be used as a primary treatment for any health issues. It is beneficial as an alternative treatment for general health and respiratory issues. It may also boost immune health and reduce inflammation in chronic illnesses.
However, it is always important to consult your health professional before employing ravintsara essential oil as a supplementary treatment for any health condition.
How Should I Store Ravintsara Essential Oil to Maintain Its Potency?
Ravintsara essential oil should be stored in a glass bottle at room temperature. Make sure that the bottle forms a seal when capped to prevent the volatile compounds from breaking down. Keep the essential oil bottle away from moisture and direct sunlight to avoid degradation of therapeutic effects.
If stored properly, ravintsara essential oil has a shelf life of up to 3 years. To keep track of the age of your essential oil, you may label the bottle with the purchase date.
Using Ravintsara Essential Oil Safely
When used properly, ravintsara essential oil is almost always safe to use for aromatherapy and topical application. When applying essential oil to the skin, always dilute the oil in a carrier oil or other product to minimize irritation. Undiluted ravintsara essential oil may sensitize the skin and produce an inflammatory reaction.
Research does not indicate the safety of ravintsara essential oil when used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Pregnant women should exercise caution when using the essential oil and possibly consult a health professional to confirm suitability.
The essential oil should be kept away from children and pets. Do not diffuse the essential oil in the presence of cats and dogs as it contains 1, 8 cineole, a component that causes breathing problems.
The Takeaways About Ravintsara Essential Oil
Incorporating ravintsara essential oil into your aromatherapy routine can provide a multitude of benefits, ranging from boosting immune health to relieving pain from inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. It also can be exceptionally effective in improving symptoms of respiratory health conditions such as bronchitis, colds, and coughs.
You can add ravintsara essential oil to your bath routine, and diffuser or create a massage blend. Always keep in mind guidelines for safe use to ensure an optimal experience.