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Ravensare and Ravintsara,

2 very different essential oils

différence entre le Ravensare et le Ravintsara

We have received an article from Olivier BEHRA (a producer of essential oils in Madagascar). This several-page article, written in English, scientifically clarifies the confusion that currently exists about Ravensare essential oil. After "distilling" this document, we offer you a summary.

On our website, you'll find organic Ravintsara essential oil and many other quality oils, as well as essential oils for diffusers. 

Two very distinct plants

1 - Ravintsara or camphor (leaf) Nb = cinnamomum camphora
2 - Ravensare Nb= ravensara aromatica (leaf), the essential oil from the bark is called Havozo. 

Origin of the confusion between Ravintsara and ravensare

The camphor tree in Madagascar is commonly known as Ravintsara "good leaf". It was only a short step from there to ravensare ! 

Let's take the confusion a step further

So why ravintsara and not camphor (leaf) ? On the face of it, that would have been simpler and would have avoided confusion !

The reason is quite simple: the essential oil extracted from the leaves of cinnamomum camphora in Madagascar is highly concentrated in 1,8-cineole but very low in camphor compared to the oil from Asia (camphor > 50%), which is generally known as HO or HO-SHO (or Japanese laurel). 

Two essential oils with different chemotypes

  1. Ravintsara mainly composed of :
    • 1,8-cineole >50
    • sabinene
    • alpha-terpineol
  2. Ravensare mainly composed of :
    • Limonene
    • sabinene
    • myrcene
    • linalool
    • 1,8-cineole < to 4%.

The main difference is in the proportion of 1,8-cineole. 

Another confusion exists

Another confusion exists between Ravensara aromatica and Ravensara anisata.

Ravensara aromatica is a plant endemic to Madagascar, commonly known as havozo or havozo manitra, meaning aromatic tree in Malagasy.

With a height of 30m and growing at an altitude of around 1000m, this tree is found in abundance in the rainforest of central eastern Madagascar.

But this tree was apparently named twice, at two different times. Once in 1782, under the name ravensara aromatica and again in 1950 under the name ravensara anisata because of its aniseed scent.

Recent studies have confirmed that ravensara anisata and ravensara aromatica are indeed the same plant. It was decided that the correct botanical name would be ravensara aromatica. 

To sum up

  1. Ravintsara comes from the camphor tree (leaf) native to Madagascar with the botanical name cinnamomum camphora.
  2. HO or HO-SHO comes from the camphor tree (leaf) native to Asia with the botanical name cinnamomum camphora.
  3. Ravensare comes from the Ravensara aromatica (leaf) native to Madagascar with the botanical name Ravensara aromatica.
  4. Havozo comes from Ravensara aromatica (bark) native to Madagascar, with the botanical name Ravensara aromatica (As the production of this essential oil is destructive to the tree, we advise against its use).
  5. Ravensara anisata = Ravensara aromatica. 

The olfactory test

1 - Ravintsara, with its high 1.8 cineol content, has a fresh, camphorated scent.
2 - Ravensare has a slightly aniseed and peppery scent. 

Discover Ravintsara essential oil

Organic Ravintsara - Leaves - Essential Oil

An essential oil in aromatherapy, Ravintsara essential oil is widely used to accompany winter infections. Calming, it is prized for...
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