While there are an array of essential oils that can be effectively used throughout the winter months to help you to remain fit and healthy, there is one essential oil in particular that can be used to protect against common winter ailments, alleviate the discomfort of cold symptoms and help restore emotional equilibrium.

Ravensara Essential Oil (Ravensara aromatica) is one of my personal favourites, possessing, as it does a slightly spicy, camphory, woody, herbaceous aroma  and having therapeutic properties on par with the more well-known essential oils such as Eucalyptus globulus and Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), although, unlike Tea Tree essential oil, it is non-irritating, non-toxic and non-sensitising.

Ravensara, originates from Madagascar.  The oil is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves and twigs of the Ravensara tree and is reputed to have analgesic, anti-fungal, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, expectorant and immunomodulant properties; in fact its strong anti-viral properties make it an ideal choice if suffering from influenza.  Some experts claim that the oil should be used as a preventative or ‘at the first signs of chills, shivers or tiredness’ (Battaglia, 2002).  The oil may also be used to ease the discomfort of blocked sinuses or congestion.

Ravensara oil, as a reputed nerve tonic, has a gentle, uplifting effect and as such is a perfect choice when feeling physically or emotionally fatigued or simply lethargic; it can be used in a suitable carrier oil within a massage treatment or added to a bath of warm water  and inhaled, both methods being excellent for inducing relaxation and promoting a sense of wellbeing.

Overall, I think this oil is essential for  personal care kits, and whilst cost can sometimes be a deciding factor, Ravensara, as well as being extremely versatile, is also extremely affordable.

Aromatherapy blends using Ravensara essential oil

Energy boosting:

Run a bath of warm water, add 5 drops of Ravensara essential oil with a base oil or a Tablespoon on milk, agitate the water to disperse, then relax in the bath for a minimum of 15 minutes.  Avoid splashing water in the eyes.

Aching muscles:

Mix 10ml of carrier oil with 5 drops of Ravensara and massage into the affected area(s) twice a day.

Immune boosting:

Place 6 drops of Ravensara in a burner or diffuser (or simply pop onto a tissue) and inhale throughout the day.

Blocked nose/congestion:

Add 10 drops of Ravensara essential oil to a bowl of hot water, agitate the water to mix in the oil, lean over the bowl and put a towel over your head, close your eyes and inhale the vapours for up to ten minutes.  Repeat this process several times a day.


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