Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica) is one of the best essential oils to use during the flu season. It is a good alternative to Tea Tree oil or Eucalyptus essential oil and because it is non-toxic and non-sensitizing, it is safe to use even for children. Its many therapeutic properties make it almost as versatile as Lavender, and just like Lavender, it can enhance the benefits of other essential oils. Its scent is camphor-like and similar to that of Rosemary, although less piercing.
A Natural Remedy for the Flu or the Common Cold
Ravensara is immunostimulant, anti-viral and anti-microbial. These properties make it one of the most useful natural cold remedies aromatherapy can offer. Use it at the first symptoms of a cold or the flu, and you can often reduce the length of the illness. It will also give your immune system a boost.
Add a few drops of Ravensara to a bath (or a footbath) when you feel a cold coming on – use it on its own or in a blend with Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree or Thyme. Burn it in your aromatherapy burner during the flu season to prevent infections. Use it in steam inhalations to relieve any respiratory tract infections: colds, sinusitis, coughs and bronchitis – Ravensara is an expectorant and a good choice for both inhalations and chest rubs. Try blending it with other expectorant or decongestant oils such as Eucalyptus, Thyme or Pine.
A Home Remedy for Cold Sores and Shingles
Because Ravensara is anti-viral, and because it does not irritate the skin, it is a good home remedy against cold sores. Place a drop of Ravensara on a cold sore (use a cotton swab) – you can also blend it with Tea tree essential oil for the same purpose. Blend Ravensara with Lavender and/or Chamomile essential oil in a base oil to relieve the pain in shingles (3 drops of essential oils for each 5 ml teaspoon of a carrier oil – try St John’s Wort oil): shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus that belongs to the group of herpes viruses, the same group that includes the viruses that cause cold sores, chickenpox and genital herpes.
Ravensara is relaxing and analgesic, and can be used in massage blends or compresses to relieve muscle aches and pains, strains and sprains. It is also a good tonic during stress or nervous exhaustion. Thanks to its immunostimulant properties it will help to boost your immunity during stressful times when the body’s defences are down.
Susan Curtis & Neal’s Yard Remedies: Essential Oils (Haldane Mason, 2007)