One of my favorite go to essential oils for respiratory support is ravintsara ct. 1.8 cineole (Cinnamomum camphora ct. 1,8 cineole). Like eucalyptus it's rich in -- you guessed it, 1,8 cineole. Research shows this oxide has antimicrobial (1), analgesic (2), anti-inflammatory (2), antispasmodic (3), and mucolytic (4) actions. This oxide has also been shown to increase blood flow to the brain (5), acts as a skin penetration enhancer (6), and has even been shown to inhibit acetylcholinesterase (7)
So ravintsara can help ease aches making it useful in massage. It can help open up airways and help with mucus. It may soothe irritated airways and can kill germs (viruses and bacteria). Cineole can also enhance the absorption of other essential oils, and 1,8 cineole blood levels also correlate with improved cognitive performance. (8) Do you see why it's one of my favorites?
I also run into quite a few people who have allergies to eucaplytus so ravintsara is a fantastic alternative.
I typically use ravintsara in steaming blends, diffuser blends, and inhalers but it would also work great in a bath or massage oil or lotion. I like the aroma of ravintsara but it can be a bit medicinal. I think it's especially wonderful when paired with rosemary, peppermint, and orange. Here's an idea for an inhaler that could be used to fight germs and open airways or to give your brain a boost for study or work. !,8 cineole has been shown to boost cognitive performance after all! (8)
Sinus Support or Brain Booster Inhaler:
1 inhaler preferably with an organic cotton wick
5 drops Ravintsara ct. 1,8 cineole (Cinnamomum camphora ct. 1,8 cineole)
5 drops rosemary (Rosmariuns officinalis) ct. camphor or 1,8 cineole
5 drops orange (Citrus sinensis)
5 drops peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Add essential oils to cotton wick by either:
1. dripping onto cotton housed in open inhaler tube
2. add oils to a small bowl use tweezers to soak cotton wick in oils. Absorb all oils and use tweezers to place cotton wick into inhaler housing.
3. Seal bottom of inhaler.
4. Uncap inhaler and breathe deeply to open airways, boost mood, or support brain function.
5. You can vary the amounts of each oil to your personal liking -- just keep the total drops to about 20.
If you need a good germ fighter, want to open your airways, soothe achy muscles, or give your brain a boost ravintsara fits the bill.
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Examples of research on ravintsara and 1,8, cineole:
1. Sato K, Krist S, Buchbauer G (2007) Antimicrobial effect of vapours of geraniol, (R)-(-)-linalool, terpineol, gamma-terpinene and 1,8-cineole on airborne microbes using an airwasher. Flavour & Fragrance Journal 22:435-43
2. Santos FA, Rao VS (2000) Antiinflammatory and antinociceptive effects of 1,8-cineole a terpenoid oxide present in many plant essential oils. Phytotherapy Research 14:240-244
3. Nascimento NR, Refosco RM, Vasconcelos EC (2009) 1,8-Cineole induces relaxation in rat and guinea-pig airway smooth muscle. Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmacology 61:361-366
4. Kehrl W, Sonnemann U, Dethlefsen U (2004) Therapy for acute nonpurulent rhinosinusitis with cineole: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. 114:738-742
5. Nasel C, Nasel B, Samec P, Schindler E et al (1994) Functional imaging of effects of fragrances on the human brain after prolonged inhalation. Chemcial Senses 19(4):359-364
6. Guimarães, A.G., Quintans, J.S.S. and Quintans-Júnior, L.J. (2013) Monoterpenes with analgesic activity – a systematic review. Phytotherapy Research 27, 1-15.
7. Robert Tisserand Institute, Rosemary boosts brain power!, accessed May 3, 2018: http://roberttisserand.com/2012/03/rosemary-boosts-brain-power/
8. Moss M, Oliver L 2012 Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology doi: 10.1177/2045125312436573