Cart 0

The Plant

Latin name: Cinnamosma fragrans

The Malagasy name of Saro is Mandravasarotra, which means « one that keeps evil away » or « the plant that destroys evil ». It is the most commonly used plant of the island’s western populations.

This plant belongs to the Canellaceae botanical family and grows exclusively in Madagascar (an endemic plant).

With about 10 000 plants that cannot be found anywhere else, Madagascar is an exceptional terroir known for its abundance in medicinal and aromatic plants.

This primitive plant, unique in the world, develops in the form of several varieties, according to the region where it grows.

This green and very aromatic plant is said to generally grow up to 5 meter tall; yet, Olivier Behra’s research has confirmed the presence of some large trees, up to 15 meters in height.

The leaves are shiny, evergreen, small in size (about 10 cm on 2 cm) and short-stalked. The flowers are hermaphrodites and regular. The fruits are smooth-skinned berries, varying widely in shape and size, dehiscent, with 1-15 seeds per fruit.

Everything in this plant can be used – its leaves, bark, fruit and root – due to its rich medicinal properties.




Behra & al. 2009. Saro (Cinnamosma fragrans Baillon) essential oil : Application in Health and Medicine. African Natural Plant Products : New Discoveries and Challenges In Chemistry and Quality. Edited by H. Rodolfo Juliani, James Simon, and Chi-Tang Ho

Arnal-Schnebelen B., Behra O., Rakotoarison C., Escoubas J., Danthu P. 2007. Applications en gynécologie de l'huile essentielle de Cinnamosma fragrans Baillon (commercialisée sous le nom de « Saro »). Phytothérapie, 5 (2) : 73-75.

Behra O. 2005. Research and ecological point of view of aromatic and medicinal plants in Madagascar (article en japonais). Aromatopia. Vol. 14 / n°4 / 2005.

Behra O. 1998. Analyse de la problématique de la valorisation de la biodiversité pour la conservation. 
Office National de l’Environnement de Madagascar. Rapport dans le cadre du sous programme GEF-Programme des Nations Unies pour le Développement /MAG/96/G-31.