Copaiba trees are considerably branched and grow from 49 – 60 feet high. They produce many small, white flowers on long panicles and small fruit pods with 2-4 seeds inside. There are 35 species of Copaifera, found mainly in tropical South America (particularly in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Guyana, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela). Several different species are used as traditional medicines interchangeably: C. langsdorffii is found mostly in the cerrados of central Brazil, C. reticulata is indigenous to the Amazon region, and C. officinalis occurs widely throughout South America, including the Amazon. All three varieties are used interchangeably.
The part of the tree that is often employed medicinally is the oleoresin that accumulates in cavities within the tree trunk. It is harvested by tapping or drilling holes into the wood of the trunk and collecting the resin that drips out, much in the same manner as harvesting maple syrup. A single copaiba tree can provide about 40 liters of oleoresin annually, making it a sustainable rainforest resource that can be harvested without destroying the tree or the forest in which it grows. When tapped, the initial oily resin is clear, thin, and colorless; it thickens and darkens upon contact with air. Commercially sold resins are a thick, clear liquid, with a color that varies from pale yellow to golden light brown.
Copaiba is considered to be one of the most anti-inflammatory substances on earth, and yet much of the world only uses Copaiba as a lacquer or varnish. However, in traditional medicine, this essential oil has been used extensively by indigenous people and is now spreading around in the world.
The active components in Copaiba essential oil are quite powerful, consisting mainly of terpenes, which are hydrocarbons that can have significant effects on the functioning of our body. Fortunately for us, most of the side effects of the terpenes found in Copaiba essential oil are very beneficial for our health. That being said, if you consume too much of this potent oil, it can cause stomach issues on par with food poisoning. Fortunately, allergies to this essential oil are rare, and it can be used both in topical applications and in a diffused state in aromatherapy.
- Skin care – Copaiba’s active components may help tighten the skin, which can help skin look younger, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and may even strengthen the skin to prevent lesions or wounds as the body ages.
- Scars – Is said to also help heal the skin and infuse the body with powerful nutrients and organic compounds that can eliminate the appearance of blisters, marks, and pimples. In fact, Copaiba essential oil is often topically applied to scars in order to help speed their healing and reduce their visibility.
- Respiratory – In an aromatherapy context, Copaiba essential oil is often turned to by people suffering from some sort of congestive problem or respiratory issue. When inhaled, the soothing nature of the Copaiba essential oil, which is famed as an anti-inflammatory substance, may ease any discomfort and help loosen the tensed muscles and glands that might be causing the irritation.
- Pain – Copaiba oil is often used to help reduce joint pain and loosen muscles, and to ease the discomfort of headaches and migraines.
- Immune System – Used to boost the immune system, protecting from bacteria both inside and out.
- Boosts Mood – Inhale or wear topically to uplift your mood.
- Fungus – Terpene structures said to be found in Copaiba essential oil are considered to be very effective as antifungal agents. If you suffer from athlete’s foot or any sort of nail fungus, applying some Copaiba essential oil should significantly speed up the healing process and protect you from future infections.
- Blood Pressure – If you are interested in boosting heart health and reducing your chances of experiencing a heart attack or a stroke, then adding some Copaiba to your aromatherapy ritual or essential oil regimen might be a very wise choice. The anti-inflammatory, soothing nature of Copaiba essential oil is said to possibly help to relieve the tension and strain in your blood vessels, allowing blood pressure to drop and the strain to disappear from your cardiovascular system. *
How to Use
- For Skin Care, Scars or to Protect Wounds; dilute 1 – 2 drops with 1 Tablespoon of a carrier oil such as jojoba, avocado, sweet almond or coconut and apply to areas that you want to shine, nurture and or protect.
- Fungus – Apply directly to affected area
- Pain – Add 2 – 3 drops to 1 Tablespoon of a carrier oil and massage onto affected areas.
- Respiratory and Heart Health – Copaiba is best used via inhalation or topically; add a few drops to a diffuser and place in an area where you spend most of your time, apply a drop or two on the temples, backs of legs and wrists (dilute first with a carrier oil), add 2 drops to 4 cups of steaming water, drape a towel over your head and inhale the vapors. When feeling congested add 8 – 10 drops with one cup of milk to a nice warm or hot bath, disperse and soak for approximately 15 – 20 minutes.
- Want a nice uplifting boost? Dilute several drops with a carrier oil, massage the oil on your arms, chest, back of neck and legs, wait 5 minutes and then step into a nice warm/hot shower. The heat of the water will open the pores, your skin will absorb the oils and the warm water will create a nice vapor for you to inhale. This is wonderful to do first thing in the morning before starting your day or in the evening when you are ready to relax.Need a diffuser or car diffuser? Take a look at our selection!
* The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only.