What is Copaiba Essential Oil?
It may not be as well-known as some of the other essential oils having very recently come to prominence but copaiba essential oil has been used by the indigenous population of South America for hundreds of years to treat many ailments.
Copaiba essential oil is derived from the balsamic resin of the copaiba trees known scientifically as Copaifera officinalis and Copaifera langsdorffi and native to the Amazon rainforest of South America.
The giant copaiba trees have very tall trunks and branches at the top from which they secrete a viscous and sticky liquid known as oleoresin.
The essential oil is extracted from this resinous material through a process of steam distillation.
The resin may change color depending on the essential oil to resin ratio however once it has been distilled, the essential oil produced should be a very pale yellow color.
The taste is slightly bitter and the fragrance is reminiscent of balsam.
Copaiba Essential Oil Properties and Composition
Despite the fact that it is not so well known in the west, copaiba essential oil has been fairly well studied and it is known to contain many therapeutic properties and a complex chemical makeup.
It contains numerous chemical components but chief active components are (1),(2):
- Daniellic acid
Copaiba essential oil is considered to be one of the best natural anti-inflammatory substances in the world but apart from its anti-inflammatory abilities, it also boasts antibacterial, analgesic, antifungal, expectorant and anti-depressant properties.
And that is not all, this wonderful oil also has the potential to aid digestion, heal wounds, stimulate focus and support the immune system.
Copaiba Essential Oil Benefits
For the Skin
Copaiba essential oil is just wonderful for your skin. Add it to your beauty routine to help you generate healthier looking and firmer feeling skin.
It can help moisturize, tone and rejuvenate sagging and tired looking skin. It does this by boosting the skin’s production of collagen which helps make it firmer and more elastic.
Just add a few drops of copaiba to your regular skin creams or add a few drops to a damp cotton ball and apply it to your face daily as part of your daily skincare routine.
As well as simply making your skin feel vibrant and alive, copaiba essential oil can help deal with scarring and chronic skin conditions which we will explore below.
For Acne and Psoriasis
Adding a few drops of copaiba essential oil to a damp cotton ball and applying it to the affected areas of your skin will reduce the pimples associated with an acne breakout and soothe the inflammation and redness associated with both acne and psoriasis.
One study found that treatment with a 1% solution of copaiba essential oil significantly reduced the appearance of acne. (3)
Another study found that copaiba essential oil reduced the redness and scaling in people with psoriasis because of its ability to inhibit pro-inflammatory molecules. (4)
It really does have incredible anti-inflammatory power and is generally considered safe especially when compared to the over the counter chemical-laden medications that so many people use.
Give it a go and say goodbye to your skin problems for good.
For Scars and Stretch Marks
The great thing about copaiba is that it not only helps treat the skin in general but it can also help reduce the unwanted appearance of unsightly scars and stretch marks especially when it is used consistently for a longer period of time.
To get rid of scaring and stretch marks, you should dilute your copaiba essential oil with a skin-friendly healing oil like coconut or olive oil and apply the mixture to your stretch marks or scars each day for as long as it takes.
As with all scar treatments, do not be disappointed when it does not work immediately.
It takes time but eventually you should see a massive improvement in the appearance of your scars.
For Pain Relief
When it comes to pain relief, copaiba essential oil is an absolute stand out. It has excellent natural analgesic properties which are even better than some of the best-known pain relieving essential oils like clove and wintergreen.
To treat your headache, you can combine your copaiba oil with a base oil and apply it to your temples, neck, and forehead.
For muscle pains or arthritis, make up a massage oil with your favorite carrier oil and gently rub it into the affected areas of your body.
Incontinence can be an embarrassing and difficult to treat the condition in children and adults. It is caused by the inability to control the muscles in the urinary tract leading to bed-wetting.
- By applying a few drops of copaiba oil to the lower regions of the abdomen before bed, you can prevent incontinence which will not only save your embarrassment but also help you to achieve a good night of sleep.
For Emotional Health
Copaiba has a delightful aroma that many people find sweet and reminiscent of warm honey. This wonderful fragrance when inhaled can put you in a lighter frame of mind and alleviate any feelings of anxiety and stress that you may be feeling.
Essential oils like copaiba are a much safer alternative to prescription medications when it comes to emotional well-being.
Of course, there is no guarantee that they will work but the same goes for prescription medications and unlike those stronger drugs, essential oils like copaiba do not come along with the risk of side effect or addiction.
Many people find relief from stress and anxiety with aromatherapy but it is important to remember that just because it works for one person, it will not necessarily have the same effect on another.
It is worth trying a variety of essential oils until you find the one that works best for you.
For Wounds and Bites
Because of its wonderful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial actions, copaiba essential oil is a great antidote to minor wounds, scrapes, burns, and bites. It can soothe the pain, reduce any swelling and most importantly it can prevent the spread of dangerous infection.
- All you need to do is apply a dab or two of your essential oil to the affected area of your skin.
It is, of course, important to dilute your essential oil with a carrier oil to avoid the possibility of allergic reaction and to avoid applying it to open wounds.
There is also scientific evidence that copaiba essential oil can is effective against certain diseases caused by a parasite. Leishmainiasis is a disease caused by a parasite and spread by the bite of a certain type of sand fly. Leishmaniasis causes ulcers and skin lesions to form.
A study, pulished in 2011, looked at the effect of copaiba oil on mice with the cutaneous form of the disease. The researchers found that copaiba oil was effective against the disease when given orally or in combination with topical treatment. Both forms of treatment resulted in a significant reduction in the size of the lesions. (5)
Because of its incredibly high concentration of beta-caryophyllene, copaiba essential oil is a remarkable anti-inflammatory remedy. It not only helps reduce inflammation but also inhibits feelings of pain associated with conditions like lupus, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and gout.
For Rheumatism and Arthritis
The anti-inflammatory properties of copaiba essential oil are beyond compare and this makes it an absolute boon for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, gout or generally painful joints and muscles.
- Simply dilute your copaiba oil with a suitable base oil and massage it into your muscles and painful joints. You will definitely notice the difference.
For Sore Throats
There are several popular ways to treat a sore throat with copaiba oil.
- Try adding a few drops of your copaiba essential oil to a teaspoon of good quality honey and sucking on it for instant relief.
- Alternatively, you can make a gargle by adding a couple of drops of copaiba oil to a glass of water and gargling with it each morning and evening.
According to studies, copaiba essential oil has very powerful anti-inflammatory potential giving it the potential to treat a wide range of conditions. Inflammation is actually linked to a wide range of diseases from heart disease to arthritis and may have potential in future treatments being developed.
A study, published in 2014, looked at the effects of copaiba essential oil resin on mice with multiple sclerosis. The researchers found that the treatment had two main effects : (6)
- Treatment with copaiba oil reduced the production of certain molecules linked to inflammation.
- Treatment with copaiba oil reduced the level of free radicals that can cause cell damage.
Another study, published in 2017, examined the effects of the oil on tongue injuries in rats. Treatment with copaiba essential oil resin resulted in a reduction in immune cells linked to inflammation. (7)
Another study published in the following year examined the effect of the oil on colitis in rats. The researchers found that treatment with copaiba oil resin helped reduce inflammation but did not prevent damage to the colon. (8)
Studies have also revealed that copaiba essential oil has antimicrobial properties making it effective against several bacterial strains.
A study, published in 2016, looked at the effect of copaiba-oil resin on q common bacterial strain – Staphylococcus aureas. The researchers found copaiba oil to be effective against the bacteria, even in low concentrations. (9)
Another study, published in the same year, confirmed the antibacterial effects of copaiba oil when it was used against a species of Streptococcus present on the teeth.. The researchers notes that a gel made with copaiba oil resin was effective against this bacterial strain and several others. (10)
How to Use Copaiba Essential Oil
So now that you know how effective that copaiba essential oil can be, I am sure that you are keen to know how you can use it. Like other essential oils, your choice depends on the condition you are treating.
The following methods of use are among the most popular:
- Inhalation: diffuse your copaiba oil or inhale it directly to help your emotional well-being and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
- Massage: dilute your copaiba oil with a base oil and massage it into the areas of your body that need attention. This is a great way to deal with muscle pain, rheumatism, lupus, and gout.
- Topical application for the skin: add a few drops of copaiba essential oil to a cotton ball and apply it to the skin to deal with acne, psoriasis, eczema or just to help your skin achieve a more healthy beautiful appearance.
- Ingestion: Ingesting essential oils is a controversial topic and many experts regard it as a dangerous practice. Having said that, there is another school of thought that certain essential oils can be ingested in low doses. Copaiba is among the oils that many people consider safe to ingest. It is recommended that you add a few drops to an empty capsule rather than swallowing it directly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Copaiba essential oil used for?
Copaiba essential oil has a number of potential uses. It is widely used on the skin to treat a wide range of inflammatory skin conditions and to help heal minor wounds. Copaiba essential oil can also be used for pain relief, arthritis and muscle pain while it is also a popular choice for treating emotional issues like anxiety or stress.
Can I diffuse Copaiba?
Like most essential oils, you can diffuse copaiba essential oil. It is often diffused to improve mood and to help ease stress and anxiety.
What are the side effects of copaiba oil?
Copaiba essential oil is safe for topical use as long as it is diluted with a carrier oil before you apply it to the skin. It should never be taken internally and pregnant women should consult their doctor before using it.
Is copaiba good for arthritis?
Studies have found that copaiba essential oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It is commonly used typically to treat sore muscles and swollen joints. It may be a good, natural remedy for arthritis and other conditions that cause painful joints.
Precautions and Side Effects
- Do not ingest copaiba essential oil unless you are under the supervision of a medical expert.
- Dilute your copaiba oil with a carrier oil or water before applying it to your skin.
- There are no indications that copaiba oil is unsafe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding but you should consult your doctor before going ahead with its use.
Copaiba oil-resin is derived from the copaiba tree and has been used traditionally for a very long time. research suggests that it has excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as good antmicrobial effects.
The bulk of the research done so far has focused on the copaiba oil-resin using animal subjects. Nevertheless, some promising results have been found. However, more research is necessary before we can fully understand the oil’s potential.
It is a popular choice for dealing with a wide range of common skin conditions. Make sure that you dilute the oil well in a carrier oil before applying it to your skin and avoid ingesting it.