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.
What is Copaiba essential oil?
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.
Properties and Composition
Despite the fact that it is not so well known in the west, copaiba essential oil has been fairly well studies and it is known to contain many therapeutic properties and a complex chemical make-up. It contains numerous chemical components but chief among them are:
- 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, anti-fungal, 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
1) 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 skin care 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.
2) For Acne and Psoriasis
Copaiba essential oil contains so many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that it can do wonders for common chronic skin complaints like acne, psoriasis and eczema.
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. (1)
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. (2)
It really does have incredible anti-inflammatory power and is generally considered safe especially when compare 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.
3) 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.
4) 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.
It can help relieve the pain associated with a variety of conditions including headaches, migraines, muscular cramping, back pain, sciatica, gout and arthritis.
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.
5) For Incontinence
Incontinence can be an embarrassing and difficult to treat 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) For Lupus
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.
9) 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.
10) 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 coupe of drops of copaiba oil to a glass of water and gargling with it each morning and evening.
How to Use it
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 wellbeing 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 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.
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 breast feeding but you should consult your doctor before going ahead with its use.