Digging Deeper: Copaiba

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(Copaifera officinalis)

Also known as Balsam Copaiba.

Copaiba essential oil is the product of distilling the gum resin tapped from the Brazilian Copaifera reticulata tree, native to the Amazon region of the country. The copaiba tree grows 50-100 feet high and produces tiny white flowers and small nut-like fruit, neither of which are used in the production of the essential oil. Copaiba has been used for various purposes in areas where it grows natively since at least the 16th century.

Indigenous to the tropical regions of South America, mainly Peru, Brazil, Panama, and Venezuela, the tree also is found in South Africa. Copaiba is an evergreen tree, reaching up to 100 feet in height, producing compound leaves and small yellow flowers. The medicinal part is the resinous oil that is bitter to the taste and yellow-brown in colour. It is obtained from drillings into the trunk. A single tree can yield up to forty liters of resin.


 The resin was used by native Brazilians long before the arrival of Europeans. It was introduced into Europe in the 16th century.

In 1625, a Portuguese monk observed that it was used to heal wounds and to remove scars.

As well as being used for medicinal purposes, the resinous oil has also been used for nonmedical purposes, including as an additive to perfumes and varnishes.

Key Actions

  • antimicrobial
  • antiseptic
  • diuretic
  • expectorant
  • laxative
  • stimulant

Key Components

  • volatile oil (30-90% mainly alpha- and beta-caryophyllene, sesquiterpenes, resins, and terpenic acids)

Medicinal Parts

  • Oleo-resin
  • Brazilian researchers found in a 1998 study that there was less damage to the stomach tissue and concluded that the resin increased mucus production that acted as an antacid.

Traditional Uses

 Copaiba is used mainly in Brazil for infections of the urinary and respiratory tracts, as well as for kidney stones and gonorrhea. It irritates the mucous membranes and promotes the coughing up of phlegm.

Tintures are used in homeopathic medicine for bronchitis and catarrh, as well as chronic cystitis, diarrhea, and hemorrhoids.

It has also been used as a styptic for wounds and ulcers to promote healing. Infusions are used to wash wounds, eczema, and other skin diseases.

Sourced from https://www.cloverleaffarmherbs.com/copaiba/

Aromatic Profile
Fresh, subtle, woodsy aroma

Features & Benefits

Can be massaged into fatigued areas after activity

Can be applied to skin to promote the appearance of a youthful, radiant glow
Provides a calming aroma

Can be diffused to create a warm, inviting environment
Has a pleasant, complex taste

Can be used to support general wellness
Key Constituents


Germacrene D





Healers and curandneros in the Amazon use copaiba resin for all types of pain and inflammatory disorders, both internal (stomach ulcers and cancer) and external (skin disorders and insect bites).

In Peruvian traditional medicine, three or four drops of the resin are mixed with a spoonful of honey and taken as a natural sore throat remedy. It is also employed in Peruvian and Brazilian herbal medicine systems as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic for the urinary tract (cystitis, bladder, and kidney disorders) and in the treatment of urinary problems, stomach ulcers, syphilis, tetanus, bronchitis, and tuberculosis.

In Brazilian herbal medicine, the resin is highly regarded as a strong antiseptic and expectorant for the respiratory tract (including bronchitis and sinusitis) and as an antiseptic gargle. It is a popular home remedy in Brazil for sore throats and tonsillitis (1/2 teaspoon of resin is added to warm water).

Note: The word “Copal” is derived from the Spanish word for incense (copelli) and can refer to any number of different resinous gums or exudates from trees in Malaysia and South America. Copals are known as black (Protium copal), white (blanco) (Bursera bipinnata), gold (oro) (H. Courbaril), and Brazilian (Copaifera lansdorfi or reticulata). Only the Brazilian copal or copaiba has a GRAS [Generally Regarded As Safe] distinction in the U.S. and has the most published research on its anti-inflammatory effects.

Medical Properties: Anti-inflammatory (powerful), neuroprotective, antimicrobial, anxiolytic, mucolytic, antiulcer, anticancer, antiseptic, kidney stone preventative

Uses: Pain relief (strong anti-inflammatory), arthritis, rheumatism, cancer, skin disorders (psoriasis), insect bites, stomach distress, urinary disorders, sore throat, anxiety

Excerpted from The Essential Oils Desk Reference, Seventh Edition, page 81

Copaiba oil has high levels of beta-caryophyllene and a uniquely sweet aromatic profile, which helps create a relaxing atmosphere when it is diffused or applied topically.

Copaiba is a great addition to your daily routine and skin care. Add it to a neutral moisturizer to utilize its natural fragrance and moisturizing properties. It can also be applied following activity for a comforting cooldown.


  • Dilute with V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex and massage on fatigued areas after exercise for a relaxing cooldown. To add a cooling sensation, combine Copaiba with Peppermint or Wintergreen essential oils.
  • Create a natural beard oil with Copaiba, a lightweight carrier oil, and a complementary oil such as Northern Lights Black Spruce or Peppermint.
  • Diffuse it to create a warm, inviting space. Create a custom blend by adding oils such as Cedarwood or Cinnamon Bark.

Copaiba Vitality™ essential oil has a robust, earthy flavor with notes of honey. When taken internally, it can promote overall wellness and may be an important part of a daily health regimen. Add a few drops of Copaiba Vitality to a cup of herbal tea to enjoy its wellness benefits and a relaxing moment.


  • Add 2 drops of Copaiba Vitality to a capsule and take it daily as a dietary supplement.
  • Mix Copaiba Vitality into herbal tea, such as chamomile or rooibos, to enjoy its complex, soothing flavor.
  • Stir a couple of drops into a glass of water or green juice to promote overall wellness.

Spa Foot Soak


  • ¼ cup Epsom salt
  • 2 drops Copaiba essential oil
  • 2 drops PanAway® essential oil blend
  • Warm water


  1. Mix the Epsom salt and essential oils in a small bowl.
  2. Add the salt mixture to warm water.
  3. Sit back, relax, and let your feet soak for 15–30 minutes.

Sourced from https://www.youngliving.com/blog/essential-oils-for-when-you-are-in-a-bad-mood/

Thank you for digging deeper into Copaiba with me. I am very passionate about herbs, oils, and the education of their uses.

Please remember that essential oils are very concentrated products and should never be ingested unless specifically labeled for such use.

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Finally, the obligatory disclaimer.

I am not a doctor. None of the statements included in this post have been approved by the FDA or any other cool acronym known agency. It is Young Living’s official stance that they and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific disease or illness. Young Living Independent Distributor #14632733

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