Balsam (Copaiba) Essential Oil – Wild
- Distillation Method: Steam
- Country of Origin: Brazil
- Plant Part: Resin
- Latin Name: Copaifera officinalis
- Cultivation: Wild Grown
About the Oil: This Copaiba essential oil, known for its high levels of beta caryophyllene and sweet aroma, is steam distilled from the gum resin tapped from the Copaiba tree in Brazil.
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About The Plant
Copaiba oil comes from trees in the genus Copaifera. These are leguminous trees, commonly found in Amazon rainforest (South America). These trees have tall trunks and branch out only at the top. Harvesting is done without harming trees by simply collecting the resin naturally produced. They secrete a sticky, viscous liquid called oleoresin. This transparent resin is then used to extract Copaiba essential oil using steam distillation process.
About The Oil
The resin of the Copaifera langsdorfii tree is of the collected and distilled to a fairly viscous, moderately dark oil. The aroma is truly heavenly – both sweet and earthy at the same time; a favorite of some of the staff here. We've also found the aroma improves with age (as would Sandalwood), getting smoother and more complex.
This soothing, balancing oil is wonderful by itself for those who enjoy its complex aroma. It also has a host of therapeutic benefits. 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. Copaiba oil is exceptionally rich in a special nutrient called beta-caryophyllene. This substance is its chief anti-inflammatory component. Copaiba oil contains roughly 70% beta caryophyllene, which is 6 – 8 times the amount found in clove essential oil (known as a superlative antioxidant). Considered one of the most anti-inflammatory substances on earth, yet much of the world only uses Copaiba as a lacquer or varnish.
Copaiba may be relatively new to the rest of the world, however, this essential oil has been used extensively by indigenous people of the Amazon and surrounding areas such as Peru for almost everything under the sun, and for at least four centuries. It is said that warriors of the Amazon region would rub the raw resin over their bodies after tribal conflicts. One of Copaiba Balsam essential oil's first recorded use as a medicine by Western scientists was the reduction of infections in newborns by application to the umbilicus. Copaiba is also known as copal in resin form.
THERAPEUTICS DESCRIBED BY AROMATHERAPY SPECIALISTS
From Tiziana M.’s The Big Book of Aromatherapy1:
Balancing & soothing
Uplifts the mind & body
Used in perfumery
From Valerie Ann Worwood’s The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Revised and Expanded2:
PROPERTIES OF COPAIBA BALSAM REPORTED IN PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH
Copaiba balsam has an extremely high content of β-caryophyllene (~70%), a compound which has been studied extensively and has been found to have many therapeutic properties.
SUMMARY OF RESEARCH STUDIES
In a small, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on subjects diagnosed with type 1 acne vulgaris, application of a gel containing copaiba balsam, twice a day for 21 days, significantly reduced the amount of skin surface affected with acne.3
Copaiba oil significantly inhibited the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a bacterial strain known to be responsible for tooth decay.4
Copaiba oil exhibited strong antibacterial activity against multiple strains of Gram-positive bacteria, including MRSA, in vitro.5
β-caryophyllene was found to have a significant local anesthetic effect in both rats and rabbits.6
Investigating the mechanism of β-caryophyllene’s pain-relieving activity, researchers discovered that it interacts with cannabinoid and opioid receptors, blocking pain sensation and increasing the efficacy of morphine.7
β-caryophyllene showed significant antioxidant activity and induced colon cancer death in vitro. The researchers propose that it "has great potential to be further developed as a promising chemotherapeutic agent against colorectal malignancies".8
β-caryophyllene has been found to stop the spread of some cancer cells and cause tumor cell death without harming normal cells in vitro.9
β-caryophyllene showed significant reduction in depression-like and anxiety-like behaviors in rats. "Taken together, these preclinical results suggest that CB2 receptors may provide alternative therapeutic targets for the treatment of anxiety and depression. The possibility that BCP may ameliorate the symptoms of these mood disorders offers exciting prospects for future studies."10
β-caryophyllene(BCP) was shown to significantly reduce colitis (inflammation of the colon) in mice and researchers say the results "suggest BCP as a possible therapy for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease".11
β-caryophyllene significantly protected against liver damage in rats given experimental toxins. This protective effect is likely due to its radical scavenging antioxidant activity.12
β-caryophyllene had a significant protective effect against kidney damage and toxicity in rodents. "Given the excellent safety profile of BCP in humans it has tremendous therapeutic potential in a multitude of diseases associated with inflammation and oxidative stress."13
β-caryophyllene was found to significantly reduce neural inflammation and demyelination in an animal model of multiple sclerosis.14
As an element of aromatherapy, copaiba essential oil has often been used to lighten the spirits, reduce stress and improve mood. There aren't many essential oils that have such a sweet, pleasant smell of rich honey. The combination of the scent and its gentle effects on emotional balance can significantly improve your day.
When inhaled, the soothing nature of the copaiba essential oil, which is famed as an anti-inflammatory substance, can ease any discomfort and loosen the tensed muscles and glands that might be causing respiratory irritation.
Dilute for sensitive skin.
Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, copaiba is excellent for skin care, especially on aging skin.
For blemishes: Take 2 drops of this oil on a cotton ball and apply it directly (without diluting ) on acne affected areas daily. It kills acne-causing bacteria and reduces redness around the acne, making it much less noticeable.
For stretch marks and cars: Copaiba oil can be applied directly on stretch marks and scars to fade them. Massage into affected areas.
On insect bites: Use copaiba oil on a bite to quickly reduce swelling and get relief.
As a disinfectant: The strong antimicrobial nature of copaiba essential oil can act as a major booster for your immune system. It can act as a shield for your skin, protecting wounds, and can protect you internally.
Copaiba oil can be used internally as a natural supplement to boost overall health and help reduce systemic inflammation. DO NOT SWALLOW THE OIL DIRECTLY. Instead, add only 2 drops to a capsule. Take no more than 3 capsules in a day.
Copaiba Balsam essential oil is a base note that has the following qualities: Balsamic, Earthy, Exotic and Sensual, Resinous, Sweet, Warm and Radiant.
Always test a small amount of essential oil first for sensitivity or allergic reaction. Allergy to this oil is rare but if there is , then one should discontinue its use at once.
If pregnant or under a doctor's care, consult your physician.
Copaiba essential oil is safe to consume internally in dosage mentioned above. However, in large doses it can cause stomach pain and signs similar to food poisoning.
1. M., Tiziana. The Big Book of Aromatherapy. Tiziana M., 2017.
2. Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Revised and Expanded: Over 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty, And. New World Library, 2016.
3. Da Silva, Ary Gomes, et al. “Application of the Essential Oil from Copaiba (Copaifera Langsdorffii Desf.) for Acne Vulgaris: a Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial.” Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 17, no. 1, 2012, pp. 69–75.
4. Pieri, Fábio Alessandro, et al. “Bacteriostatic Effect of Copaiba Oil (Copaifera Officinalis) against Streptococcus Mutans.” Brazilian Dental Journal, vol. 23, no. 1, 2012, pp. 36–38., doi:10.1590/s0103-64402012000100006.
5. Oliveira dos Santos, Adriana, et al. “Antimicrobial Activity of Brazilian Copaiba Oils Obtained from Different Species of the Copaifera Genus.” Memórias Do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, vol. 103, no. 3, 2008, pp. 277–281., doi:10.1590/s0074-02762008005000015.
6. Ghelardini, C., et al. “Local Anaesthetic Activity of β-Caryophyllene.” Il Farmaco, vol. 56, no. 5-7, 2001, pp. 387–389., doi:10.1016/s0014-827x(01)01092-8.
7. Katsuyama, S., et al. “Involvement of Peripheral Cannabinoid and Opioid Receptors in βâ€Caryophylleneâ€Induced Antinociception.” European Journal of Pain, vol. 17, no. 5, May 2013, pp. 664-675.
8. Dahham, Saad, et al. “The Anticancer, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties of the Sesquiterpene β-Caryophyllene from the Essential Oil of Aquilaria Crassna.” Molecules, vol. 20, no. 7, 2015, pp. 11808–11829., doi:10.3390/molecules200711808.
9. Amiel, Eitan, et al. “β-Caryophyllene, a Compound Isolated from the Biblical Balm of Gilead (Commiphora Gileadensis), Is a Selective Apoptosis Inducer for Tumor Cell Lines.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2012, 2012, pp. 1–8., doi:10.1155/2012/872394.
10. Bahi, Amine, et al. “β-Caryophyllene, a CB2 Receptor Agonist Produces Multiple Behavioral Changes Relevant to Anxiety and Depression in Mice.” Physiology & Behavior, vol. 135, Aug. 2014, pp. 119–124., doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.06.003.
11. Bento, Allisson Freire, et al. “β-Caryophyllene Inhibits Dextran Sulfate Sodium-Induced Colitis in Mice through CB2 Receptor Activation and PPARγ Pathway.” The American Journal of Pathology, vol. 178, no. 3, 2011, pp. 1153–1166., doi:10.1016/j.ajpath.2010.11.052.
12. Calleja, Miguel Angel, et al. “The Antioxidant Effect of β-Caryophyllene Protects Rat Liver from Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Fibrosis by Inhibiting Hepatic Stellate Cell Activation.” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 109, no. 03, 14 Feb. 2013, pp. 394–401., doi:10.1017/s0007114512001298.
13. Horváth, Béla, et al. “β-Caryophyllene Ameliorates Cisplatin-Induced Nephrotoxicity in a Cannabinoid 2 Receptor-Dependent Manner.” Free Radical Biology and Medicine, vol. 52, no. 8, 2012, pp. 1325–1333., doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2012.01.014.
14. Alberti, Thaís Barbosa, et al. “(−)-β-Caryophyllene, a CB2 Receptor-Selective Phytocannabinoid, Suppresses Motor Paralysis and Neuroinflammation in a Murine Model of Multiple Sclerosis.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 18, 1 Apr. 2017, p. 691., doi:10.3390/ijms18040691.