Copaiba trees are legends of the Amazon. These trees are renowned by traditional medical circles for their thick resin that can be used to ease pain and support immunity. The essential oil is increasingly common today and can be found from major retailers like Young Living. Discover more about copaiba essential oil uses and benefits right here.
What is Copaiba Essential Oil?
Copaiba oil is derived from the copaiba tree. There are dozens of different copaiba species though the most common in essential oil production are Copaifera officinalis, Copaifera langsdorffii, and Copaifera reticulata. The tree can be found throughout South America, particularly in the Brazilian Amazon.
The trees produce a balsam resin that is extracted much like maple syrup is extracted from maple trees. A hole is made in the tree trunk and pipes are used to collect the oil resin. The oil contains high amounts of sesquiterpene hydrocarbons including beta-caryophyllene.
The oleoresin has been used in traditional medicine since the 16th century and the essential oil is extracted directly from this resin using a process of steam distillation. The oil is commonly blended with frankincense essential oil, ylang-ylang oil, and peppermint oil. It can also be combined with sandalwood oil, cedarwood oil, neroli oil, and cannabinoid oils in a diffuser. Read on to discover copaiba oil benefits and uses.
Copaiba Essential Oil Uses and Health Benefits
Copaiba oil contains compounds that boast anti-inflammatory properties. Animal studies on rats found that copaiba oil worked to reduce the immune response that results in inflammation (1). Another mouse study also found that copaiba oil worked to suppress inflammatory cytokines. In addition, the oil helped to reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals that can lead to serious cellular breakdown (2).
The anti-inflammatory properties of copaiba oil may also help to decrease pain by increasing circulation and reducing swelling. A study published in Complementary Therapy and Clinical Practice examined the pain relief effects of copaiba oil on humans with hand arthritis.
The study consisted of 36 patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were given copaiba oil or coconut oil placebo daily for five days. Researchers found that patients who applied copaiba oil had improved finger strength, better finger movement, and decreased pain (3).
Copaiba oil boasts antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help support a healthy immune system. Research published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding found that even small amounts of copaiba oil were effective in eliminating certain strains of Staphylococcus aureus — a virus known to cause skin care problems including infections (4).
Side Effects of Copaiba Essential Oil Use
Copaiba essential oil can cause skin irritation when applied topically, especially for people with sensitive skin. Never apply copaiba oil directly to the skin. Instead, combine a few drops of copaiba oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil to dilute the essential oil when applying topically.
We do not recommend the internal use of copaiba essential oils or most other essential oils. If you do decide to ingest essential oils, talk to a qualified aromatherapist for the proper dosage and safety requirements. The best ways to use copaiba oil are to apply it topically with a carrier oil or as part of massage or aromatherapy.
The Food and Drug Administration does not approve the use of copaiba oil in the treatment of any ailments including joint pain. If you want to use copaiba oil, talk to a doctor who can help you understand any potential side effects and potential medication interactions.
Keep essential oils like copaiba oil out of reach of children as they may be harmful if ingested. Essential oils should not be used on children under the age of two years old. Always talk to a qualified healthcare provider before using essential oils on yourself or children.
Copaiba Oil For Immunity
Copaiba oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties that make it an excellent immune support. The oil may help fight bacteria that cause infections and even skincare problems like blemishes and breakouts. The scent of the oil may help to soothe and relax the nervous system when added to a diffuser.