Copaiba Essential Oil is the most powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient on the planet. It is unique in its composition, micro-nutrients and properties. Copaiba oil’s most prominent application is in reducing pain and inflammation anywhere on the body, and even inside it. Although it is very strongly anti inflammatory, it is still safe to be taken internally. This is surprising, as most essential oils are very harmful if ingested.
( Photo courtesy : Wikipedia )
Copaiba oil comes from trees in the genus Copaifera. These are leguminous trees, commonly found in Amazon rainforest (South America ). Amazon rainforest still doesn’t stop amazing us with its unique flora and fauna. It is immensely diverse and is the source for many medicines. Copaiba may be relatively new to the entire world, but traditionally, it has been used by the native people for at least 4 centuries.
These trees have tall trunks and branch out only at the top. They secrete a sticky, viscous liquid ( called oleoresin ). This transparent resin is then used to extract Copaiba essential oil using steam distillation process.
( Photo courtesy : mauroguanandi )
The resin is yellowish to brown in color, but Copaiba oil is clear white.
Here we dive into the established properties of Copaiba oil. These are actually the effects which it produces upon consumption, or application.
- Anti – Inflammatory – It is widely touted as the best anti-inflammatory substance.
- Cicatrizant – promotes healing of injuries by faster formation of scar or scab
- Disinfectant – assists in cleaning out wounds, scrapes etc to prevent any infection by pathogens.
- Emollient – fancy word for moisturizers
- Astringent – shrinks skin tissue ( this has several cosmetic applications, as we shall see below )
- Expectorant – aids in expelling phlegm
- Anti Cancer to certain cancers, like skin cancer and stomach cancer
- Hypotensive – aids in lowering down blood pressure
Many more effects may be present in this miraculous oil which should come up with more research work.
Uses And Health Benefits
Because of its properties, Copaiba essential oil has a plethora of uses. Most of the uses are in the form of topical application agent, and it works fantastic for many conditions.
Let’s look into into the applications of Copaiba oil.
Copaiba Essential Oil for Skin
It is absolutely amazing for getting healthier skin. In fact, copaiba oil is also generally safe to be applied in sensitive skin area , where most other essential oils may not be applicable.
Take 2 drops of this oil on a cotton ball and apply it directly ( without diluting ) on active acne. It shouldn’t sting. Wait for 2 – 3 hours. The area affected by the acne reduces considerably.
Because of its super anti-inflammatory power, it reduces redness around the acne, making it much less noticeable. Use this trick daily and acne should be much less inflamed.
Copaiba oil can be applied directly on stretch marks to fade them. If you feel stretch marks with adequate attention, it is easily noticed that these are depressions in skin. Apply copaiba oil as massage oil on these scars. The depression starts to fill up in a few weeks. Use this in conjugation with olive oil to fade away the stretch marks.
Apply it direct on skin areas which are sagging. Copaiba oil boosts secretion of collagen and elastin to make skin firm and taut.
Copaiba oil is excellent for treating varicose veins. It improves blood circulation of veins close to skin, allowing them to drain back and reduce pooled blood. This gets rid of varicose veins. No more compression garments to trouble your legs !
Copaiba Oil For Pain Relief
This oil really stands out as a natural pain relief. This property is used in many products as well. In fact, its pain relieving effects can be even stronger than Wintergreen essential oil, which is well renowned for pain relief. Whatever be the cause of pain, this oil helps in lowering down the sensation of pain.
- Arthritis and gout
- Pain due to an injury. If there is a cut or wound, apply it on outer edges of wound to lower inflammation and pain caused by stretching of skin during scab formation.
- Muscular cramp pain
- Fibromyalgia – This is very helpful for people with fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Back joint pain and sciatica – Use deep massage to relieve sciatica using this oil.
( Photo courtesy : bethscupham )
Using this oil before a chiropractic session helps to achieve much better results, as noted by many chiropractors.
Against Urinary Incontinence
Children who have the issue of bedwetting, or even adults who have difficulty in controlling the flow of urine can make use of this oil. Apply this oil in generous amount on lower abdomen and massage. It helps to tone muscles of bladder and urinary tract, thus reducing the incidences of incontinence.
Copaiba Oil in Sitz Bath
If you never heard of it, sitz bath is a bath taken for the lower part of body only. It is used to relieve hemorrhoids and problems of genital region, like bacterial or fungal infections.
Add 8 – 10 drops of copaiba oil in sitz bath. Its mild antimicorbial properties help in getting rid of infections. It improves blood circulation and helps in hemorrhoids pain too.
Hate it when wasps bite me. It swells up and causes throbbing pain. There are myriad of insects in our world, and many of them bite. Use copaiba oil on the bite to quickly reduce swelling and get relief.
Many DIY enthusiasts make their own soap at home. Its pretty easy. In that process, adding copaiba oil imparts mild fragrance to soap, which is great.
Lighten up your spirits
Smelling copaiba oil helps to lighten up tense mood as it has nice and sweet honey like aroma.
Copaiba oil can be used internally as a natural health supplement to boost health, lower systemic inflammation and also as preventive measure against cancer. It provides a wide range of health benefits. One can add it to foods, drinks, juices etc if the taste seems fine and palatable.
How to take it internally ?
You cannot just swallow the oil directly, which may be somewhat harmful. Instead, add only 2 drops to a capsule. Then gulp the capsule down. Take no more than 3 such capsules in a day.
This works similar to fish oil in lowering inflammation all over the body. The effects may take time to be evident, but when they do, they are striking.
Side Effects and Toxicity Issues
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. Allergy to this oil is rare but if there is , then one should discontinue its use at once.
The traditional uses of Copaiba oil and the Copaiba balsam ( that resin ) far exceed the uses mentioned today. It has been used by the native people of Amazon and surrounding places like Peru for almost everything under the sun. It is used to treat tumors, heal bladder cystitis, relieve asthma, cure tonsillitis and for many skin conditions. Now, that’s more than an impressive list of uses.
Even the resin obtained from these trees is used as a medicinal agent, in many cases mixing it with honey.
Medical and Nutritional Information
Copaiba oil is exceptionally rich in a special nutrient called beta caryophyllene. This substance is the chief anti-inflammatory nutrient in this oil. Copaiba oil is 50 % beta caryophyllene which is 6 – 8 times the amount found in clove essential oil. Clove oil is the best antioxidant in the world. Copaiba oil however surpasses its anti-inflammatory capabilities.
This oil has many other anti-inflammatory nutrients in the form of sesquiterpenes, beta caryophyllene is one of them. This oil also contains anti irritant substances like alpha humulene.
This amazing essential oil from Amazon is rare, but it is certainly very powerful.
( Photo courtesy : David Evers )
What’s new about Copaiba Essential Oil ?
This oil is the subject of a few studies. It has been found to have anti edema effects. It helps to reduce excess build up of fluid in the body. It has also been found to be useful in alleviating dermatitis induced by harmful chemicals.
Nutrient Composition of Copaiba Essential Oil
|Alpha humulene||–||Anti irritant|
1. Chemical composition and anti-inflammatory activity of Copaiba Oils from Copaifera cearensis Huber ex Ducke, Copaifera reticulata Ducke and Copaifera multijuga Hayne – a comparative study . – Junior et al
2. Study of high dilutions of Copaiba oil on inflammatory process – Viriato et al.