Copaiba oil comes from copaiba trees. There are more than 70 species of copaiba trees that have been identified, many of them in South and Central America.
Copaiba trees naturally produce copaiba oil-resin. This is extracted from the tree by punching a hole into the trunk. A pipe is then inserted into the hole, allowing the oil-resin to flow out. Copaiba oil-resin collected from several trees is often mixed.
Copaiba oil benefits and uses The people who live in areas where copaiba trees grow have long used copaiba oil-resin for a variety of different purposes. Some of these include:
as an anti-inflammatory
to promote wound healing
to provide pain relief
to treat a wide variety of infections, including bladder infections, gonorrhea, and strep throat
to treat infections from the parasite that causes leishmaniasis
as an aphrodisiac
in cosmetic products, such as soaps, lotions, and shampoos
So far, many of the potential benefits of copaiba oil-resin and copaiba oil are based on anecdotal reports. However, that’s not to say that researchers haven’t been investigating the possible benefits as well. While many of the studies have been conducted on animals, the results have for the most part been promising. Let’s take a look at what some of the research says so far.
Anti-inflammatory Inflammation is associated with a variety of diseases and conditions. Because of this, research into the anti-inflammatory effects of copaiba could have an effect on the development of future treatments.A 2014 study assessed the effects of copaiba oil-resin in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS). They found that treatment with copaiba oil-resin did two things:
lowered production of some molecules that are associated with inflammation
lowered the amount of oxygen radicals, which can lead to cell damage
Another 2017 study in rats looked at the effects of copaiba oil-resin treatment on tongue injury. The tongue tissue of rats treated with copaiba oil-resin showed a lower presence of immune cells associated with inflammation. A study from 2018 evaluated the effect of copaiba oil-resin in a rat model of colitis. They found that although copaiba oil-resin reduced inflammation and oxygen radicals, it didn’t prevent colon damage.
Antimicrobial activity One study from 2016 evaluated the antimicrobial activity of copaiba oil-resin against a standard strain of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause skin and wound infections. Researchers found that even low concentrations of copaiba oil-resin were able to inhibit bacterial growth.
Another 2016 study assessed the activity of a copaiba oil-resin gel on Streptococcus bacteria species present on teeth. The study found that the gel had antimicrobial activity against all species that were tested. However, more research is needed to determine the nature and efficacy of this activity.
Pain relief A 2018 study compared the effect of massage with copaiba essential oil and Deep Blue essential oil in people with arthritis. They found that when compared to massage with coconut oil, the copaiba and Deep Blue blend led to a decrease in pain scores, an increase in finger strength, and improved finger dexterity.
Leishmaniasis Leishmaniasis is a condition that’s caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania. It’s spread through the bite of a sand fly. The cutaneous form of leishmaniasis causes the formation of skin lesions and ulcers. One 2011 study investigated the effects of copaiba oil-resin in mice with cutaneous leishmaniasis. They found that oral and combination oral-topical treatment resulted in a significantly smaller lesion size. Further investigation found that copaiba oil-resin may affect the cellular membranes of the Leishmania parasite.
Risks and precautions Ingesting high doses of copaiba oil-resin can cause digestive upset, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Essential oils should not be ingested. To date, possible hazards or interactions have not been reported for copaiba essential oil. Essential oils are very concentrated and should always be diluted when applied topically. If you’re concerned about a potential skin reaction, you should test a small bit of diluted copaiba essential oil on your skin before using it for larger applications. Most essential oils are used as aromatherapy and diffused into the air. Do think about others in the room, including pets, who might be inhaling the aromatherapy. Additionally, if you’re pregnant, nursing, or have any underlying health conditions, you should consult your doctor before using copaiba essential oil. Some essential oils can be dangerous for pregnant women, children, and pets.
How to use copaiba oil You can apply copaiba essential oil topically for things like inflammation, pain, or wound healing. When using essential oils for topical applications, always be sure to properly dilute it in a carrier oil. There are many different carrier oils available, but some examples include avocado oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and grapeseed oil. The dilution that you use can vary, however three to five drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil is a common recommended dilution. You can use copaiba essential oil topically in a variety of ways, including as a compress, in a massage oil, or in a cream or lotion. The takeaway Copaiba oil-resin and copaiba oil are derived from many species of copaiba tree. Copaiba oil-resin has been used in traditional medicine for many purposes, including as an anti-inflammatory and to help with wound healing. Much of the research into copaiba products is focused on copaiba oil-resin. Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties have been observed. Currently, research into the health benefits of copaiba essential oil is still limited. When using aromatherapy, do consider others who might be inhaling it. If you choose to use copaiba essential oil topically, you should be sure to properly dilute it in carrier oil. Do not ingest essential oils. Source: Healthline