Copaiba, or Copaifera officinalis, is a tree that grows in the Amazon River region and can reach up to 20 meters in height. Wood is especially known for the ability to make copaiba oil from its resin. The resin is obtained by drilling a hole in the body and draining it out through a pipe. Want to know what copaiba oil is suitable for? Keep reading!
Copaiba tree resin has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times, as the inhabitants of the tree’s growing area have associated it with several good properties. It is believed to relieve pain, prevent inflammation and accelerate healing.
What is copaiba oil?
Copaiba oil is obtained from the resin of trees of the same name. Because it is naturally formed in the tree, only a wound is made on the trunk, the contents are filtered out and processed into a sweet-smelling oil.
History tells us that this balm was first utilized by the natives living in the Amazon River Basin. For example, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela are located in this region. Because the balm was useful in the treatment of numerous ailments, it arrived in Europe in the 17th century.
Today, this oil can be seen on the ingredients list of numerous beauty products, among other things. Both its resin and oil are used in natural medicines such as diuretics and cough medicines.
- Copene, or α-copene
- Cadine or δ-cadine
The main uses and benefits of Copaiba oil
In folk medicine, this oil has also been used as a favorite herb. Below we look at its benefits in terms of science.
1. Anti-inflammatory effect
Chronic inflammation is the cause of many diseases. Copaiba oil has significant anti-inflammatory effects.
In a study in rodents with MS, this ingredient helped reduce the production of molecules associated with inflammation. In addition, it helped prevent the action of free radicals associated with oxidative stress.
Another study in rats with lesion of the tongue showed that resin oil helped reduce the number of immune cells that cause inflammation.
In a study in rats with colitis, on the other hand, it was found that this product is able to reduce inflammation, although it does not affect intestinal lesions. So far , more research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.
2. Antimicrobial effect
A study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding found that copaiba oil inhibits bacterial growth even at low concentrations. The study looked at the effects of the oil on Staphylococcus aureus , which causes dermatitis and wounds.
Instead, a study by The Open Dentistry Journal found that a gel made from this oil blocked all species of streptococcal bacteria in the teeth. However, further studies are needed to confirm these properties.
3. Copaiba oil relieves pain
A study in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice showed that a massage with a mixture of copaiba oil and Deep Blue may be more effective in relieving the pain caused by arthritis than a massage with coconut oil. It may also increase finger strength and dexterity.
4. Can combat leishmaniasis
Leishmaniasis is an infection caused by the Leishmania parasite that is spread from the bite of an infected fly of the genus Phlebotomus . Skin infections usually present with lesions and ulcers.
However, a study in rats with cutaneous leishmaniasis found that oral and topical treatment with copaiba oil helped reduce skin lesions. This is believed to be due to its ability to destroy the cell membranes of Leishmania parasites.
5. Copaiba oil helps to heal acne skin
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, this oil also seems to be an aid to acne. In a study published in the Alternative Medicine Review , participants’ acne improved significantly in areas treated with 1% copaiba essential oil.
Information based on people’s own experiences, on the other hand, suggests that it also helps to lighten the skin. This is accomplished by adding a drop of copaiba essential oil to the facial fat or water.
6. Helps take care of the liver
According to a study in Acta Cirúrgica Brasileira , copaiba oil is able to reduce liver damage caused by common painkillers such as acetaminophen (paracetamol). The researchers found that these effects occur when the oil is used prophylactically, that is, before taking the painkiller.
If the oil is used after taking the medicine, its effects are not as good. In contrast, liver bilirubin levels increase. More research is needed to confirm these effects.
7. Copaiba oil acts as a painkiller
One of the traditional uses of this natural product is related to stress relief. It is especially associated with soothing properties, especially when used in massage. It is ideal for relaxing after a hard day or before going to bed.
Copaiba oil: risks and warnings
Copaiba oil is considered safe as long as it is used in small amounts. A study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that ingestion of large amounts can cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
The oil should not be swallowed directly and care should be taken when applying it to the skin. Essential oils generally come in very concentrated concentrations, so they should be diluted.
It is also recommended to perform a test for possible side effects. To do this, apply a slightly diluted oil to the skin and leave it on for at least 24 hours. If the reaction does not occur, you can consider it safe.
If you use this oil in aromatherapy, avoid doing so in the vicinity of children, pets, or pregnant women, as they may be adversely affected by some essential oils.
Experts believe that lithium may have a detrimental interaction with copaiba oil. Therefore, those who are taking or have taken lithium or any medicine containing lithium should consult their doctor.
How can I use copaiba oil?
Copaiba oil is usually added to foods and beverages in small amounts to improve their aroma. It is also often helpful as a topical treatment to reduce inflammation, pain and scarring.
In the latter cases, it should be mixed with a base oil such as avocado, almond or coconut oil. Put only 3-5 drops of copaiba essential oil in 30 milliliters of base oil. It can be used as a bath, massage or cream.
Copaiba oil: a natural reliever for inflammation and pain
Copaiba, scientifically called Copaifera officinalis, is a native tree species in the Amazon River Basin whose resin is used to make copaiba oil.
Evidence based on people’s own experiences and some studies show that it has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antimicrobial effects. However, more studies are needed to verify these effects.
For the time being, it should only be used on a case-by-case basis to alleviate certain minor ailments. It is not a substitute for medication and should be used with caution, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an illness.