Copaiba (pronounced "co-pay-buh") essential oil is an flavorful, richly scented healing essential oil sourced from the Copaiba tree in the Amazon rain forests of South America.
The tree itself, called Copaifera officinalis, is an amazing sight, sometimes towering 90 feet above the rainforest floor.
This undeniably exotic-sounding essential oil may be less well known in North America and elsewhere, but in South American tribal and indigenous cultures Copaiba oil has a long history of medicinal as well as culinary and fragrance use.
According to the Tropical Plant Database, the Copaifera tree's thick resin (oleoresin) contains 15 percent volatile oil - this is the Copaiba essential oil in its pure, raw form.
A single tree may yield as much as 40 liters of resin each year without any harm or damage coming to the tree itself or the surrounding rainforest. This makes Copaiba essential oil one of the planet's truly sustainable healing resources.
When I was suffering from severe and chronic joint pain, a friend mentioned that I might want to try Copaiba essential oil for its well-documented pain-relieving properties.
She even gifted me with a small vial of the essential oil! Desperate for relief, I was willing to give it a shot.
Since then, I am now happily nearly pain-free and have learned a great deal more about this amazing essential oil. I am now grateful to pass along what I've learned about Copaiba essential oil and its many healing properties to you in this article.
My Top 5 Best Copaiba Oil Brands In 2019
*The companies chosen above are based upon my personal opinion based upon me giving them a try and testing their quality.
Sensitive Skin? In Pain? Under the Weather? Try Copaiba Essential Oil
Copaiba essential oil may not yet be a household name, but its active properties are well known in the medical communities, and I don't just mean among Brazil's shamanic healing masters.
A number of formal research studies have investigated Copaiba essential oil for a variety of medicinal uses and you can read more about this research in this section.
Copaiba essential oil for treating arthritis symptoms
Researchers at Florida University have published the results of a preliminary review of available research on the possible impact of Copaiba essential oil for arthritis sufferers.
Researchers concluded that more research is needed to form definitive science-based (empirically-based) conclusions. However, the distinguished researchers who participated in this initial survey cited several reasons further research is warranted.
The first is that Copaiba essential oil has few if any known side effects from use, whereas use of NSAIDs and COXIBS, two commonly-prescribed classes of medications for treating arthritis pain, have a number of worrisome side effects.
As well, current research has already demonstrated that Copaiba essential oil is effective at reducing inflammation (see section for "Inflammation" in this article for more), which is another common complication of arthritis.
Researchers also noted that many sufferers anecdotally (personally) reported finding benefit from using Copaiba essential oil topically to ease arthritis pain. This information gives every hope that further research will yield positive results!
Copaiba essential oil for easing joint pain
Animal Wellness Magazine published information highlighting how administering Copaiba essential oil to dogs as an alternative to NSAIDs shows promise to ease joint pain.
This is particularly important for elderly companion animals and people who are not well able to tolerate traditional NSAIDs and other medications with known side effects.
Copaiba essential oil for reducing inflammation
According to the Journal of Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Copaiba resin has neuroprotective properties.
What this means in layperson's terms is that Copaiba's active agent can help to protect nerves against damage and also help to promote faster healing after injury to any part of the central nervous system.
The research showed that Copaiba's ability to reduce inflammation at and around the injury site(s) had a therapeutic effect, reducing pain and shortening healing times.
Copaiba essential oil for treating urinary disorders
The International Brazilian Journal of Urology published the results of a study linking use of Copaiba essential oil as an aid to healing from disorders of the urinary tract.
The study results showed that use of Copaiba oil was able to speed along the healing and regeneration process after significant urinary tract disorders.
Copaiba essential oil for control against ticks
As more becomes known and publicized about lyme disease, a primarily tick-borne and transmitted disease, there is more concern about how to protect against tick bites.
A study was published in the Journal of Essential Oil Research to look at using Copaiba oil as an agent to prevent ticks from reproducing and to kill off ticks.
This study suggests Copaiba oil may be a viable alternative to known highly toxic pesticides and insecticides used on both people and animals as a method to prevent tick bites.
Copaiba essential oil for treating or preventing liver damage
Use of too much or too frequent acetaminophen can cause damage to the liver.
A research study published in the Acta Cirúrgica Brasileira Journal highlighted the protective and healing effects of Copaiba essential oil when administered to treat damage to the liver.
Copaiba essential oil for treating acne vulgarisms
Acne vulgaris, the skin breakouts that typically begin during the teenage years and can flare up throughout life, can be triggered by a wide variety of underlying health issues.
The Journal of Alternative Medicine Review published the results from a clinically rigorous study to look at whether Copaiba essential oil could have a positive impact on acne outbreaks and healing times.
Study results showed that application of Copaiba essential oil could be beneficial to fight off the harmful bacteria and microorganisms that often trigger an outbreak of acne.
As well, researchers highlighted Copaiba oil's benefits for easing acne-based inflammation and speeding healing while also protecting against free radicals that may trigger future acne outbreaks.
Researchers concluded that more research is warranted to learn how Copaiba essential oil might replace or complement other treatments for acne.
Copaiba essential oil for easing pain
The New York Center for Aromatic Studies is looking at many ways that Copaiba essential oil may be effective at reducing pain.
Pain can be triggered or exacerbated at multiple points throughout the body. Digestive, gastrointestinal, neurological, pulmonary and musculoskeletal pain are among the more common serious pain issues many patients face.
Copaiba essential oil's many benefits as an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-septic and anti-oxidant make this oil a potent source of pain relief.
By easing the underlying health symptoms causing the pain, Copaiba essential oil goes to the source to ease the pain itself.
Copaiba essential oil for easing symptoms of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder)
A research study published by the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology looked at how effective several forms of Copaiba essential oil might be as protective treatment to guard against a particular type of pulmonary arterial hypertension, or PAH.
What the researchers discovered is that Copaiba oil performed very well in this role and shows great promise as a future treatment option for patients diagnosed with PAH.
Copaiba essential oil for enhancing the immune system's ability to fight against tumor production and cancer
A study published through the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal showed that Copaiba essential oil performed very well as a possible alternative or addition to traditional chemotherapy treatment.
The study showed that certain of Copaiba's active chemicals, including humulene, beta-caryophyllene, copaene and bergamotene, can be effective as a way to slow down or prevent tumor production and fight cancer.
Copaiba essential oil for use in speeding up wound healing
Because Copaiba essential oil is known to have anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-septic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, this makes it a natural choice for fighting off infection and speeding wound healing.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry showcased Copaiba essential oil's promise as a wound healing agent after dental procedures.
This is particularly significant because the warm, continually moist environment of the mouth tissues makes facilitating wound healing without risk of infection particularly challenging!
Copaiba essential oil for fighting germs and bacteria
In an exciting research study funded by Science.gov, Copaiba essential oil's reputation as an antibacterial agent was put to the test.
The study discovered that Copaiba's reputation as a potent antibacterial that can fight off disease, germs, bacteria and even flu virus is genuine.
A second study took a look at Copaiba essential oil/resin and its impact on microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and microbial agents.
The study found that Copaiba's reputation as a phytomedicine - a plant-based medicine - is warranted and called for additional research to learn how to apply it for different health issues.
Copaiba essential oil for treating symptoms of psoriasis and skin irritation
A research study published by the International Journal of Pharmaceutics took a look at whether it might be possible to harness Copaiba's anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties to treat the skin condition psoriasis.
The research study results were exciting. The trial patients experienced measurable relief from symptoms including skin thickness and scaliness and inflammation, including skin redness.
Copaiba essential oil for autoimmune issues
Treating chronic autoimmune health conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) continues to confound even the most experienced medical professionals.
In the journal Molecules, researchers published results from an experimental study using mice infected with an autoimmune disease similar to MS.
The study results were promising and showed that use of Copaiba essential oil could help boost immune system response to inhibit development of the disease.
The Many Proven Benefits of Copaiba Essential Oil
As the detailed analysis in the previous section here demonstrates, the medical community today is extremely interested in learning more about Copaiba essential oil's many benefits and applications.
In some research and medicine circles, Copaiba essential oil is being favorably compared to Cannabidiol oil (CBD oil) for its therapeutic, medicinal and healing properties.
In addition to the many other benefits listed here, one particularly important benefit to using Copaiba essential oil is that, unlike with CBD oil, it contains no THC so it is safe to use with animals and with the very young and the elderly.
Are There Any Side Effects from Taking Copaiba Essential Oil?
According to the Tropical Plant Database, the first written record of medicinal use of Copaiba essential oil was in 1625!
Medicinal Copaiba resin and essential oil use far predates use of most of today's modern medicines for treating ailments ranging from skin breakouts to cancer. However, this is not to say every person will tolerate Copaiba essential oil in exactly the same way.
There are very few side effects of any kind associated with the use of Copaiba essential oil or resin in any of its forms.
The Tropical Plant Database reports that certain people may have an allergy to the resin itself (which carries a wide variety of medicinal phytochemicals). For these individuals, a rash that looks similar to measles may form.
Also, for people who take too much Copaiba essential oil internally in too short a time period, there can be some stomach discomfort. The best way to avoid temporary stomach distress is to take Copaiba essential oil internally with a snack or a full meal.
You Have Lots of Options for How to Use Copaiba Essential Oil Medicinally!
There are many different preparations of Copaiba essential oil and there are also different ways to use it to treat different health issues.
Here are some of the most common methods for using Copaiba essential oil:
It is not recommended to apply undiluted Copaiba essential oil to the skin, since this is a very strong essential oil. It has been known to cause some skin irritation, rash or redness and may permanently darken the skin at the application site.
SAFETY NOTES: Before using Copaiba essential oil or any new wellness aid or treatment, it is always a wise idea to talk with your holistic practitioner or family physician.
If at all possible, start out by using the lowest possible known effective dose of Copaiba oil and increase your dosage slowly only after you see how your body responds.
IF YOU ARE PREGNANT: If you are pregnant, trying to conceive or still breastfeeding, WebMD advises against taking Copaiba essential oil in medicinal dosages, although it is safe to consume very small amounts in food.
Is Copaiba essential oil safe to ingest?
Copaiba essential oil is definitely safe to ingest. People have been taking Copaiba essential oil internally since the first written use records in 1625.
Today, many people safely take in small quantities of Copaiba essential oil daily through the skin, in liquid, with food or via steam inhalants.
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Copaiba Essential Oil: This Medicinal Oil May Be the "Next Big Thing
When I first tried Copaiba essential oil to treat my chronic joint pain, all I knew was that I was in pain and getting worse and nothing else I had tried was helping me. I hadn't read any of the research you just read through.
I didn't know anyone else except my friend who had ever used Copaiba medicinally. And in fact, I'd never even heard of Copaiba oil until my friend told me about it!
But now you have had a chance to review just some of the many exciting research results published regarding Copaiba essential oil's efficacy to treat a variety of health conditions.
For this reason, you may be feeling eager to try Copaiba essential oil for yourself! As you do so, remember to start with the mildest dose.
Using a diffuser or adding some Copaiba to your bath water is the gentlest method and is worth trying first until you see how your body reacts.
If you are currently taking any other medications to manage an ongoing health issue, be sure to talk with your healthcare team before adding Copaiba oil to your daily regimen.