Essential Oil Overview: Copaiba

Copaiba Balsam Tree

EO Profile : Copaiba, Balsam

Name of Oil: Copaiba (co-pie-ee’-ba, co-pie’-ba)

Botanical name: Copaifera officinalis

Botanical Family: Fabaceae

Plant part typically used in distillation: resin/gum

Country of Origin: native to South America, Brazil, particularly the Amazon area.

General description of plant habitat and growth: rainforests, or wet areas of South America. Mature trees are 40 to 100 ft high.

History of Oil: In South America, especially Brazilians, have been using copaíba oil as a naturopath medicine and skincare treatment for centuries.

Common method of extraction: steam distillation

Oil color: colorless to light yellow/amber

Oil consistency: medium

Perfumery note: middle to base

Strength of initial aroma: medium

Aromatic description: earthy, balsamic, woody, sweet, sensual, warm and radiant

Shelf life: 4 years

Organoleptic Description (personal use): pain reduction, toenail fungus, insomnia, headache, tummy troubles

Uses: analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-spasmodic, antiviral, skin cell regenerative, lungs and congestion

Physical: arthritis, bronchitis, coughs, colds, stress

Emotional: quiets a restless mind, aids concentration and focus, sense of tranquility, banding and grounding

Key Use: pain management, anti-inflammatory

Chemical Family: sesquiterpenes

Major Chemical Constituents: B-caryphyllene, x-Copaene, o-Cadinene, y-Cadinene, Cedrol

Fun Fact: Copaiba balsam and its oil are used as fixatives in soap, perfumes and fragrances. Copaiba is also used as an artist material, especially in oil paint recipes and in ceramic decoration. Mineral painters use a medium made of copaiba, turpentine and lavender to mix with their minerals for adhesion to ceramic vessels before kiln firing. Copaiba makes a good medium for oils and helps with both adhesion and quality of shine. (Wikipedia)

Safety info:

Pregnancy and Labor. Yes.

Breastfeeding. Yes.

Infants under 2. Yes @0.1% dilution (1-3mos) and 0.25-.5% dilution (3-24mos)

Children 2-6. Yes @1-2% dilution (PlantTherapy.com)

Pets. Yes. (Dogs, joint pain, muscle pain, anxiety)

Sources for info:

Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, pp 259; Essential Oils for Dogs by Julie Summers, Loc804; Aromatics.com; PlantTherapy.com; and other various trusted sources on the internet.

Copaiba Resin

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Disclaimer: The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or if you have a medical condition consult a physician prior to use.


Remember, it’s unwise to use essential oils undiluted.

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