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Our Complete Guide to Copaiba Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses and Cautions

Copaiba is one of the world’s lesser-known essential oils, although it has enjoyed a surge in popularity in the past few years. With its plethora of benefits and scientific support, copaiba is sure to be the next greatest trend. 

Yet despite only recently starting to attract attention, the first printed references to resin-producing trees in the copaiba family date back to 1648, suggesting that this plant and its essential oil have been widely used for hundreds of years.

What is copaiba essential oil used for? In this guide, we’ll tell you about the oil’s benefits for skin and how you can use copaiba oil for eczema. Plus, we’ll also provide safety guidelines to help you make the most out of your Volant essential oil.

Content/Quick links

  • What is copaiba essential oil?
  • Copaiba essential oil – quick facts
  • How is copaiba essential oil made?
  • Benefits of copaiba essential oil
  • Stress-reducing properties
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Skin healing properties
  • Antimicrobial properties for infections
  • Aphrodisiac properties
  • How to use copaiba essential oil
  • Aromatherapy/Inhalation
  • Topical use
  • Aromatherapy massage
  • Copaiba essential oil research
  • Copaiba oil for reducing stress - 2022
  • Copaiba oil for asthma - 2020
  • Antimicrobial properties of copaiba oil - 2015
  • Copaiba oil for eczema - 2018, 2022
  • Copaiba oil for acne - 2012
  • Copaiba oil for psoriasis - 2013
  • Copaiba oil for scar healing - 2021
  • Pain relieving properties of copaiba for skin - 2020
  • Copaiba oil for arthritis - 2018, 2020
  • Copaiba oil for oral hygiene - 2019, 2022
  • Copaiba oil for ADHD - 2017
  • Copaiba oil for various other conditions - 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2020
  • Side effects of copaiba essential oil
  • Contraindications of copaiba essential oil
  • Where to buy copaiba essential oil
  • Volant
  • Amazon
  • Pharmacies
  • DoTERRA
  • Copaiba essential oil FAQs
  • Can copaiba oil be used during pregnancy?
  • Is copaiba essential oil safe to ingest?
  • What is copaiba essential oil used for?
  • Can I be allergic to copaiba essential oil?
  • What does copaiba oil smell like?
  • Does copaiba essential oil for ADHD work?
  • Does copaiba oil for eczema work?
  • What are copaiba oil’s benefits for the skin?
  • In summary

What is copaiba essential oil?

This essential oil is derived from the oleoresin or sap of the pinnate-leaved copaiba tree, a flowering, legume tree native to the tropical regions of South America. Texts dating back hundreds of years describe how people collected the trees’ balsam by cutting slits into the bark and extracting the resin, which is produced in abundance and has a fatty consistency.

Copaiba resin contains the main sesquiterpenes of β-caryophyllene, α-bergamotene, α-copaene and β-bisabolene.

To this day, copaiba oil is used widely in medicinal soaps, creams, lotions, perfumes and other cosmetic products, and features in both Ayurvedic and Western medicines.

Copaiba essential oil – quick facts

✅   Latin name:  Copaifera langsdorffii

✅   Countries of origin: Brazil, South America

   Scent note: Base with a woody, sweet and mild aroma

✅  Annual production: 500 tons per year

✅   Popular uses: skincare, coughs, diuretic

How is copaiba essential oil made?

woman looking at essential oil in the kitchen

Much like it was made hundreds of years ago, copaiba essential oil is extracted by drilling holes into copaiba trees and collecting the sap that flows from the holes. The trees are not destroyed during this process, which is similar to the way in which maple syrup is extracted from maple trees. A single copaiba tree can produce up to 40 liters of sap each year.

Once the sap, or oleoresin, has been collected, it goes through a steam distillation process to create copaiba essential oil. Steam is passed through the oleoresin which vaporizes the sap; then it is cooled to turn it back into liquid, and the water and oil portions are separated. The oil is thick and viscous and light brown in hue and offers a variety of medicinal properties. The oil and resin from the copaiba tree are also referred to as copaiba balsam.

Benefits of copaiba essential oil

women drinking juice

Copaiba essential oil has a wide range of health benefits, which is why it is quickly becoming one of the most popular essential oils in the world.

Some of the main benefits of this oil include:

  • ✅   Stress-reducing properties
  • ✅   Anti-inflammatory properties
  • ✅    Skin healing properties
  • ✅   Antimicrobial properties for infections
  • ✅   Aphrodisiac properties

Let’s take a closer look at these copaiba essential oil benefits:

Copaiba for stress and relaxation

woman getting massaged feeling relaxed

Aromatherapy with copaiba oil has been found to help relax the body in situations of stress, reducing cortisol, heart rate, beta brain waves and anxiety.

Copaiba for inflammation

woman holding sore muscle

Copaiba has high concentrations of beta-caryophyllene which can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress of the skin, muscles, of the lungs in asthma and of the joints in cases of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and chronic inflammation.

Copaiba oil benefits for skin

woman looking at the mirror smiling

By reducing inflammation, copaiba can help to speed up wound healing and reduce pain and inflammation of the skin. Additionally, the oil’s antimicrobial properties fight bacteria and microorganisms, increasing the wounds ability to heal. Copaiba also makes for a great topical ointment for acne, psoriasis, scars and likely eczema and shows the most promise for abnormal skin cell growth.

Copaiba’s antimicrobial properties to fight infections

This essential oil can treat gonorrhea, leishmaniasis parasitic infections, oral wounds and kill cavity-causing bacteria. It also has antimycobacterial properties, the mold-like family of bacteria that cause things like tuberculosis and leprosy. It also has antifungal properties against body-based yeasts like Candida albicans and some airborne molds that affect the lungs, skin and more. Once again, its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties calm the affected area and kill microorganisms and bacteria.

Copaiba as an aphrodisiac 

couple being intimate while inhaling aroma scent from diffuser

The sweet, woody balsamic scent is said to stimulate the senses and promote calm and relaxation, creating the ideal mindset for romance!

How to use copaiba essential oil

So, what is copaiba essential oil used for, and how can you use it at home? This essential oil can be used in a variety of ways as you will discover below.

Here are some of the most common ways to use copaiba essential oil:

  • ✅    Aromatherapy/Inhalation
  • ✅    Topical use
  • ✅    Aromatherapy massage

Let’s explore how to use copaiba essential oil in more detail.

Aromatherapy/Inhalation

woman inhaling bergamot essential oil through aroma diffuser

Copaiba essential oil can be added to a diffuser to reduce stress while studying or at work or to help you relax at home after a long day or week.

Diffusing copaiba oil is also the best way to benefit your lungs, especially if your asthma is flaring up, during allergy season, or if you are suffering from any other respiratory condition.

Alternatively, you could also add copaiba oil to a bowl of hot water, lean over it, cover your head and inhale deeply for a more powerful respiratory-enhancing effect.

Diffusing or inhaling copaiba oil may also be the safest way to benefit from its potential cannabinoid-related benefits for ADHD.

volant clay essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy
volant clay essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy
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Clay Volant Diffuser

99 €

Topical use

Using diluted copaiba oil on your skin can help calm inflammation and promote healing in acne, eczema and psoriasis, to help heal wounds and scars, to relieve pain and inflammation related to sunburns, and to treat bacterial or fungal infections of the skin and nails.

When using it for the first time, always carry out a patch test first. Copaiba oil should be diluted in a carrier oil such as jojoba oil or sweet almond oil before topical application. Alternatively, you can add it to your existing creams or lotions before massaging it into your skin. When using copaiba oil on your face, be sure you choose a non-comedogenic oil that won’t clog your pores, like jojoba oil.

volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil for your hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil packaging. best for hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil rich with the beneficial nutrients, including vitamins A, D and E, making it holistically great for your body.

Jojoba Carrier Oil

18 €

Aromatherapy massage

Using copaiba oil as a massage oil may be the best way to use it to reduce joint or muscle pain and inflammation. If you suffer from arthritis or chronic pain or inflammation, be sure to keep some handy to use as needed so you can function better throughout the day.

Making an aromatherapy massage oil with copaiba and trading massages with your partner might also be just what puts you both in the mood at bedtime!

Copaiba essential oil research

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Wow! Despite not being one of the more commonly-known essential oils, there is a wealth of scientific research on copaiba oil derived from a few different genera of the tree that have substantiated the oil’s many benefits. Much exciting research has emerged on this powerful essential oil in the last decade revealing incredible benefits, likely making it the new go-to in the coming years. Below is a compilation of some of the most exciting studies.

Copaiba oil for reducing stress - 2022

Twenty-two adults participated in a randomized, controlled trial to observe the effects of copaiba oil aromatherapy during a stressful task. Anxiety scores, heart rate and cortisol were reduced during and after the stressful task compared with plain jojoba oil. Significant reductions in beta brain wave activity were also seen, meaning that the brain was more relaxed during the stressful task.

Copaiba oil for asthma - 2020

In mouse asthma models, oral copaiba essential oil significantly reduced inflammatory cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and suppressed nitric oxide and T helper cells in both BALF and lung homogenate. The authors concluded that copaiba oil has an effective antiasthmatic effect in vivo.

Antimicrobial properties of copaiba oil - 2015

An in vitro study looking at the antimicrobial effects of copaiba oil found that it was effective against Candida albicans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Staphylococcus saprophyticus and S. aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Eschirichia coli.

Copaiba oil for eczema - 2018, 2022

There is some evidence to suggest that copaiba oil for eczema may be a treatment for this inflammatory skin condition. One study found that this oil may increase the skin permeability of certain anti-inflammatory medications like Celecoxib, which could help to make topical treatments for inflammatory conditions – including eczema – more effective.

According to a recent review, copaiba’s main use is for skin issues. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may aid in reducing the inflammation associated with eczema.

Copaiba oil for acne - 2012

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, human subjects with acne volunteered to test a topical 1% copaiba oil treatment for their acne. They experienced a highly significant decrease in the treated acne areas compared to the placebo.

Copaiba oil for psoriasis - 2013

In an in vitro and subsequent small pilot study, both oral and topical Copaifera langsdorffii essential oil was shown to improve rashes, skin thickness and scaliness in psoriasis subjects. The improvement seemed to be due to copaiba’s anti-inflammatory effects. This small pilot study also shows that oral copaiba may be safe.

Copaiba oil for scar healing - 2021

Forty-two subjects participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of copaiba oil on scar healing. After almost 3 months of topical use, all subjects using copaiba experienced improvements in color, contour, distortion and texture of their scars and visible scar reduction compared to the placebo group. Eighty-nine percent of copaiba subjects were satisfied with their treatment.

Pain relieving properties of copaiba for skin - 2020

In mouse models of sunburn caused by UVB radiation, topical copaiba oil was found effective on the first day of use, reducing skin damage and inflammation and relieving pain hypersensitivity of burned skin.

Copaiba oil for arthritis - 2018, 2020

In an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis, rats were orally treated with β-caryophyllene, the main compound in copaiba oil, for 18 days. Reductions in swelling of the paw, lymph nodes and joint white blood cells were seen, and abnormal antioxidant status and liver functions were reversed. This study shows that oral copaiba oil may be a useful anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and overall healthy compound.

A placebo-controlled study in 36 participants tested a copaiba oil blend vs coconut oil in 5 days of hand massage in people with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or chronic inflammation in the hand. Copaiba oil greatly reduced pain, improved hand function and dexterity, joint flexibility and finger strength, showing that aromatherapy massage with copaiba is highly beneficial for those with joint pain and inflammation.

Copaiba oil for oral hygiene - 2019, 2022

Copaiba has received much attention lately for its oral hygiene properties. Not only does it improve oral wound healing, but a study in children has also shown that a Copaifera langsdorffii oil varnish can instantaneously reduce Streptococcus mutans in the mouth, a common cavity-causing bacteria. This study highlights the safety of copaiba oil around children.

Copaiba oil for ADHD - 2017

Copaiba essential oil for ADHD? Indeed, copaiba holds promise as a potential treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A study by Cooper et al in 2017 found that cannabinoids may aid in the treatment of ADHD, and copaiba oil is a particularly rich source of the cannabinoid beta-caryophyllene without the risk of containing THC posed by many CBD oils. This study and others suggest that copaiba essential oil for ADHD and CBD oil can both be used in the treatment of autism and ADHD, as they both contain this powerful cannabinoid.

Copaiba oil for various other conditions - 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2020

Another study on the effects of copaiba oil in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis found that the oil lowered the production of certain cytokine molecules that cause inflammation, and also reduced the number of oxygen radicals that can cause cell damage.

Finally, a study from 2012 published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that copaiba resin may have neuroprotective benefits in which strong inflammatory reactions take place following central nervous system damage such as brain trauma and stroke. The animal study found that treatment with the resin protected the nerves by modulating inflammatory responses. Moreover, after just a single 400 mg/kg dose of the resin, damage to the motor cortices of animal subjects was lowered by 39%.

Endometriosis rat models treated orally with Copaifera langsdorffii experienced reduced endometrial growth over time and significantly or partially preserved epithelial layer.

Copaifera langsdorffii given orally to rat models of kidney stones for 18 days reduced kidney stone number and size, made them more brittle, reduced uric acid and increased magnesium levels.

Paracoccidioidomycosis is a disease caused by inhaling airborne Paracoccidioides fungi. This disease can affect the lungs, the skin, the liver, the brain and more. An in vitro study found that copaiba oil effectively kills this fungus, potentially helping those who suffer from its infection.

Leishmania infantum and Leishmania amazonensis are parasites that can cause infections in people when bitten by sand flies. Copaiba oil has been found to kill these parasites and improve spleen and liver measures in mice.

The oil of various copaiba species has also been found to have antimycobacterial activity. Mycobacteria are fungus-like bacteria including tuberculosis and leprosy.

Copaiba oil may even have benefits for the heart and lungs in pulmonary arterial hypertension, helping the blood vessels, reducing enlarged ventricles and helping them work better, and reducing arterial pressure.

Side effects of copaiba essential oil

Copaiba oil is safe for most adults to use when applied topically and likely safe if used orally in recommended dosages. Copaiba is a powerful anti-inflammatory for the skin. However, if used undiluted or in excess, it can cause skin reactions such as redness and skin itching.

Consumption of copaiba oil can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, insomnia, tremors and diarrhoea. At volant, we do not recommend ingesting essential oils.

Contraindications of copaiba essential oil

This essential oil should not be used by pregnant or lactating women, children or people with certain stomach disorders, including ulcers and gastritis. It should also not be used on pets or given as an oral preparation to them. If your cats or dogs accidentally ingest this oil, speak to a qualified veterinarian as soon as possible to explore treatment options.

Where to buy copaiba essential oil

The ever-growing popularity of copaiba essential oil has ensured that it is now available online and in stores. When looking to purchase this oil, ensure that you only buy a 100% pure and organic essential oil and not an extract or aromatherapy oil. This will ensure that you can enjoy all of the benefits that copaiba oil has to offer while avoiding inferior or contaminated blends. These are some of the stores at which you can buy copaiba essential oil:

Volant

We offer superior quality, 100% pure and organic essential oils that support your health and wellness. Our Breathe Essential Oil Blend contains copaiba essential oil and other pure oils to purify the air, calm your airways and help you relax that can be used in conjunction with our stylish, Scandinavian-designed oil diffusers for the best results.

volant breathe essential oil blend made with pure Wild Orange, Lavender, Copaiba, and Magnolia
volant breathe essential oil blend made with pure Wild Orange, Lavender, Copaiba, and Magnolia
volant white diffuser using breathe essential oil blend made with pure Wild Orange, Lavender, Copaiba, and Magnolia
volant breathe essential oil blend bottle packaging made with pure Wild Orange, Lavender, Copaiba, and Magnolia
woman meditating using volant black diffuser with breathe essential oil blend

Breathe

23 €

Amazon

There are many vendors on Amazon who sell copaiba essential oil, but it’s important to be aware that many of these oils may not be pure, organic, or sourced from sustainable copaiba sources. Remember to do your research to ensure that you buy only the best quality oils that will provide you with the uses and benefits that you are looking for.

Pharmacies

Many pharmacies sell essential oil ranges, and some may offer copaiba oil as well. Ensure that the oils being sold are 100% pure and are indicated for topical use rather than aromatherapy use alone.

doTERRA

doTERRA sells a wide range of organic essential oils that are trusted for their quality. Whether you wish to use copaiba oil to create topical treatments for skin infections or to add it to perfumes and skincare products, you can find quality oils to meet your needs at this retailer.

Copaiba essential oil FAQs

Can copaiba oil be used during pregnancy?

Experts from WebMD advise against using or taking copaiba oil in medicinal doses during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or even if you are trying to conceive. Speak to your primary healthcare provider before using this oil if you are pregnant.

Is copaiba essential oil safe to ingest?

Copaiba oil is likely safe to ingest at small dosages, as long as it is 100% pure and preferably organic. While internal use can offer many benefits, it can also cause severe side effects. At volant, we do not recommend ingesting essential oils due to the risks. It is also generally safe to use this essential oil as an inhalant.

What is copaiba essential oil used for?

Copaiba oil has a wide range of uses. It can be used topically to treat skin conditions and alleviate pain of the skin, muscles and joints, as an inhalant to relax the lungs and reduce stress, and in preparations to treat coughs, infections and other health issues. It is also used in soaps, perfumes and cosmetics thanks to its unique, balsamic scent.

Can I be allergic to copaiba essential oil?

It is possible to develop an allergic reaction when using copaiba oil, although it is rare. If you experience redness, swelling, itching or shortness of breath, discontinue use immediately and consult a healthcare professional.

What does copaiba oil smell like?

Copaiba essential oil has a sweet, woody and balsamic smell that makes it a popular addition to perfumes and cosmetic preparations. It is often used as a base note in natural perfumes.

Does copaiba essential oil for ADHD work?

Some studies have suggested that using copaiba essential oil for ADHD treatment may be effective thanks to copaiba oil’s high concentration of cannabinoids.

Does copaiba oil for eczema work?

Copaiba oil may be useful for treating eczema thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects. The oil’s antimicrobial properties may also help to prevent and treat secondary skin infections caused by eczema’s disruption of the skin barrier.

What are copaiba oil’s benefits for the skin?

Copaiba oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that could aid in the treatment of skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, burns, eczema and various skin and nail infections. It also promotes wound and scar healing.

In summary

Copaiba essential oil is a sweet-smelling oil with a wide range of uses. Copaiba oil benefits for skin range from wound healing to improving scars to infection treatment to reducing the growth or abnormal skin cells, and the oil may also hold promise in the treatment of pain, eczema, acne, psoriasis. Copaiba can reduce pain and inflammation of the muscles and joints, fight infections of the mouth and lungs, help reduce asthma, reduce stress and even provide ADHD support.

 The key to making the most of this medicinal oil is to choose a 100% pure, organic essential oil that has been produced using sustainable sources and responsible methods. Volant’s essential oils are pure and organic and offer you all of the benefits of genuine copaiba. Browse our range today and discover the power of organic essential oils for yourself!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at support@volantaroma.com

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