Copaiba Oil Health Benefits, Uses And Side Effects Explained

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Some essential oils are more popular than others. Some are more well known than others, even if people don’t use them as frequently. And some – like copaiba oil – is something of a mystery to most individuals. Usually, you don’t hear of this essential oil until you actively seek it out. Maybe the need arises, or perhaps you take a deeper interest in the formulas of different cosmetics products. Either way, many consider it something of a rare oil.

Copaiba oil has been used since the 16th century and in folk medicine by Brazil natives. Copaiba balsam and the essential oil are often used in soaps to create a resin that’s packed with beneficial properties. If you’re not sure where to start with this oil, I’m here to break it down. But let’s start by clarifying what exactly copaiba oil is.

What Is Copaiba Oil?

Copaiba oil (Copaifera officinalis) is created through a process much like other essential oils. By using the process of steam distillation, the oleoresin (a semi-solid extract, also called the balsam) from the bark of the Copaifera trees becomes an essential oil. This is a tree which thrives in the tropical forests of the Amazon and the South America, as well as some Brazilian trees. It can grow to a height of over 100 feet.

There are actually two things which these trees provide: one is the oleoresin, the other is the essential oil. The Copaifera genus of trees includes several species which are used to make Copaiba oil. Examples include Copaifera langsdorffii, Copaiba Oleoresin, and Copaifera reticulata which is copaiba oil resin. Each substance has its unique properties, but in truth, they are very much alike.

The trees yield a high amount of oleoresin, which is literally a combination of oil and resin. Separating the two from each other via distillation is what eventually gives us the substance known as copaiba essential oil. This oil has many uses, both in the health and wellness world and the beauty and cosmetics industry.

Copaiba Oil Uses And Benefits Explained

Copaiba oil plant.

Copaiba oil uses.

This is an oil which is high in antioxidants and analgesic properties. It can help reduce pain and inflammation, so it’s often in the formula of many salves, creams, and lotions. It can reduce the number of fungi and fungal growth in or on the human body, as well as enhance the performance of the respiratory system.

1. Anti-Inflammatory

smile curly hair

Woman with clear skin.

Beta-caryophyllene, the cannabinoid chemical found in copaiba oil, has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving abilities. Copaene is another cannabinoid found in copaiba oil. It is highly useful with minor cuts and scrapes, not unlike tea tree essential oil. Its anti-inflammatory properties also work internally to strengthen the nervous system and reduce anxiety.

If you want to make a potent infusion there are plenty of essential oils that you can blend with copaiba oil. Add a few drops of peppermint, frankincense, and ylang ylang oils for a powerful pain relieving, anti-inflammatory massage oil. Mix with a carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil and rub onto the affected area. You can also blend it with sandalwood to create an aromatic relaxing blend for the nervous system.

2. Antibacterial

When applied straight on the body, it could possess the power to reduce the appearance of spots and blemishes, and provide healthier skin to those who use it topically. The fact that you can incorporate essential oils into your skincare routine is something that, in my humble opinion, should always be taken advantage of. Using essential oils, such as copaiba oil, ensure that you’re giving your skin the treatment that it deserves without the harsh chemicals you often get in conventional products.

The antibacterial properties of copaiba oil mean that it can also be used as an immune system booster. You can blend copaiba oil with cedarwood to create an impressive antispetic blend that maximizes the oils healing properties. Don’t forget to mix with an appropriate carrier oil.

3. Pain Relief

Woman with energy dancing on bed.

Healthy woman dancing.

Because of these attributes, it is also a medicinal oil. The main constituent of the oil is beta-caryophyllene, which is the scientific name for a chemical that is also present in black pepper, as well as many other essential oils. It is a unique chemical, which is still being studied. Beta-caryophyllene could be helpful in supporting proper cell function when ingested, and it is an abundant source of antioxidants. This can help to relieve joint pain and other muscular tension.

Copaiba Essential Oil Side Effects Explained

Like many essential oils, this is an extremely potent and volatile substance, which needs to be handled with care, used accurately, and appropriately stored. Side effects from this essential oil are relatively rare, but they could surface due to misuse, or simply due to the patient’s tendencies and/or genetic predispositions.

For this reason, it is always recommended to discuss the use of essential oils with your healthcare professional and to follow the appropriate dosage which they prescribe. You may want to conduct a patch test first, and rule out any adverse physical reactions.

Taking or consuming it in excess could be harmful.  Some of the side effects of copaiba oil include:

  • Issues relating to digestion like stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Rash

Basically, we’re talking about symptoms which are similar to that of food poisoning, plus some restlessness. It’s important to keep this potent oil, and other strong essential oils, out of the reach of children. As safe as essential oils are, it’s still important to be aware of basic essential oil safety. The information in this article has not been evaluated by the Food And Drug Administration and more research needs to be completed to understand the full extent of these side effects. If you have concerns you should check with your healthcare provider before going ahead with using this potent oil. For more on essential oil safety check out Tisserands safety book, which is an invaluable addition to your aromatherapy book collection,

How To Use Copaiba Oil For Pain

Woman on bed holding mug in pain.

Woman in pain.

As mentioned, copaiba oil is an oil which you can ingest and use on a daily basis. It’s not often used in aromatherapy through a diffuser, as its topical application is much more potent and effective. This is one of its main qualifications, and it is what separates it from so many other oils. You’ll need a qty of around 1-2 drops, so a little goes a long way.

  • Add 1-2 drops of the oil to a glass of water or tea
  • Drop 1-2 drops under your tongue in the morning
  • Apply to any affected area topically, after diluting it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil

The copaiba oil and oleoresin actually bind to endocannabinoid receptors located in the human body. Much like medical cannabis oil, it can provide relief from a wide range of symptoms, and apply its healing properties to a plethora of conditions and ailments. The main difference between them, though, is that the psychoactive ingredient THC – which is also in cannabis – is not found in the copaiba tree. This substance is great to ingest and apply for the purpose of regaining health and balance when needed.


It really is amazing, the kind of tricks that Mother Nature has up her sleeve. She’s like a box of chocolate – you never know what you’re going to get. Even after they study every leaf, every tree, every spore; you’ll still find that Mama Nature has the better of us. Her influence is intense and everlasting. Copaiba oil really improves our quality of life, and we are so lucky to be living in such a fantastic time. A time when we can find these oils at any random health food store, vitamin shop, or online vendor.

Though it is one of the pricier essential oils out there, the value you receive is very high. Many times, the price is in direct proportion to the action. Scientists are still researching the properties of this tree, its oleoresin, and its essential oil. But don’t feel the need to hold your breath. History has provided us with plenty of examples when ancient traditions have known things which science is now only beginning to understand.

Copaiba oil is ideal for those who suffer from problems with digestion, circulation, pains, and aches of all kinds, skin conditions, and more. Once considered an extremely rare substance, it can now be yours to use and to help your body bounce back. It is a healer for mankind by binding to receptors deep inside of us and benefits the mind and the body.