Copaiba essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the resin collected from four different species of Copaifera trees: Copaifera reticulata, C. officinalis, C. coriacea, and C. langsdorffii. All four of these trees are native to Central and South America. It has been described as having a spicy, woody aroma. The primary chemical constituent of Copaiba essential oil is caryophyllene, a bicyclic sesquiterpene that is also found in Black Pepper. While caryophyllene is responsible for some of the bioactive properties of Copaiba, many other properties of the oil are attributed to diterpenes uniquely found in Copaiba.1
For centuries, South Americans have used copaiba resin to promote the health of the respiratory, digestive, urinary, cardiovascular, and immune systems. As reported by the first European settlers of Central and South America, the indigenous American Indians utilized the soothing properties of copaiba oil-resin by applying it both to their newborns and to warriors coming home from battle.1 Current research offers an explanation for the traditional use of Copaiba oil, suggesting that Copaiba essential oil is calming, soothing, and supportive to the skin and nervous system.*6,10,16-22
Recent research on caryophyllene suggests a number of other means by which Copaiba essential oil can support overall health. When taken internally, caryophyllene possesses strong antioxidant properties,2 promotes healthy cellular function,2-4 may help support immune function while supporting overall circulatory health,5-9 and may help support the health of the gastrointestinal tract and colon.*11
Additional research has shown that Copaiba essential oil (with all its constituents) may help keep the mouth, teeth, and gums clean and healthy looking.12,15,23-25 Topically applied Copaiba oil may also help keep the skin clean and clear while helping to reduce the appearance of blemishes.1,13,14,16,27-33 Another interesting experimental research study found that Copaiba taken internally may help to support uterine health and ease menstruation.*26
As a natural substance that can support the health of a number of body systems, Copaiba makes a wonderful addition to the doTERRA collection of essential oils.