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Many of you have heard of the countless oils and butter the Amazon region has to offer and their vast benefits. When it comes to copaiba oil resin, its reputation precedes it. Widespread in North-South America, its use and applications are passed down from generation to generation. So what makes it unique?
Copaiba resin is an aromatic oleoresin extracted from the Copaifera Officinalis tree’s trunk. Valued for its anti-inflammatory, antiischemic, antimicrobial to antileishmanial action, it has been used widely by the native Amazonians for centuries to treat inflammation, infection, and heal leishmaniasis wounds and pain.
As you can see, this natural resin offers a vast amount of benefits. Would you like to know more? Let’s take a look at what makes this resin special.
Table of Contents
- What Is Copaiba?
- Copaiba Oil Resin Composition
- Skin Benefits
- Common Uses
What Is Copaiba?
Copaiba, known as Copaifera Officinalis, is a flowering tree from a Fabaceae family native to the tropics of Northern South America. Wildly spread in dry and rain forests, it can reach over 30 meters in height and live up to 400 years. The native amazon population has long used copaiba for various purposes.
– Its aromatic resin is known for its anti-inflammatory, healing, and antiseptic activities. It has been long used in the native population to provide pain relief and treat wounds, sores, and other skin inflammatory conditions.
– The resin has also been used in spiritual ceremonies as a cleaner.
– In cosmetic products, copaiba is used in creams, lotions, hair care, and health products.
– Copaiba oil is used to create fragrances for perfumes.
The resin is extracted by tapping holes into the trunk and inserting a pipe that allows yellowish oil resin to gush out. It is collected into the containers and placed under the pipe for a few days until drained. The hole is then sealed with wood or clay to prevent fungi or termite infestation. Repeating the process every 3 years allows the tree to rest.
Copaiba Oil Resin Composition
INCI: Copaifera Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba) Resin
Common extraction method: Sustainable collection. Cuts are made in the trunk of the tree to collect the resin that is then filtered to remove small pieces of bark, leaves, or small insects, the result is a 100% natural and clean resin.
Appearance: Amber or yellow colour.
Fragrance: Aromatic, woody.
Absorption rate: Absorbs easily.
Recommended usage: Follow relevant directions on product labels and consult healthcare professionals before using.
Substitute: Possibly andiroba seed oil.
Storage: Store in a cool, dark, dry container, away from the sunlight.
A powerful natural substance with various biological activities ranging from anti-inflammatory, antiischemic, and antimicrobial to antileishmanial action, copaiba oil resin has been used widely by the native Amazonians for its remedial effect for centuries. Although many of the potential benefits of copaiba oil resin were based on indigenous knowledge, researchers have been looking into its composition, and the results seem promising.
Here are the notable compounds found in copaiba oil resin.
• Sesquiterpenes: Copaiba oil resin comprises several sesquiterpenes, including β-caryophyllene, credited for anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, insecticidal and anticarcinogenic properties.
• Diterpenes: Copaiba oil resin contains various diterpenes, with copalic, polyalthic, hardwickiic, kaurenoic and ent-kaurenoic acids being the most common. And it is these compounds that have shown to hold anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.
“Copaiba oil resin benefits come from its high content of bioactive compounds. Notably, sesquiterpenes and diterpenes”.
Natural tree resins might not be part of our daily beauty regime, but it does not mean they are not worth a nod. Copaiba oil resins are well known for their healing properties. They are used in traditional Amazonian medicine, as well as by several other indigenous cultures.
Let’s take a look at 5 skin benefits research has confirmed about copaiba oil resin.
It can help with the treatment of skin and wound infections
Even though our skin works hard to protect us from external threats, it can still get injured and infected. Cuts and abrasions can expose us to the invasion of various bacterias, such as Staphylococcus aureus, also commonly known as Staph. Ordinarily harmless on the skin, Staph can cause school sores, crusted ulcers, cellulitis, and dermatitis, among other skin infections.
Copaiba oil resin antimicrobial activity plays a pivotal role in protecting the skin against a broad spectrum of microorganisms, like Staph. And in vitro studies confirmed it. Researchers have shown that copaiba oil can inhibit the growth of Staph bacteria. It can also offer a viable natural alternative to traditional antibiotics and provide effective relief from skin infections.
Inflammation can arise from a wide range of conditions, and it is a common occurrence in the skin. It can appear as redness, swelling, heat or even pain. Acute inflammation is usually a natural and necessary part of the healing process. Copaiba oil can help to lessen the inflamed area by inhibiting the growth of bacteria that cause inflammation.
Acne is a skin condition that results in blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, or nodules. It tends to affect the skin’s sebaceous glands. While commonly found on the face, it can also appear in other areas such as the back, chest, neck, or shoulders.
Copaiba oil resin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity that can benefit skin affected by acne. Also, copaiba oil’s antimicrobial effects can help relieve infection-related symptoms, like inflamed pimples. If you’d rather use natural alternatives for acne treatment over the counter, copaiba oil can be a good alternative.
It can help heal leishmaniasis wounds
Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by Leishmania parasites and spread by bites from sand flies. While the skin sores can heal independently, the process can take a few months and leave scars. Terpenes isolated in copaiba oil have shown antiparasitic activity, making it a natural and effective remedy in treating this disease.
Provide pain relief
Inflammation is our body’s natural response to injury and damage. It is not always a bad thing, but sometimes the inflammation is too intense, causing pain. Terpenes, such as β-caryophyllene, present in the oil can suppress an overactive immune response to reduce inflammation and pain.
There are many ways to utilise copaiba oil resin based on its unique composition of active compounds. Its mild woody aroma and soothing scent make it a versatile product that can be used:
– as a fragrance component in cosmetic products that give moisturisers, lotions, and lip balms a pleasant natural, woody scent.
– massage oil for aches and pains.
– aromatherapy oil to help you relax and sleep better at night.
– soap to refresh your skin after a hard day at work.
– directly for treating acne, wounds, and skin infections.
– as an essential oil in aromatherapy diffusers.
Copaiba oil is a wonderful natural ingredient that has much to offer. Bursting with curative properties, its applications in natural skin care are endless. Whether you are looking for natural pain relief, need a helping hand with inflammation, or like to try a new ingredient, copaiba oil resin won’t disappoint!
What is the copaiba’s resin shelf life?
The shelf life of copaiba resin will depend on how it’s looked after. In general, you would expect it to last two years. Truth be told, the oil will begin to oxidate as soon as you open the bottle. That said, to extend its shelf life, keep it in the dark spot.
Where can I buy copaiba oil resin?
There are a few suppliers that keep it in stock. Yet, before you hit the buy button, consider the quality, smell, composition, shelf life of the oil, and the brand’s reputation. My favourite supplier at the moment is Rainforest Chica. Her products are of impeccable quality and sourced with sustainability in mind.
- Chemistry and Biological Activities of Terpenoids from Copaiba (Copaifera spp.) Oleoresins
- Antimicrobial activity of Brazilian copaiba oils obtained from different species of the Copaifera genus
- Copaiba oil-resin (Copaifera reticulate Ducke) modulates the inflammation in a model of injury to rats’ tongues.
- Brazilian Amazon Traditional Medicine and the Treatment of Difficult to Heal Leishmaniasis Wounds with Copaifera
- Terpenes and derivatives as a new perspective for pain treatment: a patent review
- Application of the essential oil from copaiba (Copaifera langsdori Desf.) for acne vulgaris: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial
- Staphylococcal skin infection