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Guide To Copaiba Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

Copaiba essential oil (Copaifera officinalis or Copaifera reticulta) is also called copaiba balsam, although the oil is not a true balsam.

This essential oil contains large amounts of beta-caryophyllene. That compound interacts with cannabinoid receptors in your skin and causes skin cells to produce beta-endorphin, one of the happiness hormones, according to aromatherapy expert Robert Tisserand. He also notes beta-caryophyllene can help reduce inflammation, and copaiba is one of the safest oils to use on the skin. Copaiba essential oil for skin can help soothe and relieve skin irritation, including chronic skin disease.

Aromatherapy supplies with the words Guide To Copaiba Essential Oil Benefits and Uses and photo of a copaiba tree.

Basic Copaiba Facts

Plant family: Fabaceae

Production: Steam-distilled from the natural oleoresin collected from the tree, which grows wild in tropical areas. You can also buy an oleoresin that hasn't been distilled—some sources state the oleoresin is more useful for healing uses.

Aroma: Spicy, sweet, earthy, warm.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Base. The oil is often used as a fixative in perfumes and soapmaking.

Is copaiba safe to use during pregnancy? Generally considered safe. Consult a professional.

Is copaiba essential oil safe for children? Yes.

Cautions: None known.

Main components of Copaifera officinalis:

  • beta-caryophyllene
  • alpha-copaiene
  • delta-cadinene
  • gamma-cadinene
  • cedrol

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Copaiba Essential Oil Benefits

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Use copaiba for sore throat, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, stomachache, muscle pain, arthritis, skin fungus (including athlete's foot), and inflamed skin conditions. The oil also promotes general well-being.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils
(updated edition): Uses for copaiba essential oil include helping relieve hemorrhoids, chills, colds, coughs, and stress-related conditions.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume 2: Copaiba is a strong oil for helping relieve inflammation, especially in the context of a damp terrain. The oil's main indication is for chronic mucous discharges. The oil is also useful in dealing with non-healing wounds, ulcers, fistulas, boils, furuncles, skin fungus, scaly skin disorders, sprains, and painful joints.

Copaiba is emotionally and spiritually calming, balancing, and grounding, according to Aromaweb.

Copaiba Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Pain-Relief Blends

For arthritis and stiff joints: Combine 7 drops each of copaiba and cypress essential oils with 1 tablespoon of tamanu oil. Source: Eden's Garden

Foot Soak for Aching Feet

  • 1/4 cup Epsom salt
  • 3 drops copaiba essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil

Combine ingredients. Stir the blend into a foot basin filled with warm water. Soak your feet for 15-30 minutes. Source: Young Living Blog

Massage Oil to Relieve Swelling and Pain
For adult use only.

  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil
  • 7 drops copaiba essential oil
  • 7 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 3 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 3 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil

Combine all the ingredients in a one-ounce glass bottle. Cap and shake well. Massage a little of blend into swollen or painful areas as needed.

Adapted from Jaime Vinson, BSN, RN, HN-BC, RYT, NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Autumn 2019.3, p. 63.

Sore Muscle Soak
For adult use only.

  • 1/4 cup salt (any combination of Epsom, Himalayan, and sea salt)
  • A few drops solubilizer
  • 10 drops copaiba essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Stir into a warm bath.

Adapted from Cheryl Murphy, Certified Aromatherapy, NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Winter 2019.4, p. 11.

Diffuser Blends

Diffuse copaiba for its calming benefits.

Air Freshening Diffuser Blend

  • 4 drops copaiba
  • 6 drops clove essential oil
  • 8 drops bergamot essential oil

Blend essential oils in a small dark bottle. Use a few drops in your aromatherapy diffuser according to manufacturer's instructions.

Breathing Support Diffuser Blend

To support your upper respiratory system, diffuse a blend of 3 drops each of copaiba, cypress, and eucalyptus globulus essential oils. Source: Plant Therapy

Skin Care

Add copaiba to your daily moisturizer to give skin a youthful, radiant glow. The oil moisturizes and nourishes dry skin and hair.

Face Mask for Dull Skin

Copaiba reduces the appearance of blemishes. The honey, lemon juice, and egg white tighten and brighten skin.

  • 2 drops copaiba essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  1. Blend ingredients.
  2. Use a brush to apply mask to your face.
  3. Let mask completely dry.
  4. Rinse off mask with cold water.

Source: Young Living Blog

Respiratory Blend

For adult use only.

  • 2 tablespoons unscented lotion
  • 5 drops copaiba balsam essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) essential oil
  1. Combine essential oils in a glass container.
  2. Add unscented lotion to a glass mixing bowl.
  3. Gently mix in the essential oil blend.
  4. Store the blend in a one-ounce glass container, label, and seal immediately.

To use: Rub a dime-sized amount of the blend onto chest and neck every 3 to 4 hours or as needed.

Source: Rehne Burge, C.A., NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Winter 2020.4, p. 100.

Men's Products

Copaiba is a hearty base note for men’s blends, including homemade aftershave and other aromatherapy blends for men.

Men’s Fragrance Spray

  • 10 drops copaiba
  • 10 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 1 drop sandalwood essential oil
  • 1 drop vetiver essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon alcohol
  • Filtered water
  1. Add essential oils and alcohol to a two-ounce spray bottle. Shake well.
  2. Add filtered water to fill bottle. Shake again.
  3. Spray upward into the air as a room freshener or use as a natural body spray.

Source: Everyday Basics from ACHS

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Photo Credit: Jonathan Wilkins / CC BY-SA