This post deals with the properties, benefits and uses of copaiba balsam essential oil. As you can tell from the name, this oil is made from the balsam (or natural oleoresin) of the copaiba trees and it’s one of the rarer oils you will see on the market.
Properties of Copaiba Balsam Essential Oil
The botanical name for copaiba is Copaifera officinalis. Check for this name when purchasing the oil.
Color & Scent
The color of this oil ranges from pale yellow to brown. And, as you can expect, the oil has a balsamic, woody, somewhat sweet scent.
What is in the oil?
The main compounds in this essential oil include beta-caryophyllene (which can make up 40% of the oil), alpha-bergamotene, alpha-copaene, alpha-humulene, beta-bisabolene, and germacrene-D.
Benefits of Copaiba Balsam Essential Oil
It is unfortunate that there are only a few studies exploring the benefits of copaiba balsam essential oil. Unfortunate indeed! Here are just two benefits that I found with supporting evidence.
It has some antibacterial effects
Two 2012 studies explored the antibacterial benefits of copaiba balsam. The first one tested the oil on the bacteria, Streptococcus mutans. It showed the oil – at low concentrations – stopped the bacteria from growing or reproducing.
The second study explored the antimicrobial activity of 27 essential oils including black pepper, tea tree, clove, and copaiba. The oils were tested against these strains of bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. While, all the oils showed antibacterial effects, copaiba was the least powerful oil tested.
So we certainly won’t be adding copaiba to the best antibacterial essential oils list.
It is antifungal
A 2011 study investigated the antifungal and anti-Candida effects of 16 essential oils on the harmful yeast, Candida parapsilosis. Note, the essential oils tested included bergamot, cedarwood (Virginia), cinnamon, copaiba, eucalyptus, ginger, lemon, myrrh, patchouli, sage, sandalwood and thyme.
So what were the results? Well, cinnamon was found to be the most potent oil. But copaiba did show very strong antifungal activity.
Hopefully, more studies can be done to prove other benefits of copaiba balsam essential oil.
Uses of Copaiba Balsam Essential Oil
A great way to use this essential oil is by inhaling or adding it to your diffuser. You’ll enjoy a wonderful balsamic, woody scent in your space. And you can add other oils too. Copaiba blends well with cedarwood, sandalwood, clary sage, jasmine, vanilla and ylang ylang essential oils.
You can use copaiba on your skin in dilute blends too but there have been reports that the oil can cause skin irritation and sensitivity, especially when used at higher concentrations. So it is very important to patch test the oil first before using it on your skin. I personally prefer to inhale this oil only and not use it on my skin.
Finally, like I always say in each post, talk to your healthcare provider before using this or any other essential oil. This precaution is even more important for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and persons taking special medication or suffering from any serious ailments.
Where to buy copaiba balsam essential oil?