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July 02, 2019 3 min read

Oil of the Week: Copaiba Balsam

This week's featured oil is copaiba balsam, a fascinating oil steam distilled from the resin of the Copaifera officinalis tree, native to Brazil. The light yellow oil has a sweet, woody, resinous scent. Copaiba balsam oil, like frankincense and myrrh, is associated with spiritual practice and healing. It contains around 55% beta-caryophyllene, which is also present in marijuana but not psychoactive (meaning you won’t get ‘high’ from it). This compound has been scientifically proven to soothe the nervous system, help with pain and relieve inflammation; it acts on the body's endocannabinoid system and can treat anxiety and depression.

Copaiba balsam has many medicinal and therapeutic uses.


Medicinal

Copaiba oil is used to treat bronchitis, coughs and diarrhea. It acts as a natural diuretic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Probably its most important use however, is as a neuroprotector following acute neural disorders such as strokes or spinal injuries. Copaiba has neuroprotective benefits by modulating inflammatory response after a neurological anomaly, thereby limiting and reducing inflammation in the brain and other neural centers. 

Copaiba balsam may also assist in inhibiting cancer cell growth.

Copaiba was found to reduce liver tissue damage when used in a preventative manner (ie. before taking any potential liver damage-inducing substances such as pain killers). When used to treat after taking pain killers however, it caused additional damage. Therefore we strongly suggest consulting with your naturopath or doctor before taking copaiba to treat liver damage.

Traditionally, copaiba is used as a wound healer as it is a powerful antiseptic, and for skin conditions. In Brazillian herbal medicine it is used for bronchitis and sinusitis as well as for urinary tract infections.


Topical

Copaiba can treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and damaged skin, as well as reduce the appearance of pimples, blisters and scars. It can help heal, repair and tighten any damaged skin. Add the oil to a carrier oil of your choice or add to a cream.


Aromatherapy and Spiritual Practice

Copaiba oil is a grounding, balancing and calming oil when used in aromatherapy, and its beta-caryophyllene content acts on the nervous and endocannabinoid systems to relieve anxiety and lift the mood. Add a few drops to your diffuser and breathe in the soothing aroma.


Other Uses

Copaiba is also used as a fragrance and for its skin benefits in soaps, perfumes and cosmetic creams.


How to Use Copaiba Oil:

It can be taken orally with permission from your doctor. Add 1-2 drops to water, tea or a smoothie.

Topically, it can be applied when mixed with a cream or carrier oil.

It can also be diffused in a burner or humidifier for bronchial conditions and emotional stress relief.


It blends well with cedarwood, rose, lemon, orange, clary sage, jasmine, vanilla, and ylang ylang.

Sustainability factor:

Originating from Brazil and the rainforest areas of South America, the copaiba tree is an important local resource. As the oil is distilled from the resin of the living trees, copaiba is hardly ever cut down, and so the oil is a sustainable product!


Therapeutic Roll On Blends

Blend these together and add to a roll on bottle for therapeutic relief that fits in a handbag!

 

Respiratory Blend

1 tsp carrier oil such as almond or jojoba

1 drop copaiba

1 drop eucalyptus

1 drop peppermint

Apply to neck and temples.



De-Stress Blend

1 tsp carrier oil such as almond or jojoba

2 drops lavender

1 drop copaiba

1 drop sandalwood

Apply to neck and temples.



Anxiety & Mood Lifter Blend

1 tsp carrier oil such as almond or jojoba

1 drop copaiba

1 drop clary sage

1 drop orange

Optional extra: 1 drop ylang ylang or geranium

Apply to neck and temples.



Skin Healing Blend

1 tsp evening primrose oil

1 drop copaiba

1 drops lavender

Apply to problem area and massage in.





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