Why and how we use it #
During my time living in the Amazon, I came across an amazing oil called Copaiba. The native people had so many uses for it that I was intrigued to try it. What I found was an incredible Amazonian medicine that complements and reinforces so many other Amazonian medicines including Kambo. Recently, due to the huge demand from mine and others clients, I have started to purchase much larger quantities of natural and pure Copaiba Oil from the Amazon.
Some of the mainstream essential oil companies are also catching on to the healing powers of Copaiba but the prices can be high. Hopefully, we have a much more affordable product for you to offer your client base so I thought it would be helpful to share some of the ways and reasons that indigenous people use Copaiba.
Copaiba (Co-pah-ee-bah) oil comes from a tree found in the Amazon rainforest called Copaiba (Copaifera Officinalis). The trees grow 15-30 metres tall and produce white flowers and sead pods throughout the year. The oil comes from small cavities within the trunk wood. The trunk is tapped by making small holes in it and allowing the oil to drip out rather like the way that maple syrup is harvested. That means that the tree can be sustainably harvested year on year, producing approx. 30-40 litres of oil a year, without destroying the tree. We call it oil but it is in fact a balsam or oleoresin. Copaiba is the highest known natural source of Beta-Caryophyllene, a well know plant Sesquiterpene that has strong anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, anti fungal and gastro protective qualities.
Copaiba was first brought back to Europe by the Jesuits and was recorded as being used as a medicine in Europe in the 1600s. Since then, it has been used across the world in many herbal preparations. It is the subject of a huge amount of clinical research which is interesting to explore.
Traditional Uses #
In the Amazon, Copaiba is traditionally used as:
An anti-inflammatory and pain relieving agent for all types of skin conditions, including Psoriasis, acne, skin sores/boils, wounds, ulcers, burns, dermatitis, eczema, herpes sores, nail fungus, athletes foot and insect or animal bites. It can also be used to soften dry skin and soothe sunburnt skin. Apply topically as needed. For larger areas, dilute with a carrier oil. 1 drop to 1ml or add to your normal lotion.
An anti-inflammatory agent for all forms of internal inflammation. Effective for stomach ulcers, acid reflux, inflamed intestines, gastric issues, stomach bacteria, IBS, Crohns disease, Lupus, reduces wind/gas, constipation and parasites. Should be taken in small doses 3-6 drops in warm water, once or twice a day as tolerated. The same amount can be applied topically to the affected area at bedtime. Add to a carrier oil for larger areas. Massage in the abdomen to improve digestion or into the lower abdomen for menstruation issues.
An anti-inflammatory and pain relieving agent for sore muscles, inflamed joints, arthritis, fibromyalgia etc. Add 15 drops to 15 mls carrier oil and massage in every couple of hours throughout the day.
An anti-inflammatory and pain relieving agent for urinary tract infections, (cystitis, bladder or kidney) 6 drops in warm water, three times a day for 3 days. Massage 6 drops in 6mls carrier oil over bladder area and lower back before bedtime. It can also be applied 1:1 with coconut oil for haemorrhoids.
An antiseptic for sore throats, tonsillitis and throat infections. Use 6 drops in a glass of warm water gargled twice a day, 6 drops in a carrier oil, rubbed into the throat area twice a day and 3 drops on a teaspoon of honey, swallowed twice a day until resolved.
An expectorant for chest infections, bronchitis etc. Apply topically. Rub 6 drops in a 6 mls carrier oil into the chest area 3-4 times a days.
Pain relief for Catarrh and Sinus issues. Apply topically to affected areas as needed.
A way to shrink varicose veins by applying 6 drops to 6mls carrier oil massaged into area/s twice a day
Preventing hair loss by massaging 12 drops in 6 mls carrier oil into scalp daily. Use half that dilution 3 times a week for dandruff.
An addition to any massage oil to relieve pain, inflammation or muscle spasm anywhere in the body.
Copaiba is a wonderful natural remedy with a multitude of uses. It has both protective and healing properties. Add to your diffuser or oil burner to reduce stress and anxiety, soothe inflammation in the airways, disinfect a room or protect against allergic reactions. Ingest 2 drops a day in a glass of warm water to boost your immune system.
Copaiba has no known interactions with pharmaceutical drugs but as with all substances, even natural ones, it is sensible to follow a few precautions.
Avoid contact with eyes – wash with warm water if this occurs
If rash occurs after use, it could indicate sensitivity so stop use immediately
Do not take internal doses daily of more than 2 ml per day
If taken internally and daily over a long term, do not exceed 12 drops per day and have a few days break every 6 weeks.
Always start with small doses and increase as it is tolerated.
Do not add to any other oil containing Beta-Caryophyllene e.g. Oregano, Ginger, Rosemary or Cinnamon etc
None of the information or advice given here constitutes medical advice and should not be taken as such. Any use is entirely at your own risk. Please do your own research and check contraindications yourself before commencing a treatment plan or protocol.