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Copaiba Balsam Essential Oil
Copaiba Balsam is steam distilled from the gum/resin of Copaifera officinalis, a tree that is native to Brazil and parts of South America. It's a lesser known botanical and oil, and I'm still getting acquainted with its intriguing aroma and applications.
Aromatically, Copaiba Balsam has a deep, rich, earthy, grounding aroma. It can be used as a fixative in natural aromatics in place of Oakmoss Absolute. This is especially appealing since Oakmoss Absolute possesses a high risk of skin sensitivity.
Emotionally and spiritually, Copaiba Balsam is calming, balancing and grounding.
Limited information about Copaiba Balsam is documented in reliable texts. However, GC/MS reports from reliable suppliers concur that Copaiba Balsam consists of at least 90% sesquiterpenes. Sequiterpenes tend to possess noteworthy antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Please see the uses section below for additional uses for Copaiba Balsam.
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Strength of Initial Aroma
Sweet, woody, resinous, earthy.
Copaiba Balsam Uses
Because Copaiba Balsam contains over 90% sesquiterpenes, the oil is said to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and may also exhibit anti-bacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Jane Buckle cites a study that indicates that Copaiba Balsam shows promise in assisting with acne. [Jane Buckle, PhD, RN, Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Healthcare, Edition 3 (London, UK: Elsevier, 2015), 272.]
Julie Lawless cites these additional possible uses: bronchitis, colds, stress, perfumery fixative. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 126.]
[Stashenko, E., et al,Catalytic Transformation of Copaiba (Copaifera officinalis) Oil Over Zeolite. (Journal of High Resolution Chromatography 18, 1995) 54-60. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 259.]
Tisserand and Young do not indicate any special precautions when using Copaiba Balsam. However, reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended.[Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 259.]
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General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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