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Properties and Uses of Copaiba Essential Oil

Properties and Uses of Copaiba Essential Oil

Relieving pain and inflammation arising from day-to-day activities and chronic conditions like arthritis is considered to be one of the best uses of copaiba essential oil. This Buzzle article elaborates more on the medicinal values of this essential oil.
HolisticZine Staff
Caution!
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid internal usage of copaiba essential oil.
Obtained from the oleoresin of different species of the copaifera tree, copaiba essential oil comes with a multitude of health benefits. Oleoresin (copal) undergoes a steam distillation process to yield this oil. This essential oil, native to the Amazon region, is revered by locals for its high therapeutic value. It is considered to be one of the best pain relievers, as it is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. The following are some other important benefits of copaiba essential oil.
Displays Anti-inflammatory Properties
Copaiba essential oil is said to display the most potent anti-inflammatory activity, which is superior than some of the commonly used NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen, and steroids like cortisone. This is because, it contains very high doses of beta-caryophyllene, a compound known for its strong anti-inflammatory effect.
Generally this compound accounts for 5 to 12% of oil concentration in most essential oils. However, copaiba essential oil contains an astounding 50 to 55% beta-caryophyllene. This makes it ideal for the treatment of anti-inflammatory conditions like arthritis, lupus, gout, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.
Relieves Physical Discomfort
Beta-caryophyllene helps reduce the body's natural response to irritation and injury, which helps to minimize physical discomfort. So, it can assist in relieving those aching muscles that bother you after a hard day's work.
Relieves Congestion
Mucus buildup, commonly associated with a wide range of respiratory tract infections, can be treated with this essential oil. This is because, it acts as an excellent expectorant, which assists in clearing the accumulated mucus. In Brazil, the resin of copaiba has long been known for its expectorant properties, and is used as a cough medicine for bronchitis and sinusitis.
Displays Antimicrobial Properties
Preliminary studies indicate that this oil is very effective at inhibiting bacterial growth. Hence, applying it topically can certainly benefit in treating cutaneous wounds and speed up the healing process. Its bactericidal effect may also help treat skin problems like acne. So, regularly applying a few drops on acne-affected areas may help in reducing the symptoms of acne. For usage, add 2 drops of this oil on a cotton ball, and then dab it on the acne-affected area. Follow this skin care routine daily, and you are sure to experience improvement in your skin condition.
Its antibacterial property may also clear a sore throat and other respiratory problems resulting from bacterial infections. Studies conducted in South America, particularly in Brazil, also indicate that this essential oil is antifungal, which means that its application may be an effective remedy for athlete's foot and nail fungus.
Promotes Better Bladder Control
Involuntary urination, better known as loss of bladder control, can be quite frustrating, but can be treated with copaiba essential oil. A lower abdomen massage with this oil is said to strengthen the muscles that control urine flow. It can tone up the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder and the urethra, which would improve urinary incontinence.
Good for the Skin
With increasing age, the collagen that provides firmness and elasticity to the skin declines. As a result, the skin tends to appear wrinkled and saggy. However, a natural way to boost collagen production and restore the youthful look of the skin would be to use this oil. When applying it regularly, it can increase collagen synthesis and enhance the appearance of the skin. Its ability to stimulate collagen production can also assist in correcting damaged skin associated with scars. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, applying it externally is recommended to treat skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Copaiba essential oil displays blood pressure lowering properties, thanks to its high content of kaurenoic acid. This plant chemical has displayed hypotensive properties in laboratory studies. So, using the essential oil may help in maintaining healthy blood pressure, in turn promoting cardiovascular health.
Aids Digestion
It promotes healthy functioning of the digestive system. Gently massage it on the abdominal area that supports the body's gastrointestinal system. The oil purportedly shows laxative properties, which may help treat digestive issues such as constipation. In Brazil, it is a traditional remedy for the treatment of stomach ulcers and gastritis.
Excellent Diuretic
With its diuretic properties, it may help get rid of toxins accumulated in the body, and even treat water retention. The oil increases urine flow, which can contribute to cleansing the body properly. Also, there is some evidence that indicates that the oil promotes liver detoxification.
Hemorrhoid Relief
Hemorrhoids can be quite painful, particularly during bowel movement. An easy way to relieve this discomfort would be to have a sitz bath with copaiba oil. With its antimicrobial activity, it can contribute in relieving the symptoms of hemorrhoid as well as any other infections in the genital area. So, take a sitz bath containing 8 to 10 drops of copaiba essential oil, for hemorrhoid relief.
Fades Stretch Marks
If you think that your stretch marks can be noticed prominently, it's time you use natural remedies. When combined with a carrier oil, and applying it regularly, this oil may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. For instance, massaging a mixture of clove and copaiba essential oil may contribute in making the stretch marks shallower.
Helps with Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
Both these conditions occur due to disruptions in blood circulation, in which blood vessels just below the skin enlarge and cause pooling of the blood. Known for its ability to improve blood flow, this oil is an excellent remedy for these conditions. Applying it daily can enhance blood circulation, and promote drainage of accumulated blood in healthy veins.
Relieves Insect Bites
Insect bites and stings are often painful and cause swelling. Apply the oil on the affected site to considerably minimize physical discomfort, as it contains anti-irritant compounds such as alpha humulene. Insect bites, particularly from wasps and honey bees, can be unnerving, but natural remedies like copaiba essential oil may work to calm these irritations.
Other Uses
Copaiba essential oil is thought to have antiviral properties, which can work in treating herpes, and may even prevent its recurrence. The antiseptic properties may assist in treating urinary tract infections, particularly cystitis. As a diffuser, its aroma can help relieve stress, anxiety, and elevate one's mood.
Usage
This is one of the few essential oils that can be taken internally without diluting it. Just place 2 drops in a capsule, and then swallow the capsule with water. You may be advised to take 3 capsules daily to get relief. For topical usage, dilution is usually not needed, and applying 2 to 4 drops directly on the affected area is often recommended. You can also combine this oil into your daily meals and juices to reap its benefits. However, people with overly sensitive skin need to combine it with a carrier oil such as olive oil, in a 50:50 ratio.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.