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Health Benefits of Copaiba Oil

The latest research on copaiba oil reveals its ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system to boost immunity, and hopefully offer future cures for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and cancer patients.

| September/October 2019

 Photo by Getty Images/Roman_Rahm

The vast jungle of the Amazon rainforest ensconces some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet with its 1,300 species of birds; 3,000 species of freshwater fish; and an astonishing 40,000 species of plants. It’s no wonder that some of the most potent botanical remedies originate from this incredibly rich ecosystem. Among these species grows the copaiba (pronounced co-pie-EE-ba) tree (Copaifera spp.), towering up to 100 feet tall into the rainforest canopy. Resin extracted from the copaiba tree has only recently caught the attention of Western scientists, but it’s quickly becoming one of the greatest medicinal discoveries of the plant world.

For the healers of the indigenous Amazon tribes, copaiba oil is nothing new. They’ve long used it mixed with honey to ease sore throats and tonsillitis, as well as to treat topical pain and wounds; as an antiseptic to kill bacteria in urinary tract and respiratory infections; and as an antibacterial remedy to treat bronchitis and tuberculosis. In addition, they’ve utilized the copaiba resin to heal stomach ulcers, syphilis, tetanus, and a variety of other afflictions.

Copaiba resin was first recorded in European medicine in 1625, after early Jesuit travelers brought it back from the New World under the name “Jesuit’s Balsam.” Throughout the early 1800s, Dr. R. La Roche praised copaiba in medical journals, particularly for its potential cure in a case of bronchitis. In the 200 years since his findings, almost no mention of copaiba appeared in medical journals again. In the last several years, though, a growing body of researchers has revived the study of copaiba and revealed what the indigenous people have known for centuries: Copaiba has widespread health benefits.

Unlocking the Endocannabinoid System

Recent research reveals copaiba’s effectiveness in relieving pain, reducing inflammation, killing germs and bacteria, inhibiting tumor growth, protecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, acting as a mild laxative, suppressing coughs, and expelling phlegm. According to extensive research compiled in Leslie Taylor’s book, The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs, copaiba supports a healthy cardiovascular, immune, digestive, nervous, and respiratory system, and acts as an antioxidant that helps destroy harmful disease-causing free radicals.

The main reason for copaiba’s many health benefits stems from its ability to interact with the body’s powerful endocannabinoid system (ECS). Most people aren’t familiar with this recently discovered body system, as it’s only been studied in-depth within the last decade.

1/3/2020 4:11:05 PM

This was a very informative article with much more information than I could get in my Aromatherapy resource manual. I love essential oils. I have osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, so I will be checking out this “Deep Blue” oil mix and trying it. Thank you for such a knowledgeable and in-depth article!

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