Copaiba is a stimulating oleoresin obtained from the trunk of several pinnate-leaved South American leguminous trees ( Genus Copaifera ). The thick, transparent exudate varies in color from light to dark brown, depending on the ratio of resin to essential oil . Copaiba is used in making varnishes and lacquers .
The balsam May be steam distilled to give copaiba oil , a colorless to light yellow liquid with the characteristic odor of the balsam and an aromatic, Slightly bitter, pungent taste. The oil Primarily Consists of sesquiterpene hydrocarbons; its main component is caryophyllene . [1]

Copaiba is also a common name for several species of trees of the family native to Tropical Africa and North America.


Copaiba is particularly interesting as a source of biodiesel , because of the high yield of 12,000 liters per ha. The resin is tapped from standing trees, with an individual tree yielding 40 liters per year. [2] [3]

Copaiba has been used in traditional medicine .

It has a long history of use as a folk medicine . In Panama, the Yaviza people mix the resin with honey and give it to newborns to impart knowledge and ward off hexes. [4]

Within the Amazon Peruvian near Iquitos, it is also used as an insect repellent.

The balsam and its oil are used as fixatives in soap perfumes and fragrances. [1]

Copaiba is also used as an artist material, especially in oil paint recipes and ceramic decoration. Mineral painters use a medium made of copaiba, turpentine and lavender to mix with their minerals for adhesion to ceramic vessels before kiln firing. Copaiba makes a good medium for oils and helps with both adhesion and quality of shine.


Copaiba oil-resins were used by the natives of north and northeastern Brazil. The folk remedies have been used orally as an anointment in the treatment of various diseases. [5]


In the 21st century, studies have shown that the beneficial effects of Copaiba are due to its anti-inflammatory , anti-tumor, anti- tetanus , antiseptic and antihemorrhagic properties. [6] [7]

In Brazil , studies on the medicinal plants, especially Copaiba oil-resin, are described in one study. [8]

Industry and commerce

Amazon rainforest

The production of Copaiba oil is socially significant to the Amazon because it represents approximately 95% of Brazil’s oil-resin production industry. The annual production of Copaiba oil in the Amazon is estimated to be 500 tons / year. [9] The commercialization of Copaiba as an oil in capsule form, and the United States , France , and Germany . [10]

Despite its use in various pharmacological forms and wide use in folk medicine, Copaiba has not been officially registered as a phytochemical drug. Experiments to assess any cytotoxic and mutagenic potential of Copaiba-derived resin are underway in Brazil to determine safe use, prior to phytochemical drug development. Under experimental conditions employed in a study on mice, it was concluded that the oil-resin from commercial Copaiba oil-resin showed no genotoxic or mutagenic effects. [5]


  1. ^ Jump up to:b Karl-Georg Fahlbusch; et al. (2007), “Flavors and Fragrances”, Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry (7th ed.), Wiley, p. 96
  2. Jump up^ “Farmer planning diesel tree biofuel” . Sydney Morning Herald . 2006-09-19 . Retrieved 2006-10-14 .
  3. Jump up^ “New fuel source from trees” . Australian Broadcasting Corporation . 2007-04-24 . Retrieved 2007-04-26 . dead link ]
  4. Jump up^ Duke, James A. (1982). “Copaifera langsdorfii Desf.” . Handbook of Energy Crops . Purdue Center for New Crops.
  5. ^ Jump up to:b Almeida MR, Darin JD Hernandes LC de Souza Ramos MF, Antunes LM, de Freitas O. “Genotoxicity assessment of Copaiba Oil and Its Fractions in Swiss mice” . Genet Mol Biol . 35 : 664-72. doi : 10.1590 / S1415-47572012005000052 . PMC  3459418  . PMID  23055807 .
  6. Jump up^ NM Gomes, Rezende CM, SP Fonts, Matheus ME, Fernandes PD. “Antinociceptive activity of Amazonian Copaiba oils”. J Ethnopharmacol . 109 : 486-92. doi : 10.1016 / j.jep.2006.08.018 . PMID  17029841 .
  7. Jump up^ MS Tsuboy, Marcarini JC, Luiz RC, IB Barros, Ferreira DT, Ribeiro LR, Mantovani MS. “In vitro evaluation of the genotoxic activity and apoptosis induction of the extracts of roots and leaves of the medicinal plant Coccoloba mollis (Polygonaceae)”. J Med Food . 13 : 503-8. doi : 10.1089 / jmf.2009.0119 . PMID  20438324 .
  8. Jump up^ Comelli Junior E, Skinovski J, Sigwalt MF, Branco AB, SR Luz, Baule Cde P. “Rupture point analysis of intestinal anastomotic healing in rats under the action of pure Copaíba (Copaifera Iangsdorfii) oil”. Acta Cir Bras . 25 : 362-7. PMID  20676496 .
  9. Jump up^ Sustainability of extraction and production of copaiba (Copaifera multijuga Hayne) oleoresin in Manaus, AM, Brazil. (Medeiros and Vieira, 2008, Brazil, 2011). Medeiros RD, Vieira G. For Ecol Manage. 2008; 256: 282-288.
  10. Jump up^ Veiga VF Jr. Zunino L, Calixto JB Patitucci ML Pinto AC. “Phytochemical and antioedematogenic studies of commercial copaiba oils available in Brazil”. Phytother Res . 15 : 476-80. doi : 10.1002 / ptr.976 . PMID  11536374 .