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COPAIBA Essential Oil: Rediscovering a Traditional Healing Plant Essence

copaiba botanical illustration with bottle of young living copaiba on essential oils for
Young Living Copaiba therapeutic-quality essential oil is excellent for healing wounds, fungal infections, relieving pain, and reducing inflammation.
Photo of Copaiba balsam tree (Copaifera Officinalis) Copaiba balsam tree (Copaifera officinalis)

COPAIBA, a new-to-the-USA therapeutic essential oil, has been re-introduced into our healing pharmacopeia after a century of obscurity.

This medicinal gem is NOT steam-distilled like other therapeutic essential oils. Tapped directly from a traditional medicinal tree indigenous to Brazil’s Amazon jungle through a hole drilled into the trunk of the 50 to 80-foot tall tree. Out pours liquid copaiba oleo resin. The resin is then distilled under vacuum pressure ~ without water or heat ~ to separate off the precious aromatic essential oil. All harvesting of Young Living’s COPAIBA essential oil is done by native Brazilian tribes.

 Young Living Copaiba therapeutic-quality essential oil is excellent for healing wounds, fungal infections, relieving pain, and reducing inflammation.

Used as a traditional folk medicine for nearly 800 years and still sold in Amazonian pharmacies, COPAIBA was also listed in the US Pharmacopeia for topical and oral uses, a century ago (from 1820 to 1910). Still on the FDA GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) List for oral consumption, COPAIBA essential oil is recommended for digestive discomforts. For stomach aches, stomach infections, and gastritis: Use up to ½ teaspoon, twice daily. Four to six drops per day in a capsule should be of benefit.

COPAIBA Has 50% Concentration of Anti-Inflammatory Beta-Caryophyllene

A 1996 study showed beta-caryophyllene to be effective in treating stress-induced ulcers. Beta-caryophyllene, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound is found at 50% concentration in pure COPAIBA essential oil. Comparing other healing essential oils: Beta-caryophyllene occurs in pure HELICHRYSUM essential oil at a 8%- 12% and in pure CLOVE essential oil at 6-8%.

COPAIBA is useful for Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Pain.

Applied topically for pain, Young Living’s Director of Product Formulations, Marc Schreuder likes COPAIBA mixed with a little PEPPERMINT. COPAIBA’s also effective as an antiseptic, and used as immune support for fighting cellular mutations and tumors.

After studying COPAIBA for eight years, Marc Schreuder, commented COPAIBA was “HELICHRYSUM on steroids.” He says it is his #1 favorite oil, with FRANKINCENSE being #2.

always buy the best essential oilsMr. Schreuder refers to COPAIBA as “SANDALWOOD on steroids” due to its high sesquiterpene content. SANDALWOOD considered  excellent for emotional support…COPAIBA is six times better. Combining COPAIBA and FRANKINCENSE creates the highest spiritual and emotional frequency oil blend.

Buy The Best! Much of the readily available COPAIBA oil on the market is adulterated with soy bean oil (a predominantly GM/GE crop) or kerosene to extend the yield. But not COPAIBA available from Young Living Essential Oils.

~ Information on Copaiba: gleaned from Debra Raybern’s notes from a July 7, 2009 Copaiba Conference Call with Marc Schreuder, Young Living’s Director of Product Formulations
~ Photo of Copaiba Tree: Thanks to Barloventomagico Flickr Photostream

50 thoughts on “COPAIBA Essential Oil: Rediscovering a Traditional Healing Plant Essence”

    • Maggi ~ I’d love to know more about how you used Young Living Essential Oil’s Copaiba for your frozen shoulder…and how long it took to heal. Visited your site and read about all the interesting health therapies, you and your husband offer your clients. Did you use other therapies in conjunction with the Copaiba? (My guess is most likely, yes…) Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Price check for Copaiba oil-pain.
    Sports injury pain has been lifelong. Does one need additional oils in combination?

    • Hi Carol ~ Copaiba, 15ml bottle from Young Living Essential Oils = $52.30 +S/H ($10) and sales tax if you live in California.

      To advise you, I would need to know more about the nature of your sports injury / any other health issues / repetitive motion situations that may be contributing to the pain or may contraindicate use of certain essential oils (ie. high/low blood pressure, epilepsy, asthma, etc.). This is why an initial consultation may be a wise investment.

      Every body responds differently. There are MANY essential oils that are analgesic (pain-relieving). Using them in combination or on alternating days can be very effective. Again, depending on the nature of the injury: nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones….certain essential oils are more effective than others.

      Thanks for stopping by to ask a question.
      Take care,

  2. Copaiba oil would be useful for my husband. Years ago he pulled some ligaments from his knee caps. One knee gives him much pain. I heard about Copaiba and thought it a good essential added to the 100’s of herbal remedies we already know about and have on hand.

    • Carol ~ Did your husband ever have surgery for those knee ligaments? Sometimes torn ligaments need to be repaired surgically since they are slow to heal. The concern being how the scar tissue has formed and whether or not there are adhesions causing the on-going pain. Has he consulted with a sports therapist / doctor about his knee?

      I have a best-selling blend BONZ™ a combination of essential oils in massage oils originally formulated for broken bones. It has excellent oils for healing ligaments and giving pain relief. You could consider that option as well.

  3. My husband hasn’t had surgery on his torn ligaments around his knees. He several months ago had injections into both supposedly guaranteed to relieve this nuisance pain. One knee gives him pain constantly. He refuses surgery as he thinks it will put him down for months. (a very stubborn attitude.) Life goes on. We’ve used herbal remedies for over 36 years now and find they work for us miraculously as well as essential oils.

    • Stubborn. Yes, he’s not the only one who feels hesitant about surgeries with good reason as hospitals aren’t the best places to be. We’re watching my husband’s Mom, who desperately needs knee replacement surgery, suffer because she’s scared.

      Your husband ‘might’ be well advised to inquire about getting those ligaments repaired. The advances that have taken place in micro surgeries are pretty amazing. The recovery period might be much less than he’s imagining. What essential oils have you been using to ease his discomfort?

  4. Husband has had injections recently. No surgery. WE use several herbal remedies and essential oils on hand.

  5. Pleased you’re finding the information interesting! Have SO much more to write about. Need to get back to adding more to the site. RE: Using Copaiba & Frankincense Follow your intuition. I find intuition guides us along our paths. Will be answering your email questions this morning. Was gone all day yesterday.

  6. Hi:

    I saw the string of e-mails on knee pain above and thought I should comment. I had a severe knee injury where I tore my knee ligaments, tendons and had tremendous damage to the meniscus. Fifteen years later I tried something called prolotherapy. Please go to website called: Several medical doctors in the nation perform prolotherapy. It is safe, has minimal side effects and most importantly you do not need knee replacements or arthroscopic surgeries. My left knee that I could hardly walk on is like new. At least have a look at it. Thanks.


    • You are most welcome! Dolf ~ If you have any other questions about using essential oils or their healing benefits, feel free to ask.

      My family has been using therapeutic quality essential oils since 1999. Now they are all I use for common first aid issues, aches and pains, headaches, mouth wounds, even scary infections. My person preference is to turn to nature for her holistic healing remedies, no pharmaceutical drugs for me!

  7. I have a prolapsed uterus and bladder. It just came on in the last couple of months. I am 68, had 5 children, and no other medical problems. Have been using YL oils for a few years now for minor aches and pains. Any suggestions on something that might avoid surgery?

    • Esther ~ My apologies for taking a week to reply. Had intended to get right back to you, but was distracted by other responsibilities. What does your doctor say causes a prolapsed uterus and bladder?

      My sense (without having done any research on this issue, which would require a paid consultation) is the ligaments that hold the organs in place have been weakened somehow. A health practitioner and friend of ours says stress and eating sugar weakens ligaments. Do those issues factor into your lifestyle? This same friend recommends high doses of quality Vitamin C to strength & stabilize ligaments.

      There ARE essential oils that support female health and others that aid ligaments to heal, but I would need to know more about what the doctor thinks has caused this. And what YOU think may be the cause…before making recommendations. My fees for personal health consultations are: $26/15 minutes (quick questions) – $44/30 minutes (more detailed issues like this) – $80/hr (to do research & email consultation recommendations). Payment is via Paypal.

  8. very interesting will love to follow you emails i still will continue with my friend carol wilson she got me started with living ols

  9. Hello
    Tibia Plateau Fracture 10/13
    Repair 11/13
    Now Meniscus tear, possible spur and scar tissue formed.
    02/13 Arthroscopy.
    Please help with oils needed after scoping.

    • Hi Monica ~ Therapeutic essential oils often aid in healing these sorts of injuries. For pain & healing: Gaia’s Pharmacoepia – Bonz™ is an excellent combination to address many aspects of your injury.

      For additional pain relief: Young Living Essential Oils – Wintergreen OR PanAway

      Wishing you the best for a speedy recovery,
      Cynthe Brush
      YLO Distributor #168709

  10. I just had a total knee replacement done 12 days ago. I had no idea how terrible the recovery was gonna be. I am 60 yr white female with previous knee problems from sports. I also just went into remission from acute aml leukeima dec 2013. My surgery date was march 26th. What can I do to speed up recovery?

    • Hi Becky ~ That’s a lot to go through. Knee replacement surgery takes some months to recover from. Definitely follow your doctor & physical therapist’s advice to reduce inflammation & swelling, prevent infection, and regain mobility.

      Are you wanting a paid personal consultation for in depth suggestions of how you can use essential oils to speed your healing? If so, read over our ‘Aromatherapy for You‘ service page and complete the Health In-Take Form.

      If you want to research options yourself, search our site for articles on wound care or surgery. You may also want to look over some blends we’ve created for speeding surgical recovery.

  11. My 14month old son is having upper lip tie revision (laser oral work) and copiaba was recommended for pain relief. How would I administer and at what dose for his age?

    • Pam ~ Copaiba could be diluted to 33% (1 drop mixed with 2 drops of organic JoJoba oil). 1 drop of the mixture applied with your clean fingertip.

      You could also consider German Chamomile, which is known to be safe for small children. It has analgesic (pain-killing), anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory (great for burns / wounds from the laser surgery) properties. I would use the same dilution and application method. German Chamomile is a dark indigo blue and can stain clothing and furnishings, so use neatly! It will completely absorb through the skin and not leave your little one looking ‘Goth.’ (smile)

      Hope the surgery goes well.

  12. Hi I just had a biopsy taken from possible melanoma mole on my face. They also burned it off. Is there an oil/ oils I can use to apply to that wound for healing, pain and less chances of scarring? Thank you

    • Hi Michelle ~ Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) and Sacred Frankincense (boswellia sacra) essential oils are both excellent for cancers of all sorts. Also, Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) essential oil is highly regarded for skin care and healing.

      Another medicinal plant that has remarkable healing properties for all sorts of issues, but especially cancer, is cannabis. It is available as an oil to be used topically and/or internally, but you would have to get approved by an MD for its use. If your doctor is not familiar with its cancer applications, then look for a medical cannabis clinic in your area to recommend a doctor who is.

  13. I have just been introduced to essential oils. I have a history of actinic keratosis and been treated with very expensive gel. I had one basil cell carcinoma removed from face last year. Interested to learn how to use the copaiba oil as I have places that need treatment now.

    • Vicki ~ Glad to hear you’re exploring essential oils to support your well-being. For your situation, consider using Frankincense or Ledum essential oils. In terms of use, apply the EO am/pm or more frequently if you wish. Rub it in. The skin will absorb the EO completely within a few seconds.

      Copaiba is a wonderful essential oil, but I haven’t read of it being used for this purpose. I’d appreciate knowing what has drawn you to Copaiba?

  14. An acquaintance told me she used copaiba for arthritis. I found a site that spoke about the oleoresin from copaiba used for treatment of skin conditions.

    • Vicki ~ Copaiba is excellent for arthritis and gastro-intestinal issues as you can read in our article. I’ll go check out that site you’ve mentioned. Thanks!

  15. I have a 86 year old dad that has gastritis along with acid reflux. He also has trouble swallowing. I would love to give him copabia for the gastritis as its been hard to give him good meals. He’s also lost weight & has contorted legs from 4 months in rehab after being admitted into the hospital due to dehydration. They didn’t get him out of the bed for 4 days and he couldn’t stand let alone walk. He walked a mile a day before that. His hamstrings and tendons are very tight which I believe is causing his legs to be bent. Can I give him the copabia in a spoon of honey? Thanks

    • Hi Janine ~ Your father’s intestinal discomforts are likely connected to dehydration. I’ve got elderly parents, too, and it’s difficult to get them to drink the water their bodies really need. Are you his caregiver? Your idea of using Copaiba essential oil in honey is certainly fine. What may be best would be to dilute a few drops in 2-4oz of honey that he could take a 1/2tsp of daily. A full drop per spoonful of honey may be too strong for such an elderly man.

      For his legs, can you find someone to give him gentle massage using organic jojoba or coconut oil? Also, again, the dehydration – lack of water issue are very likely contributing to both his tight muscles and inability to walk as he used to. For a very interesting read, take a look at this book “Your Body’s Many Cries For Water” by F. Batmanghelidj, MD.

  16. hello Cynthe
    am rather new to alternative medical treatments and was advice by someone to look into it.
    Now, I had a lower back sports injury in my late teens a prolapsed disk to be more accurate (L5S1) and now in my early 40’s, it has hit me again with a bang.
    Painful Sciatica pain running down the leg and hips and an equally sore lower back. Advised for a complete bed rest.
    While reading some blogs on the net came across the Copaiba essential oil for taking care of the inflammation.
    Would appreciate any advice and help on usage of this oil.
    btw no surgery done ever and have ordered copaiba and peppermint oils

    thanks n peace

    • Glad someone has pointed you in this holistic self-health direction. Quality essential oils are a powerhouse resource for supporting our bodies to heal! Many essential oils have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, Copaiba and Peppermint being two. Apply your oils directly to the old injury site (Peppermint last…as it has the property of enhancing other EOs effects) and to the irritated, painful sciatic pathway down your leg. Do it several times daily. And follow the bed rest advice as well. Let us know what you experience after a week of treatment.

      For future reference we sell two pain-relieving blends for sore backs and back injuries: Back-to-Back™ and BackUp™ that have worked well for family members.

  17. Hello Cynthe

    thanks for the insight. one more thing though, how many drops of EO Copaiba and peppermint should i apply

    thanks and again and God Bless

    • There aren’t ‘prescriptions’ for essential oils. Use enough drops of Copaiba to cover the painful areas (a little goes along way) and then top off with a few drops of Peppermint. More Copaiba than Peppermint. Rub in. Don’t wipe off, the skin will absorb the EOs within seconds.

  18. I have a scar in my abdomen developed after caesarian delivery of my 2 sons. After 8-10 years, now-a-days I feel pain in that area. I could not sit properly and. feeling pain. Can you suggest me best suited essential oil for pain relief and no re-occurrence in future.

    • Hi Rina ~ Sorry to hear you are in pain. Essential oils can help the body minimize scar tissue, especially during the healing process after surgery or injury. Healing ‘old’ scar tissue is always a challenge no matter what approach one uses. Have you seen a doctor? The pain may be caused by internal scar tissue that is interfering with abdominal organs, which will need a doctor’s skill to address. Please let us know what you find out from your doctor, then we may be able to offer suggestions.

  19. Hi! I am an Aromatherapy student and trying my best to put together a presentation for school on Copaiba. All across the internet, however, I am consistently finding contradictory information. I am hoping you can help me with that! My 1st question, is could you please provide me with the link to the GRAS list stating that Copaiba Essential Oil (or even Copaiba in general) is on it. Everyone is stating that it is on that list, but every time I look it up, I can’t find it. 🙁 I am wondering if it once was, but has since been removed? 2nd question is on the distillation process: I went to Young Living’s website and they stated the oleoresin is steam-distilled. Here is the link to where I found the info: I am would love to have accurate information on the extraction process, so if you could please point me in the direction of where you saw it was vacuum extracted, I would be the happiest Mama ever!!! Thank you SO MUCH for your time and help with this matter!!!!

    • ZR ~ Here’s the link to the Copaiba GRAS listing on the USA’s FDA site. Was easy to find on the web using the search term: copaiba GRAS listing.

      My sources on the vacuum extraction method was from the interview of Marc Schreuder (July 7, 2009). That interview is recapped in this article. Perhaps YLO has changed their production methods in the past 7 years? You would have to ask YLO’s customer service about that.

  20. Oh my goodness! Thank you SO much for your super quick response! You are awesome! I did see that Copaiba was on their food additives list (what you linked to), but I am still not finding it on their actual GRAS list that can be seen here: I’m thinking that the 2 lists are not to be used interchangeably? I would like to think that if they have knowledge of something being used in food, it would be considered safe…but it IS the FDA in question, so I would be surprised if their food additive & their GRAS list are 2 different things? I REALLY don’t want to call them to find out, as I am not their biggest fan by a long shot! Lol! Also, I noticed on that list that they have several things marked as oils…but not Copaiba. So I am wondering if it is not the essential oil in question that is a food additive, but instead maybe the resin? I know Gary Young’s info on it was derived from traditional Peruvian medicine, where they consumed the oleoresin itself in water with honey…so maybe the FDA is referring to that, rather than the eo? Which, obviously, the 2 are not 1 in the same, nor should they be treated as such. I just wish this would all be so less confusing…or that I could stick my head back in a hole & remain ignorant on such matters. As far as YL steam-distilling vs. vacuum extracting goes, I am gonna say they no longer vacuum extract, because I looked up Copaiba on their website, & their most updated quip about it says steam-distilled:

    Thank you SO much for your time & help with this. You have such an incredible knowledge-base! That is an incredible article. Thank you so much for sharing it with me!

    • ZR ~ One would HOPE a food additive is GRAS, but guess it’s wiser not to make any assumptions. If you really want to detail this info, I would encourage you to contact the FDA. Remember, FDA employees are people just like you and I…and not agency policy makers. You might speak to someone who’s very helpful.

  21. Hi , thx fr info abt oils. i read in above comment abt copaiba and german chamomile diluted in coconut to be applied on tongue and lip tie. How many times to apply ? Also some oil would be injested after applying, is it ok? I hv my 5 yr old daughter to be operated.

    • Hi Sam ~ I’m not sure where you read the comment about using copaiba and german chomomile for a lip tie? Are you planning to use the oils to relieve your daughter’s discomfort after surgery? Is it her upper lip? Lower lip? You could apply the oils to the outside of the lip 2-3x a day to keep swelling and discomfort down, rather than make her take any internally. Also, if you only use 1 drop of each oil, I don’t think you need to dilute them.

  22. Hi,thx for reply. yes planning to use oils after surgery. how to use them after surgery of tongue and lip tie for pain relief . which is better copaiba or german chamomile.For lip tie u said externally to apply outside the lip but how to use for pain relief of tongue?

    • Sam ~ What type of surgery is your daughter having? Was reading a bit about the options and laser surgery seems to be the best with minimal pain and discomfort or infection risk. Hopefully, that is what you have scheduled for your daughter.

      Both these essential oils are excellent. Guess my choice, if I were only using one would be German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita). It’s quite amazing in how it reduces inflammation and pain.

      What you could do is put 1 drop of German Chamomile under your daughter’s tongue. Have her hold the drop in her mouth with her lips closed. She will make saliva. Have her hold the saliva / essential oil mix in her mouth for 5 minutes. Swish that around her mouth near her lip surgery, too. Then she can spit it out or swallow it. Her lips / tongue may look bluish for awhile, but that will go away as her body absorbs the essential oil.

      NOTE: Do NOT SPILL the oil!! It stains many surfaces / textiles permanently.


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Cynthe Brush

Certified Clinical (Medical) Aromatherapist Creating Custom Blends Since 1999

Therapeutic Essential Oils Practitioner & Self-Care Health Educator has used essential oils for personal, family, & client health issues since 1999.

Personal Consultations:
Pre-paid on an hourly basis

Gaia’s Pharmacopeia – Buy Healing Essential Oils Blends / 100% Natural Botanical Perfumes: Effective essential oil blends for Athletic Injuries; Sprains – Broken Bones; Wounds & Surgeries; Backaches; Headaches; Dizziness; Herpes Simplex; Stress and more.