Copaiba Oil: Health Benefits, Dosing & Contraindications

Updated in July 2023

Copaiba oil is a resin that is extracted from the Copaifera officinalis tree. It contains anti-inflammatory, healing, analgesic and expectorant properties, and can therefore be used to heal wounds, relieve coughs and soothe arthritis symptoms. 

In addition, copaiba oil is often used in many anti-inflammatory and healing creams, as well as lotions, dandruff shampoo, acne products, soaps and genital hygiene products. 

Copaiba oil can be purchased at pharmacies or natural health stores in capsule form or as an essential oil. Its use should be directed by a doctor or health care professional who is experienced in medicinal plants. 

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Health benefits

Copaiba oil is rich in sesquiterpenes, like beta-caryophyllene and beta-bisabolene. These active substances are responsible for the healing, antiseptic, antibacterial, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, analgesic, anti-rheumatic and anti-diarrhea properties found in this resin.

Copaiba oil can be indicated for the following:

  • Wound healing and disinfection
  • Coughing and bronchitis
  • Cold and flu
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney or urethral infection
  • Cystitis
  • Skin conditions, like psoriasis or eczema 
  • Gastritis
  • H. pylori infection
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Skin fungal infections
  • Hives
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tendinitis 

Copaiba oil can also be used to combat STIs like genital herpes and syphilis. 

Some studies also show that copaiba oil contains properties that can complement the treatment of cancer and tuberculosis, although more studies are needed to confirm these effects.

Dosing recommendations

Copaiba oil can be used as as an essential oil or a capsules. The main ways to use copaiba oil are: 

  • Copaiba essential oil (for oral use): Oral use should be monitored by a health care professional. You cant take one drop of copaiba essential oil in a cup of water, juice or tea and drink once per day to relieve digestive or respiratory problems, or to strengthen immunity. 
  • Copaiba essential oil (for external use): Mix 1 to 2 drops of essential oil with another plant-based oil, like almond or coconut oil, and apply to the skin once per day. 
  • Copaiba essential oil (inhaled): Apply 3 to 4 drops of essential oil to a diffuser or vaporizer and inhale to help relieve respiratory problems like asthma or bronchitis.
  • Copaiba oil capsules: Take one 250 mg capsule up to twice per day. 

Treatment duration should be indicated by a health care professional. 

Possible side effects

Copaiba oil is safe for the majority of adults when consumed orally or applied topically within the recommende doses. Excess use, however, can lead to symptoms like stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, insomnia, redness and itching. 

Contraindications for use

Copaiba oil should not be used by children, pregnant women or breastfeeding women. It should also be avoided by anyone with gastrointestinal issues.