Copaifera Officinalis (copaiba) is a well branched tropical tree that grows up to 100 feet tall.
It has pinnate leathery leaves and blossoms are borne in whitish racemes; the flowers are white, small and aromatic.
The fruit is a coriaceous legume containing only a single seed.
The part of the copaiba tree that is used is the oleoresin (a clear yellow resin) accumulated in cavities within the trunk; it is obtained by making incisions in the tree trunk.
Although this resin is referred to as a balsam, in reality it is more a natural oil; thick clear pale – to golden yellow color.
The oil is used in art restoration, restoring color to old paintings.
However, the most important properties of the copaiba tree are medicinal, due the oil.
The copaiba oil has been documented with antibacterial activity.
Among the uses are: as a scenting agent in perfumes, soaps, creams, bubble baths and lotions.
This herbal oil is also used as an emollient, in lacquers and paint.
Copaiba is believed to have diuretic, disinfectant and stimulant properties.
Copaiba balsam has been found most beneficial in chronic mucous affections, as in chronic gonorrhea, bronchitis, irritable conditions of the bladder, gleet, eucorrhea, chronic catarrh, chronic diarrhea and obstinate piles.