In the rivers and basins of the Orinoco and Amazon, several species of copal trees belong to the genus Copaifera, which exude resin when suffering an incision of perforation on their trunk. The so-called “wood oil” or “copaiba balm” is obtained by distilling this resin. This substance was already used in the 17th century as a remedy against sexually transmitted diseases.
Copal Tree Scientific Facts
- Other names – Copaiba, copaiove.
- French – Copaier.
- Spanish – Copaiba.
- Environment – Tropical regions of South America, especially Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, and the West Indies.
- Description – Magnificent tree of the Leguminosae family, growing from 15 to 20 m high. Its flowers are white and form spikes. The fruit is an oval-shaped pod containing a single seed covered by flesh.
- Parts of the tree used medicinally – The resin which is extracted from the trunk.
Copal tree balm contains essential oil and a resin, whose composition copaibic acid predominates. This acid is eliminated through urine (kidneys) and acts as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory substance on the genital and urinary mucosa. It is effective for blennorrhagia in both males and females.
Blennorrhagia is a sexually transmitted disease that manifests itself by inflammation and irritation of the urethra (the tract through which urine flows outside the body). It also has been used as a balm for bronchitis.
WARNING – Never exceed the recommended dose, nor take it for more than ten days, since it can produce skin rashes, nephritis, and digestive disorders.
How to use Copal Tree
- Copaiba balm. Take a teaspoonful (5 g) one or two times a day.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 571. Print.