Copaiba Essential Oil of the Amazon
Brazil occupies roughly half of South America, covering a total area of 3,287,357 square miles. Within that area is 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest. Representing over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests, the Amazon is comprised of the largest and most biodiverse area of tropical rainforest in the world, with an estimated 390 billion individual trees. Therein lie the trees from which we source Copaiba oleoresin, which is distilled to produce Copaiba essential oil.
Copaiba essential oil is so unique and effective because of its high level of beta-caryophyllene. Copaiba has the highest levels of beta-caryophyllene that we are aware of. Beta-caryophyllene, also known as BCP, is a terpene. In 2008, European scientists learned that betacaryophyllene had cannabinoid-like properties. Like many other cannabinoids and terpenes, BCP targets the body’s CB2 receptors, ignoring the CB1 receptors that are involved in supplying the high associated with cannabis and, more specifically, the THC cannabinoid. Thus Copaiba essential oil has the ability to deliver major benefits without giving you the high. For this reason Copaiba essential oil has become an invaluable part of the doTERRA collection.
Copaiba essential oil can be found in items such as soaps, creams, lotions, and perfumes. Since the 16th century, Copaiba has been used in traditional health practices. We now use it to help support the health of the cardiovascular, immune, digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems.* It’s also a powerful antioxidant that promotes immune health.*
Copaiba essential oil is derived from the oleoresin of the copaiba tree, which can grow from 60 to 100 feet tall. The process of harvesting the copaiba oleoresin is similar to how one would tap a maple tree. A harvester will look for healthy trees that have large diameter trunks. They then drill a small hole approximately three feet from the ground. Once the hole has been drilled, the sawdust is cleaned off and the oleoresin collector is put in place. The harvester will generally be able to collect some oleoresin immediately. Once the oleoresin has been collected from the initial tap, a plug is inserted into the hole and the harvester will return to the tree every few weeks to collect additional oleoresin.
The Amazon rainforest is very dense and nearly impossible to travel through with conventional vehicles. As such most travel for both personal and commercial purposes is done by boat. The complex network of smaller tributaries and larger rivers become the roads and highways by which goods are delivered.
doTERRA utilizes a large network of harvesters that transport their copaiba oleoresin by boat from their different villages to Manaus. Once the oleoresin has been inspected, paid for, and collected in Manaus, we work with our distillation partner to steam distill the oleoresin and prepare it for final shipment to the US.
During a recent sourcing trip, Ben Platt, doTERRA Strategic Sourcing Manager for the Americas, met a family of copaiba harvesters that were not a part of our current network. As they talked about copaiba, the harvester expressed frustration that he was getting pressured about the price for his copaiba oleoresin and that payment would frequently come much later than agreed upon.
“As I was talking with this family I quickly recognized that they were the type of people that doTERRA prefers to work with. It was clear that they knew their copaiba harvesting area very well. It was also clear that they were hardworking, honest people that would harvest the copaiba in the sustainable manner that doTERRA requires. We encouraged them to join our harvesting group and assured them that we would pay them on-time and at fair prices for their oleoresin. They were excited by this proposition and agreed to join our harvesting group. We are definitely glad that this family has joined the network of families that are now a key part of the doTERRA Global Botanical Network. This experience goes to highlight the importance of our mission to source the world’s most beautiful oils from some of the world’s best people. We source great people as much as we source essential oils.”
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.