Scientific Names: Copaifera Langsdorffii

Common names: Diesel tree, kerosine tree

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    كبيباء (kubeibaa’e)

Rain Forest names:

Family:  Leguminosae

Approximate Number of Species Known:

Common Parts Used: oleoresin


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 12 feet


Known Constituents: 

Constituents Explained:

Description:   (please note: this is the general characteristics –  colour, flavor etc)

Traditional Use:

Clinical Studies:

Copaiba oil-resin is widely used in traditional medicine due to its anti-inflammatory, healing, and antiseptic activities. A study evaluated the qualitative and quantitative composition of copaiba essential oil from the oil-resin, and test its effects, after incorporation in a gel applied in volunteers with acne, in a double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial.

The essential oil was extracted by steam distillation, and purified by freezing to remove the residual remnant water. The density of the essential oil was gravimetrically determined by weighing 1 mL of liquid at 20 degree C. 

The identification of the essential oil components was carried out through high-resolution gas chromatography analysis, coupled with mass spectrometry. The essential oil has a density of 0.9175 mg/mL and was composed of 48 substances, 14 of which were the major components representing 95.80% of total essential oil composition.

Cis-thujopsene was the main component (46.96% of total essential oil composition). The surface affected with acne decreased when treated with placebo, but the linear model could explain only 26.8% of total variance in original data matrix.

There was a highly significant decrease in the surface affected with acne in the areas treated with the 1.0% copaiba essential oil preparation


da Silve AG, Puziol Pde F, Leitao RN, Gomes TR, Schrerer R, Martins ML, Cavalcanti AS, Cavalcanti LC. “Application Of The Essential Oil From Copaiba (Copaifera Langsdori Desf.) For Ace Vulgaris: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” 2012 March



Other names: copaiva, balsam copaiba, copaiba officinalis

Scientific name: Copaifera Langsdorffii

Family: Leguminosae

Common part used: oleoresin

The copaiba plant is widespread in Brazil and in the northern areas of South America.

 It is a tree which is used for getting an oleoresin from its trunk. This oleoresin is tapped from a standing tree, and each species can give up to forty liters of this transparent liquid. It has a thickness like olive oil, and is yellow in colour. It has a very original, but at the same time rather unpleasant smell. As for the taste, it is kind of bitter and not very pleasant as well. The substance cannot be called a resin because it does not contain any amount of benzoic acid. At first the substance from the trunk of the tree appears clear, very liquid and transparent, but after the contact with the air it becomes thick and changes its colour for yellow. 

The biggest supplies of the copaiba come from Maranhao and Para in Brazil, and also from Maracaibo in Venezuela and some of the islands of the West Indian. 

Copaiba is used for producing artistic materials, especially ceramics, oil and mineral paints. This substance gives a shining effect to the paint. Copaiba is also used in making all sorts of lacquers and varnishes. 

Medicinally, copaiba has been employed as a remedy for stomach ulcers and even cancer. It also has excellent antifungal characteristics. It is very important not to overdose the copaiba substance, as it can cause vomiting, blood in urine, fever and nausea. It is used as a remedy for gonorrhea, especially if taken along with sandal and cubebs. The copaiba medicine is also a great antiseptic, and a good remedy for bronchitis and chronic cystitis.