Essential Oil Spotlight: Copaiba

Copaiba (Copaifera officinalis, C. reticulata, C. coriacea, C. langdorffii) essential oil is steam-distilled from oleoresin, a substance made up of resin and essential oils. It has a soft, sweet, balsamic odor.

Some properties of this oil include analgesic, powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, antioxidant, and stimulant for the circulatory and pulmonary systems.

The oleoresin has traditionally been used for inflammation (internal and external), skin disorders, respiratory problems (including bronchitis and sinusitis), and urinary tract problems (including cystitis and bladder/kidney infections). It has also been used for bleeding, gonorrhea, hemorrhages, herpes, incontinence, insect bites, pain, pleurisy, sore throats, stomach ulcers, syphilis, tetanus, tonsillitis, tuberculosis, and tumors.

Today, copaiba essential oil is commonly used for acne, antioxidant, anxiety, inflammation, muscle aches, and pain. Copaiba may also help with colds, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, edema, flatulence, flu, hemorrhoids, nervous exhaustion, piles, poor circulation, stiffness, and wounds.

The body systems affected by copaiba essential oil include the cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems, muscles and bones, emotional balance, and skin.

Applications of Copaiba Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Copaiba essential oil can be used neat (with no dilution). Dilute with carrier oil for children or those with sensitive skin. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma directly. The aroma of copaiba helps to elevate the mood and lift depression. It also helps to combat nervous tension, stress problems, and anxiety.
Internal Application: Copaiba essential oil can be taken internally via capsule or beverage. Try diluting 1 drop of copaiba essential oil in 1 tsp. (5 ml) honey or 4 oz. (125 ml) of beverage (such as non-dairy milk). It is not to be used for children under 6 years of age and should be used with caution and in greater dilution for children over 6 years of age.
Safey Note: Repeated use may result in contact sensitization. It may irritate sensitive skin in some individuals.

5 Ways to Use Copaiba Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Try diffusing these blends to elevate your mood, lift depression, or combat nervous tension, stress, or anxiety.

2. Massage Blends:
Copaiba essential oil supports the respiratory and nervous systems, muscles and bones, and the skin. It also has the ability to magnify the effects of other essential oils. Because of these facts, copaiba essential oil is good to use in massage blends. You can simply add 1–2 drops of copaiba essential oil to any of your favorite essential oil massage recipes. Or you can try one of the following:

Calming Massage:
5 drops chamomile
5 drops lavender
5 drops bergamot
2 drops copaiba
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) carrier oil*
Sore Muscles Massage:
5 drops peppermint
5 drops lemongrass
4 drops marjoram
2 drops copaiba
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) carrier oil*

*Common carrier oils for use in massage include Fractionated Coconut Oil, Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and Jojoba Oil.

3. Skin/Facial Care:
Copaiba has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it ideal to use on the skin, especially the face—no matter your age or whether you are dealing with acne or wrinkles. Try this cream on your skin or face:

Facial Cream

  • Servings: Yield=2 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. In a double boiler (or a heat-proof glass measuring cup placed in a saucepan of water), melt the beeswax pellets over medium heat.
  2. Once melted, reduce the heat to low, and add coconut oil. Stir until melted again.
  3. Add jojoba oil or almond oil and vitamin E oil. Remove from heat, and stir until all combined.
  4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in essential oils.
  6. If you’d like a whipped consistency, blend with a hand mixer or blender when completely cool.
  7. Pour into lotion bottles or salve jars.
  8. To use, rub facial cream on face after removing makeup.

4. Muscle Pains Bath
Soaking in a warm bath is a great way to help sore muscles relax; adding epsom salt provides magnesium that helps relax muscles and reduce lactic acid, and the essential oils help the muscles rebuild as well as reduce pain. Next time your muscles hurt, try adding this blend to your bathwater:

Soothing Muscle Pains:
4 drops peppermint
3 drops marjoram
3 drops copaiba
1 drop black pepper
1/2 cup (120 g) Epsom Salt
Mix together, and add to bathwater as the tub is filling up. Soak for at least 15–20 minutes.

3. Roll-on Blends
Copaiba essential oil has the ability to enhance the effects of other essential oils. It is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, so it is great to use for skin care (especially troubled skin or acne) or wound care. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety, which is beneficial in getting a good night’s rest. Copiaba’s ability to help reduce pain and inflammation make it ideal for use on headaches or muscle pain. Try making one of the roll-ons below and take advantage of the benefits of copaiba essential oil while on the go.

Skin Serum:
7 drops copaiba (4 drops for daily use)
5 drops lavender (3 drops for daily use)
5 drops frankincense (3 drops for daily use)
2 tsp. (10 ml) Jojoba Oil or Fractionated Coconut Oil (This recipe has an 8.5% dilution ratio. Follow the instructions for daily use if you plan on using it every day.)
Sweet Dreams Roll-on:
4 drops lavender (1–2 drops for children)
4 drops cedarwood (1–2 drops for children)
4 drops copaiba (1–2 drops for children
2 tsp. (10 ml) carrier oil* (This recipe has a 6% dilution ratio. Adjust the recipe to 1 drop for children under 12 months and 2 drops for children 1–5 years old.)
Headache or Muscle Relief Roll-on:
15 drops peppermint (5 drops for daily use)
15 drops lavender (5 drops for daily use)
5 drops marjoram (3 drops for daily use)
3 drops copaiba (1 drop for daily use)
2 tsp. (10 ml) carrier oil* (This recipe has a 19% dilution. It’s formulated for short-term use. If you need to use it daily, follow the instructions for daily use.)
Add oils to a 10 ml roll-on bottle. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil.

*Common carrier oils for use in a roll-on bottle include Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and Jojoba Oil.

Source:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, p. 55.

Antiwrinkle Cream for a Smoother Complexion

Your face does a lot of work during the day and could use a little love at night. Try caring for your complexion with an all-natural, antiwrinkle cream! This cream is formulated to benefit a mature face with wrinkles, but it can help any skin look younger longer.

Though an optional ingredient, bentonite clay is important for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, heavy metals, impurities, and chemicals. It can do all this because it carries a strong negative charge that bonds to the positive charge in these damaging substances. As bentonite clays draws toxins, it releases minerals for the skin to absorb. Bentonite clay also pulls excess hydrogen from skin cells, allowing them to admit oxygen. Bentonite clay can be found at your local health food store or online. If you do use bentonite clay, be careful to not let it touch anything metallic, or it will lose its effectiveness.

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“Oils to the Rescue” First Aid Kit and Coconut Oil Soothing Balm

Do you have a first aid kit in your home or car? First aid kits are great to have on hand when a little emergency presents itself. But wouldn’t you want to have your essential oils available too? The Oils to the Rescue First Aid Kit combines the basic supplies you need in a standard first aid kit. It also allows space for adding essential oils and customized products that you’ve prepared for common ailments and injuries.

Recommended Essential Oils

If you aren’t sure which oils to include in your kit, try these emergency essential oils:

Cuts and Scrapes
Lavender
Frankincense
Melaleuca
Peppermint
Insect Bites and Stings
Lavender
Melaleuca
Protective Blend
Cleansing Blend (backs ticks out)
Peppermint
Burns
Lavender
Burn Spray
(Spray bottle, water,
Lavender, Peppermint,
Melaleuca)
Headaches
Peppermint
Soothing Blend
Frankincense
Seasonal Discomforts
Lemon
Lavender
Peppermint
Digestive Issues
Digestive Blend
Peppermint
Ginger
Sprains, Strains,
& Splinters

Peppermint
Soothing Blend
Lavender
Protective Blend

You can purchase a card with this information to keep in your kit. Then you’ll know what to do with the oils when an emergency arises.

The Oils to the Rescue First Aid Kit includes 4 large slots that fit 2 oz. size bottles and 6 small slots that fit 15 ml essential oil bottles.

Recommended Additional First Aid Items

Other suggestions of helpful products:

First Aid Coconut Oil Soothing Balm Recipe

This soothing balm is specially formulated to have antiseptic, antimicrobial, analgesic (pain-relieving), and antibacterial properties. It soothes and moisturizes the skin and works well for all first aid injuries, including children’s boo-boos.

This recipe yields 6 oz. So, if you use 2 oz. salve containers, you can keep one at home, take one on-the-go, and give one to a friend.  Or, you could host a make & take class and send your attendees home with their own 1/4 oz. salve jar of balm.

First Aid Coconut Oil Soothing Balm

  • Servings: Yield=6 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler.
  2. Once the beeswax is melted, add the coconut oil. Remove from heat when melted, and add the melaleuca, frankincense, and lavender essential oils.
  3. Slowly add witch hazel to the mixture, using a hand blender to combine. Blend on high for a few seconds until well incorporated.
  4. Spoon the cooled cream into sealable glass containers. The salve is ready to use. It should go on smooth, and you can expect a waxy, balm-like texture. To avoid contaminating the cream with stray bacteria, try not to touch it directly with your hands. Instead, use a cotton swab or clean tissue to apply it to a wound.

What would you include in your first aid kit? Comment below.

Simply Luxurious Moisturizing Lotion

So many of us use lotion every day, but many of the commercially available lotions contain ingredients that could actually be harmful to our bodies when used daily. Skin is very porous and absorbs just about everything put on it, so it’s best to use lotion made of natural ingredients. And the best way to know what is in your lotion is to make it yourself!

This lotion recipe is really simple to make. First, melt your hard oils (cocoa butter, beeswax, and coconut oil). Then add your soft or liquid oils (sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil, and jojoba oil). Finally, blend together the water and oils until the mixture emulsifies. You’ll hear and feel a change, but keep blending to prevent the water and oil from separating later. Watch the video at the end of this post to see how simple this lotion is to make!

The best part about making your own lotion is that you get to customize the scent! Essential oils make that really easy. You can simply add your favorite essential oil or blend, or you can add oils that help with specific health issues. Whatever you choose to create, this lotion makes a great base because it is simple to make, absorbs easily, moisturizes well, and feels so luxurious!

Moisturizing Lotion

  • Servings: Yield=8 oz. (240 ml)
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. In a double boiler, melt cocoa butter and beeswax pellets over low heat. Once melted, add the coconut oil, and continue heating until almost melted. Remove from heat, and stir until everything finishes melting.
  2. Stir in the sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil, and jojoba oil.
  3. Heat distilled water until warm.
  4. Using a hand mixer, start beating water, and slowly add the oil mixture while continuing to beat. Keep beating for a few minutes. As you blend, you will hear a change and feel the lotion thicken. Let stand for a few minutes. If lotion separates during this time, continue to blend it again for a couple more minutes. If it doesn’t separate, then it has emulsified properly.
  5. Mix in the essential oil.
  6. Pour lotion into a plastic zip-top bag. Snip off a corner of the bag, and squeeze the lotion into your container of choice.
  7. To use, pump a little into your hand, and massage into the skin as needed.

Here are some lotion containers we recommend:

Acrylic Lotion Pump Bottles: These will turn your lotion into a fancy personalized gift.
8 oz. Bottle with Pump Top: These are the perfect size for making a batch to use at home.
Small Lotion Tottles: These are small and portable—perfect for your purse or bag. You can even add a carabiner to clip it to the outside of your bag.
For an extra touch, try adding this cute vinyl “Moisturizer” label!

If you’re a visual learner, watch this video to see just how simple this lotion is to make.

Sore Muscles Salve

Give your sore muscles some relief with this salve. The essential oils in this recipe may not only help soothe muscle pains, but they also create a warming/cooling effect that makes this salve extra special!
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Week of Wellness: Lotions and Potions

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The Week of Wellness classes at the Eleve™ Event Center continue, and this post is from the “Lotions and Potions” class taught by Tamalu Watkins, an experienced massage therapist and essential oil user.

Lotions and Potions

Topical application of essential oils is a great way to apply oils, since the skin absorbs the oils quickly. Using lotion as your base for applying oils not only allows you to create custom blends that will last longer with fewer oil drops, but it also ensures that the oils are properly diluted for those with sensitive skin or children.

Making the Lotion

Making your own lotion is easier than you might think, and, because you made it, you know what you are putting on your skin.

One thing people often worry about when making their own lotion is if it will go bad (i.e. rancid or moldy). According to Tamalu, to prevent your lotions from going bad, just make sure all of your equipment and dishes are clean, your hands are clean, and you are using fresh ingredients.

Basic Body Cream Brochure

Tamalu provides a great lotion base recipe in her brochure Basic Body Cream. She lists the specific oils she uses but also mentions that you basically need 4 oz. of hard oils, 6 oz. of soft oils, and 9 oz. of distilled water. You will need about 45–90 drops of essential oils for the whole batch.

During the class, Tamalu shared with us her method and tips for making lotion. Start by heating water on the stove in a pan. Next, measure the hard oils (oils that are solid at room temperature such as beeswax, cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, and mango butter) into a glass measuring cup. Tamalu suggests measuring by weight with a scale because this allows you to have a consistent end product each time you make a batch and also allows you to make substitutions easily. Melt the hard oils by placing the glass measuring cup in the pan of simmering water, stirring often.

Melt OilsWhile the hard oils are melting, measure out the soft oils (oils that are liquid at room temperature such as jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, sesame seed oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, shea oil, fractionated coconut oil, or olive oil) in another glass dish on the scale. NOTE: You do not want to melt these soft oils with the hard oils because it can really change the soft oils. For example, if olive oil is heated with the beeswax, the olive oil takes on a smell that will be difficult to mask.

Once the hard oils are melted, add the soft oils to the hard oils. Mix together until blended, and gently warm just until the oils have mixed together. Remove the oils from the heat.

In another glass measuring cup or medium glass bowl, pour in the right amount of distilled water. Place the glass dish in the simmering water, and warm until lukewarm to room temperature. NOTE: Only use distilled water! The minerals in other water can cause a chemical reaction when emulsified with the oils and ruin your lotion.

Whisk Oils and Water TogetherOnce the water is warm, remove the dish from the stove, and turn off the heat. Place an immersion blender in the water, and start blending. While continuing to blend, slowly pour the oil mixture into the water. As you blend, you will hear a change and feel the lotion thicken.

When you think you are done blending the lotion, leave it alone for a few minutes. If, when you come back, you find the water has separated out, that means you haven’t blended it enough. Blend it up again if needed. If the water doesn’t separate within the first few minutes of leaving it, then it means it emulsified properly and won’t separate later.

Now that the lotion is complete, you can add your essential oils to the entire batch or spoon (with a clean spoon or wooden craft sticks) the lotion out into smaller containers before adding the essential oils.

Words of Wisdom from Tamalu Watkins

“You cannot give without receiving.” As you rub oils and massage them into others, you also receive the benefits of the oils through the contact with your hands. As you massage, add the oils AFTER the deep massage, and use a light touch to stimulate the nerves. This increases the effectiveness of the oil application.

Another way to increase the effectiveness of the oils, Tamalu says, is to put socks on after rubbing the lotion (with oils) on your feet. Water also helps “drive” the oils into the skin; so take a shower or bath after rubbing the lotion and oils on your skin.

If you tend to have dry skin, these lotions will keep your skin soft for a long while. You usually don’t have to reapply as often as other lotions unless you are trying to heal a burn or other skin injury.

We hope you give lotion-making a try because we know you will love being able to give your skin a natural moisturizer and customize your lotion to your own needs with essential oils!

About the Presenter


TamaluWatkinsTamalu Watkins is an educator, massage therapist, author, mother of 9, and grandmother of 3 healthy, happy, and active children. Nutrition, essential oils, and essential oil application have been her focus for most of the past 20 years. You won’t regret time spent learning from her years of applied study.

Lavender Lotion Bar

Treat your hands to an all-natural moisturizing lotion bar with the benefits of therapeutic-grade lavender essential oil!

Lotion-10

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Cooling Aloe Vera Peppermint Lotion

Are you sunburned or just feeling hot this summer?  Try this lotion recipe to cool off after being in the heat—you will love how it feels! Since coconut oil and peppermint essential oil have demonstrated a low level of SPF protection during testing1, you may even use it to help prevent a sunburn.

Cooling Aloe Vera Peppermint Lotion

Cooling Aloe Vera Peppermint Lotion

  • Servings: Yield = 1 1/4 cups of lotion
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Place the beeswax in a medium-size glass dish. Melt in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pan filled with an inch of simmering water (creating a double boiler). Heat until almost completely melted.
  2. Add the coconut oil to the beeswax, and finish melting.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature (about an hour). NOTE: You can wrap the glass dish in a towel and place it in the refrigerator (35–45 minutes) or freezer (10–15 minutes) to speed up the cooling process.
    Note: Some glass dishes can break if the temperature change is too drastic. Use caution. Wrap a towel around and under the dish; then let it cool first in the fridge before placing it in the freezer. The towel keeps the glass from touching anything really cold.
  4. Once cool, add the aloe vera gel and peppermint oil, and mix together with a handheld or stand electric mixer for a few minutes until well incorporated and fluffy.
  5. Place lotion in a 12 oz PET Jar or other wide-mouth jar.
  6. Store at room temperature (65–72 degrees) or in a refrigerator. Coconut oil turns to a liquid state at 76 degrees Fahrenheit and your lotion will become very runny.

This recipe was adapted from GI 365 | Gourmet Innovations.2


Sources:
1In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140123/)
2GI 365 | Gourmet Innovations (http://gi365.info/lifestyle/cooling-aloe-mint-body-lotion/)