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 antimicrobial activity of copaiba oils was tested against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, yeast, and dermatophytes. They are active against Gram-positive species (staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Bacillus subtilis, and Enterococcus faecalis) in minimum inhibitory concentrations. The oils showed no activity against Gram-negative bacteria and yeast. Copaiba oils demonstrate peripheral and central antinociceptive effect. This effect may be useful in the treatment of algesic disorders.
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