Title: Copaiba
CAS Registry Number: 8001-61-4
Additional Names: Balsam copaiba; balsam capivi; Jesuit's balsam
Literature References: Oleoresin from trees of the genus, Copaifera, Leguminosae, particularly C. reticulata Ducke (Para balsam), C. langsdorffii Desf. (Maranhao balsam) and C. guianensis (Maracaibo balsam). Used in traditional medicine as an antiseptic, diuretic and anti-inflammatory. Habit. Tropical regions of South America and southern Africa. Constit. Varies among the species; volatile oil (20-90%); diterpene acids, such as kaurenoic, copalic, hardwickiic acids. Brief description: D. L. J. Opdyke, Food Cosmet. Toxicol. 14, 687 (1976); of copaiba oil: idem, ibid. 11, 1075 (1973). Chemical characterization of 3 species: V. Cascon, B. Gilbert, Phytochemistry 55, 773 (2000). Volatile constituents of C. langsdorffii: N. V. Gramosa, E. R. Silveira, J. Essent. Oil Res. 17, 130 (2005). Review of ethnobotany and uses: C. Plowden, Econ. Bot. 58, 729-739 (2004).
Properties: Color, scent and viscosity varies widely ranging from pale yellow fluid to thick, brownish-yellow liquid; characteristic odor; unpleasant taste. Insol in water. Sol in benzene, chloroform, ether, oils, carbon disulfide, abs alcohol, petr ether, partly in 95% alcohol.
Derivative Type: Volatile oil
CAS Registry Number: 8013-97-6
Additional Names: Oil of copaiba
Literature References: Obtained by steam distillation of the oleoresin. Constit. Highly variable, chiefly b-caryophyllene, b-bisabolene, a-copaene, a-humulene.
Properties: Colorless or pale yellow liquid; slightly bitter and pungent taste. d2525 0.880-0.907. bp 250-275°. Rotation -7 to -33°. nD20 1.493-1.500. Sol in alcohol, most fixed oils, mineral oil. Insol in glycerin, propylene glycol. Keep well closed, cool and protected from light.
Boiling point: bp 250-275°
Optical Rotation: Rotation -7 to -33°
Index of refraction: nD20 1.493-1.500
Density: d2525 0.880-0.907
Use: In varnishes, paints, lacquer; for restoration of oil paintings. As frangrance or odor fixative in soaps, shampoo, lotions, perfumes.
Copal Coparaffinate Copper Phthalocyanine Copper(I) Thiophene-2-carboxylate Coproergostane

Copaifera langsdorfii in a park in São Paulo Brazil.

Copaiba is a stimulant oleoresin obtained from the trunk of several pinnate-leaved South American leguminous trees (genus Copaifera). The thick, transparent exudate varies in color from light gold to dark brown, depending on the ratio of resin to essential oil. Copaiba is used in making varnishes and lacquers.

The hydrocarbons in copaiba are terpenes, which are made by plants from isoprene, a "five-carbon-atom building block, so they always contain carbon atoms in multiples of five. Pinene is one of several useful 10-carbon terpenes. It is commonly known as turpentine. Heated up, terpenes break down into methanol (CH3OH) and other simple compounds useful for fuel and as raw materials in the chemical industry."[1]

Copaiba is also a common name for several species of trees of the legume family native to Tropical Africa and North and South America.