2 + 2 = 8. What? The idea of synergy is an important concept in aromatherapy. When you consider the plants from which we extract essential oils, you come to realize that the plant contains a myriad of compounds that work in synergy to protect the plant, and carry out all the processes necessary for homeostasis. Remember that term from science class? Homeostasis; the process whereby the internal environment of an organism is balanced and stable. But let’s get back to our equation for the moment. Within a given essential oil, a synergy occurs between the major and minor components found in that oil, and since these components act together, this significantly increases the therapeutic value that oil has. In other words, the sum is greater than the parts or 2 + 2 = 8. This synergy also exists between essential oils and our cells. In simple terms, essential oils have intelligence to know the location in our body they are needed and act as adaptogens, meaning they will do what our body needs them to do. They can assist the body by stimulating immune response, elevating mood, balancing hormones, acting as an antiseptic, an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant and detoxifier.
The oily spotlight this month is on Copaiba. This essential oil is derived from the balsamic resin of the copaiba tree, known scientifically as copaifera officinalis. These trees are most commonly found in the rain forests of South America. The extraction is similar to how we tap maple syrup from maple trees. This resin is then gently steam distilled in order to keep all the healthy plant compounds in the oil. Copaiba is a sustainable essential oil as well, since it can be harvested without harming the tree or the forest. As one of the 11 oils included in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit, Copaiba has a mild, subtle scent and taste. Don’t let that fool you though, as this powerhouse oil is multi-functional and has incredible healing properties. These healing properties are in part due to the extremely high levels of beta caryophyllene contained in Copaiba. Beta caryophyllene is a well-known plant chemical which has been studied for its ability to modulate the body’s response to irritation and inflammation. In fact, studies show that Copaiba has greater anti-inflammatory action than Ibuprofen or even Cortisone, only there are no side effects! This oil also has the ability to amplify the effects of other oils too. We call this a magnifier. Definitely one of my “go to” oils for its analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and stimulant effects. The chemical constituents in Copaiba have been found to be effective in the following ways:
- Pain management. This oil can bring relief from headache, arthritis, gout, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and fibromyalgia pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Can help in lowering and maintaining blood pressure and promote cardiovascular health due to its hypotensive properties.
- Strengthens and tones the pelvic floor muscles that control urine flow. Urinary incontinence can be treated with regular use of Copaiba essential oil by massaging it on the lower abdomen.
- Inflammation from painful insect bites and stings can be calmed considerably with Copaiba essential oil.
- A wide range of respiratory infections and mucus build-up can be treated by usage of Copaiba oil. The expectorant properties in this oil can flush out the accumulated mucus and clear the nasal passages.
- An excellent remedy for those people suffering from varicose and spider veins. Due to disruptions in blood circulation, the veins enlarge and blood pooling is caused. Massaging with Copaiba oil promotes better blood circulation, and improved drainage of accumulated blood.
- The laxative properties of the oil can cure digestive issues like constipation and other stomach ailments and promote healthy functioning of the digestive system.
- Regular application of Copaiba oil is known to stimulate collagen production and assist in repair and restore of damaged skin caused by acne or pimples.
- Teething pain. I personally love this one and have applied this to my 11- month old grandson numerous times. 2 to 3 drops in a half teaspoon of coconut oil rubbed directly on the gums works like a charm to ease teething pain.
Given the choice, I personally will always opt for a natural and holistic approach to restoring health and wellness. My experience with essential oils is that they work in harmony with our body systems to restore the body to a state of healthy balance. With its plethora of uses, Copaiba essential oil has become an important part of my overall health regimen.
So yes, 2+2 = 8.