Copaiba, Miller, one or more species.
Habitat. Brazil (Venezuela, Colombia), Amazon valley, banks of the Orinoco River.
Syn. Copaib., Balsam of Copaiba, Copaiva, Balsam Capivi; Fr. Copahu, Oleo-resine (Baume) de Copahu; Ger. Balsamum Copaivae, Copaivabalsam.
Co-pai'ba. L., Sp., and Port., fr. Brazil, cupauba - i. e., native name of the tree and its product.
Plant. - Handsome tree, 4.5-18 M. (15-00°) high, much branched, hark brown, rather smooth; leaves alternate, paripinnate; leaflets opposite, 3-5 pairs, 2.5-5 Cm. (1-2') long, ovate, entire, glabrous, coriaceous, pellucid-punctate; flowers small, white; sepals 5; apetalous; stamens 10; pod small, 2.5 Cm. (1') long, orange-brown, dehiscent into 2 valves, 1-seeded. Oleoresin (copaiba), pale yellow, brownish-yellow, viscid liquid, without fluorescence or with only slightly greenish fluorescence; odor peculiar, aromatic; taste bitter, acrid; soluble in chloroform, ether, petroleum benzin (1), any addition producing a flocculent precipitate, partly soluble in alcohol, soluble, showing not more than slight opalescence in dehydrated alcohol, carbon disulphide, fixed or volatile oils; insoluble in water; sp. gr. 0.940-0.995. Tests: 1. Heat on water-bath - no odor of oil of turpentine, and residual resin should be hard, brittle, and weigh 36 p. c. of original copaiba taken (abs. of oil of turpentine, paraffin, fatty oils). 2. Dissolve 3-4 drops of oil of copaiba in 3 Ml. (Cc.) of glacial acetic acid, mix with a drop of fresh aqueous solution of sodium nitrite (1 in 10), carefully underlay this with 2 Ml. (Cc.) of sulphuric acid - acetic layer not pink (abs. of gurjun balsam). 3. Shake 5 Ml. (Cc.) with 15 Ml. (Cc.) of alcohol, boil 1 minute - no oil separates after cooling (abs. of paraffin oils). Dose, x-60 (.6-4 Ml. (Cc.)).
Adulterations. - Oleoresin: Those of allied species, that partially deprived of oil, oil of turpentine, volatile oils, rosin, rosin oil, paraffin, paraffin oils, fatty oils (linseed, castor, etc.), Venice turpentine, gurjun balsam, alcohol - often evinced through different odors on slowly heating. Oil: Gurjun balsam oil, increasing specific gravity, African copaiba oil - insoluble in equal volume of alcohol.
Commercial. - Much was written concerning copaiba during 1625-1638, but Marcgrav and Piso first described its collection, also the tree, 1648; Jacquin studied the genus,. 1760, as did Desfontaines some years later, while Hayne, 1827, Bentham, 1870, Baillon, 1877, separated by the varying foliage 11 species in Brazil alone, all having similar flowers, fruit, and valuable, hard, strong, tough, durable wood. However, most of copaiba comes from 7 species: Brazil - C. Langs-dorj'fii, C. confertiflo'ra, C. ooria'cea,C. oblongifo'lia; N. W. Orinoco
Valley - C. officina'lis; Amazonian region - C. guianen'sis, C. mid-tiju'ga. ft is a pathogenic product, possibly an antiseptic protective, occurring in schizogenic ducts (cavities differing greatly in size), from which it is obtained by making large auger holes or boxes, square or wedge-shape, into the centre of the tree, near the base, whence it usually flows at once, demanding alertness to avoid loss, often giving 12 pounds (5.5 Kg.) in 3 hours; if none should appear the aperture is closed with clay or wax and reopened in 2 weeks, when, as a rule, the
Fig. 187. - Copaiba Langsdorffii.
discharge is abundant. The flow at first is thin, clear, colorless, but soon becomes thicker and yellowish, as it does also with age. A tree may yield 10-12 gallons (38-45 L.), in 2-3 annual flows, and when abandoned, the ducts, some the length of the stem, occasionally fill and, acting as high liquid columns, furnish sufficient pressure to burst the trunk with a Cannon-like report. It is exported in casks, demijohns, cans, jugs, the value depending upon the amount of contained volatile oil. There are several varieties: 1, Para, most limpid, palest; contains volatile oil 60-90 p. c.; 2, Maranham, denser, consistence of olive oil, odor slightly different; contains volatile oil 40-60 (rarely SO) p. c.; 3, Rio Janeiro, resembles closely the Maranham - these three (Brazilian) form clear mixtures with one-third to one-half their weight of ammonia water, but milky if more alkali or fixed oil present; 4, Surinam (C. (guianensis), rather thin, light yellow, soluble in ether, chloroform, alcohol (4-5 parts, turbid with equal portion), violet with bromine (1) + chloroform (20); contains volatile oil 70-80 p. c.; 5, Maracaibo, the thickest, turbid, dark yellow; solidifies with magnesium oxide, not clear with ammonia water; contains volatile oil 20-40 p. c., and owing to large amount of resin is well adapted for once official Massa Copaibae, as it combines with magnesium oxide forming resin soap, which gradually becomes dry and hard; Para and other varieties may be used but sufficient volatile oil must be evaporated to render residue viscid upon cooling. Copaiba is exported not only from the above ports, but also from Angostura, Cayenne, W. Indies, Trinidad, C. America, etc.
Constituents. - Volatile oil, Resin, bitter principle, copaivic acid, C20H32O2 (oxycopaivic acid, C20H28O3, from Para, metacopaivic acid, C22H34O4, from Maracaibo - all three acids crystalline). Has no benzoic or cinnamic acid, hence the name balsam is misapplied.
Oleum Copaibae. Oil of Copaiba, C15H24. - This volatile oil is distilled from copaiba with water or steam, and upon it most of the medicinal properties of the oleoresin depend. It is a pale yellowish liquid, oxidizing by exposure, characteristic odor of copaiba, aromatic, bitter, pungent taste; consists chiefly of caryophyllene, C15H24; sp. gr. 0.900, increasing with age; soluble in 2 volumes alcohol; that from Maracaibo dark blue with hydrochloric acid gas. Should be kept cool, dark, in well-stoppered, amber-colored bottles. Dose, v-15 (.3-1 Ml. (Cc.)), in emulsion, capsule, or on sugar.
Resina Copaibae. Resin of Copaiba. - (Acidum Copaibicum). The residue left after distilling off the volatile oil from copaiba. It is brownish-yellow, brittle, slight odor and taste of copaiba, to which the resin returns when mixed with the volatile oil of copaiba; soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform, benzene, volatile oils; contains copaivic, or metacopaivic acid, mixed with neutral resin. Dose, gr. 5-15 (.3-1 Gm.).
Preparations. - (Unoff.) Massa Copaibae, 94 p. c. + magnesium oxide 6 p. c. Mixture, 12.5 p. c, + Mixture with Opium, 25 p. c, + Capsules. Emulsion. Electuary. Pills. Suppositories.
Properties. - Similar to turpentine; diuretic, stimulant, expectorant, laxative, nauseant, disinfectant; acts mainly on the mucous membranes (genito-urinary), by which, and also skin, it is eliminated; increases quantity as well as solids of the urine, and imparts odor to urine, sweat, milk, breath; sometimes erupts the skin - roseola, urticaria, etc.
Uses. - Gonorrhoea, cystitis, bronchitis, dysentery, diarrhoea, hemorrhoids, psoriasis, dropsy, leprosy; volatile oil is not so valuable for gonorrhoea, gleet, etc., as the oleoresin, but better for throat affections. Externally - chilblains, sore nipples, anal fissures, often added to varnishes and vice versa. Long usage may cause indigestion and renal irritation.
Poisoning, Incompatibles, Synergists: Same as for turpentine.
1. Copaiba Mar'tii, C. cordifo'lia, C. Jus'sieui, C. Jac'qaini, C. nit'ida - all furnish oleoresin, usually poor in the amount of volatile oil.