Description: From the tropical Bursera genus of deciduous trees in South America comes the highly prized resin called copal blanco. The resin has a rich incense history with the Mayan, Inca and Aztec civilizations, each of which called the tree "Copalquahuitl." The tree is closely related to the frankincense and myrrh trees.
The resin was considered a gift from the "god of lightning," who passed his power on to the tree. The Mayans burned the resin at sunrise to honor the Sun. The holy book of the Mayans says the divine god of the earth extracted copal resin from the tree of life and gave it to humans as a gift, making it a heavenly sacred resin.
Threatened Species Alert: Status: Vulnerable. The 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Agathis species are distinctive, highly sought and exploited for their valuable timber. Large stands of this species have been completely extracted throughout much of its range, most notably in Kalimantan. Exploitation continues to be heavy and regeneration in residual stands is insufficient to replace lost populations. In the past the tree has also been destructively exploited for copal. See Cropwatch and IUCN.
Synonyms: Copal Blanco, Torchwood
Origin: Mexico, South America, Western Africa
Parts Used: resin
Aroma Description: bright, light, citrusy, fruity
Cosmetic Uses: perfumery, aromatherapy; oil contains the chemical linalol and is extensively used in perfumes
Culinary Uses: oil is used for flavoring in the food industry for its lime-like bitter flavor
Medicinal Attributes: antimicrobial, antiseptic, used to reduce inflammation, control convulsions, treat nervous tension, acne, wounds, dermatitis, shown to have anti-tumor properties
Element Association: Fire
Planetary Association: Sun
Aromatic Note: Base note
Essential Oil: Yes, contains a highly prized chemical known as linalol, extensively used in perfumes, especially those with floral notes.
Mixes Well With: basil, benzoin, borneol camphor, copal-gold, copal-black, dammar, elemi, eucalyptus, frankincense, lemongrass, mastic, palo santo wood, rosemary, sage, storax, tolu balsam, tonka beans, vanilla, etc.
All content on this website (including text, photographs, video and audio files, and any other original works), unless otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.