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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 8350320, 9 pages
Review Article

Brazilian Amazon Traditional Medicine and the Treatment of Difficult to Heal Leishmaniasis Wounds with Copaifera

1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Farmacêuticas, Instituto de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, PA, Brazil
2Programa de Pós-Graduação em Inovação Farmacêutica, Instituto de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, PA, Brazil
3Faculdade de Química, Instituto de Ciências Exatas e Naturais, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, PA, Brazil
4Laboratório de Estresse Oxidativo, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, PA, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Maria Fâni Dolabela; moc.liamg@02alebalodinaf

Received 13 August 2016; Accepted 25 October 2016; Published 17 January 2017

Academic Editor: Chiranjib Pal

Copyright © 2017 Kelly Cristina Oliveira de Albuquerque et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study describes the use of the traditional species Copaifera for treating wounds, such as ulcers scarring and antileishmanial wounds. It also relates phytochemical studies, evaluation of the leishmanicidal activity, and toxicity. The species of Copaifera with a higher incidence in the Amazon region are Copaifera officinalis, Copaifera reticulata, Copaifera multijuga Hayne. The copaiba oil is used in the Amazon’s traditional medicine, especially as anti-inflammatory ingredient, in ulcers healing, and in scarring and for leishmaniasis. Chemical studies have shown that these oils contain diterpenes and sesquiterpenes. The copaiba oil and terpenes isolated have antiparasitic activity, more promising in the amastigote form of L. amazonensis. This activity is probably related to changes in the cell membrane and mitochondria. The oil showed low cytotoxicity and genotoxicity. Furthermore, it may interfere with immune response to infection and also has a healing effect. In summary, the copaiba oil is promising as leishmanicidal agent.