Sap of tree
Derived from the sap of native trees of the Buresa family in South America, Copal is a smoky, sweet incense used by the indigenous tribes of the Americas for ceremonies and rituals. Trees in the Buresa family were seen as medicinal trees that were traditionally used to combat disease and repel mosquitos and other biting insects.
The word Copal is from the Aztec word “copalli” and was considered the sacred blood of the trees. This resin was also used as a binder for pigments used on Mayan murals and in a jewellery making technique that has been lost to the annals of history.
Known for its ability to elicit mentally uplifting and calming effects, Copal is rich in triterpenes that have been shown to significantly reduce anxiety. Burning this resin is thought to activate “ion” channels in the brain, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.
These calming effects of Copal also allow the body to wind down and destress in readiness for sleep. It has long been used by the ancients to promote emotional balance and to calm down the nervous system.
Copal is a powerful incense to use during meditation. It is linked with the crown chakra, deepening connection to the mystical and encouraging pure thoughts during meditation. Copal also helps to strengthen the auric body, helping to remove stagnant energy.
It is believed that Copal unites the energising force of the sun with the grounding properties of the earth, drawing out and transmuting negative energy on every level.
In line with most other incenses, Copal has a long history of traditional use as a space clearer, eradicating negative energy from places and objects.
It’s clean, light and woody scent is said to bring a positive and loving energy that will fill the home with peaceful energies.
Copal Incense Resin
It is recommended to use several tears or a small handful for burning on a charcoal disk.
Copal is referenced in the Mayan book the "Popol Vuh", which includes a long passage describing how the sun, moon, and stars arrived on earth bringing Copal with them.
The 16th-century Spanish friar Bernardino de Sahagun reported that the Aztec people used Copal as makeup, adhesive for masks, and in dentistry where Copal was mixed with calcium phosphate to affix precious stones to teeth. Copal was also used as a chewing gum and a medicine for various ailments.
Copal is still used by the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America as an incense and during sweat lodge ceremonies. Its magical qualities aid with the process of opening to the soul and to intuition and inspiration. It is thought to be food for the ancestors and is offered as a way of saying thank you.