Antimicrobial Activity of Copaiba (Copaifera officinalis) and Pracaxi (Pentaclethra macroloba) Oils against Staphylococcus Aureus: Importance in Compounding for Wound Care

Int J Pharm Compd. Jan-Feb 2016;20(1):58-62.


The Amazon rainforest is the largest reserve of natural products in the world. Its rich biodiversity of medicinal plants has been utilized by local populations for hundreds of years for the prevention and treatment of various diseases and ailments. Oil extracts from plant species such as Copaifera officinalis and Pentaclethra macroloba are used in compounded formulations for their antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, emollient, moisturizing, and wound-healing activities. The objective of this study was to investigate the in vitro bacteriostatic effect of two Amazonian oils, Copaiba and Pracaxi, against Staphylococcus aureus, a clinically important microorganism responsible for wound infection, to support the use of these oils as novel natural products for compounded wound-treatment modalities. The antibacterial activity of Copaiba and Pracaxi oils against a standard strain of Staphylococcus aureus was assessed using broth microdilution to determine the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration of the oil extracts. Copaiba oil demonstrated antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, with a Minimum Inhibitory Concentration of 0.3125 mg/mL and a Minimum Bactericidal Concentration of 0.3125 mg/mL. Conversely, Pracaxi oil failed to inhibit Staphylococcus aureus growth. While additional studies are required to further evaluate the antimicrobial activity of Pracaxi oil, even low concentrations of Copaiba oil effectively inhibited Staphylococcus aureus growth, supporting its potential use as a promising adjuvant in compounded topical formulations for wound and scar healing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Brazil
  • Cicatrix / drug therapy
  • Fabaceae / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Plant Oils / isolation & purification
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Rainforest
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Plant Oils