Fresh Copal resin. A traditional Central American resin used for incense, perfume and medicine. Fresh, Fragrant and Sticky
Called Pom locally, Protium Copal is an important ceremonial incense ingredient and folk medicine of Meso Central American cultures.
It is used to treat a wide variety of skin problems and dissolves easily in vegetable oils for the preparation of a fragrant medicated oil salve or creme.
It is scraped off the trees and wrapped in leaves to form packages of about a pound, (1/2 Kilo), each. See photos above.
You will find bits of bark and leaves mixed in with this soft fragrant material which will separate easily through a filter once an oil or tincture is made.
To prepare a traditional salve or medicated oil from Protium Copal resin please follow my directions here- https://apothecarysgarden.com/2014/07/30/how-to-make-a-whole-extract-of-frankincense-and-other-oleoresins/
It will dissolve easily in warm oils. The best way to do this is in a water bath, double boiler, also called a Bain Marie. Do not heat resins directly on a flame or element. Not only can they char, but they are extremely flammable. Always use a water bath when heating resins.
The fragrance of Protium Copal is quite unique. It has a fresh green, fruity/citrus aroma layered with amber on top of an unusual funky musky base note.
It is more similar to Madagascar Elemi than any other resin I have smelled and is indeed a relative. Both Elemi, Protium Copal, Frankincense and Myrrh belong to the Burseraceae family also known as the incense tree family.
In some cultures, Protium Copal is used to bind other aromatics such as Cedar leaves and aromatics woods, fragrant herbs and resins. These are formed into balls and given as offerings on the hot coals of the fire. These aromatic balls are also sometimes called “Pom”.
It makes a sweet, energetically cleansing and uplifting incense.
As with all fresh and sticky resins we sell, I suggest placing the package of resin in the fridge or freezer for a half-hour before attempting to remove the resin from the plastic wrapper. It will then separate easily and allow you to collect every little precious bit of resin.
Here is a link to a wonderful article about Protium Copal in Belize.-https://www.belize.com/copal