Gum Copal is a natural resin obtained from Agathis Coranthifolia. This tree species is found mainly in Sulawesi, Maluku, and Java, Indonesia. This resin is soluble in alcohol. The quality of copal gum is judged and determined primarily by its hardness, lump size, degree of purity, and color. The color variations of gum copal are dark brown to sharp yellow.
Gum Copal is collected by tapping the living forest tree. It is stored in the bark and the most common way to extract the resin is by cutting the bark and letting the resin flow out. The collected resin is filtered and cleaned to remove the impurities. There are different varieties of gum copal depending on the factors such as geographic, environmental, and the process by which it is collected i.e. the type of tapping used. Gum Copal, which is pale, clean, and has good solubility in alcohol, is considered to be the best quality. For example, the high-quality resin Prime White Soft (PWS) is high in alcohol solubility, light yellow, and low in grime.
Gum Copal is a widely used ingredient of oil-based painting varnishes as paint media and as material for coating woodwork. It produces glossy films and protects it from the changing weather conditions. Copal is used as pigment binder in varnishes, as emulsifier and stabilizer in paints, painting inks etc.
Medicinally, Copal was also used in the treatment of headache, fever, burns and stomach. In dentistry, it is used as binding media in dental products and in treatment of microleakage in teeth. Recently, the Copal gum has been evaluated as matrix-forming material for sustaining the drug delivery.
The role of non-timber forest products in supporting the activities and welfare of communities living around forests and forest conservation has been clearly revealed. Forest management needs to be directed not only as a producer of timber, but also as a producer of NTFPs, which can open up activities and income for local communities while still showing ecological factors.
One of the programs to achieve active community participation in sustainable forest management is to increase the role of NTFPs, which are able to increase the activities and welfare of local communities around the forest.
Non-timber forest products as one of the potential forests, function as a provider of employment, local community income land, state income and maintain the preservation of forest resources. One aspect to increase the role of NTFPs is the aspect of science and technology which includes seed techniques, cultivation, harvesting and processing. Until now, people around the forest in general still use local technology, which has been passed down continuously from previous generations and do not know adequate appropriate technology. The plan for developing the results of this research seeks to explore appropriate technology that is effective, simple, and increases the added value of resin business activities and can be handled directly by the local community.
Gum Copal contains agathic acid, a diterpenoid and related lobdane compounds along with cis-communic acid, trans-communic acid, polycommunic acid, sandaracopimaric acid, agathalic acid, monomethyl ester of agathalic acid, agatholic acid and acetoxy agatholic acid. It obtained from the leguminoaceae family contains copalic acid, pimaric acid, isopimaric acid, dehydro-dehydroabietic acid, dehydroabietic acid and abietic acid.
Polymers are widely used in healthcare products from traditional dosage forms to complex biopharmaceutical formulations in drug delivery systems. The use of film-forming material, as coating on medicine, as vehicle for drug delivery and as packaging material, has directed several studies to evaluate polymeric materials for their potential as film-forming materials. Polymer coatings are widely used in the preparation of sustained and controlled release dosage forms. Pharmaceutical coating material is characterized for its mechanical properties, permeability and water vapor transmission. The coating technique and the nature of the dosage form do not influence the properties of free films .
This natural resin has been used as medicine and has the ability to form glossy fi lms. Being of natural origin, it is expected to be biodegradable and ecofriendly. Hence, it can be evaluated for polymeric properties and used in pharmaceutical coating.
The natural materials have been extensively used in the field of drug delivery because they are readily available, cost-effective, eco-friendly, capable of multitude of chemical modifications, potentially degradable and compatible due to their natural origin7 . Past research therefore studied and acknowledged various natural gums like agar, konjac, guar gum, chitosan, xanthan gum, sodium alginate and locust bean gum for potential pharmaceutical and biomedical applications . These particulars explicate the rationale why the proposed article concerns the evaluation of natural gums for sustained drug delivery.
Gum copal has been used as a raw material for varnish because it produces glossy films with good weather protection properties . It has been used as pigment binder in varnishes due to the excellent binding properties. It has been mainly used as an emulsifier and stabilizer for the production of color, paints, printing inks, aromatic emulsions and meat preservatives. Interestingly, GC was also used as medicine for several different ailments such as in the treatment of burns, headache, nosebleed, fever, stomachache, and in the preparation of dental products and as remedy for loose teeth and dysentery.