Essential Oils for Geeks

We humans are the masterful arrangement of trillions of individual cells. The health of your cells determines your health as an individual.

Healthy cells = Healthy life.

To truly understand what it is to be healthy you need to understand what the needs of your cells are.

Cells need 3 things.

  • Energy
  • Protection
  • Resiliency

Cells need energy to carry out work, including reproduction, the creation of proteins, chemical reactions and movement.

Cells need protection from the extracellular environment (the world beyond its cell wall). Cells need protection from pathogens in all of their forms. Cells need protection from inflammation and toxicity.

Cellular resiliency allows your cells to respond to constantly changing conditions such as hydration, nutrient availability, temperature, and pH balance. Resiliency is also what allows cells to recover from injury.

When your cells become compromised for any reason, they become dependent on additional systems and functions within your body for repair. If the cell wall, the area of the cell that controls what comes in and goes out of a cell, is compromised, your cells ability to be healed is also compromised.

The unique structure of essential oils allows them to cross the cell wall even if it has been compromised. Essential oils aren’t dependent upon the health of the body or the availability of cellular transport systems. This is good news; it means that essential oils can have a therapeutic impact on the compromised cell.

Essential oils can reach virtually any cell in the body. There are potentially no tissue barriers to essential oils within the body. For example, there is sufficient scientific evidence to demonstrate the capability of essential oils to cross the blood brain barrier, the most highly selective barrier in the body. Although essential oils have the capacity to directly affect every cell in the body they don’t. Rather they are selective at targeting specific cells.

The action of essential oils impact all of a cells needs whether those be for energy, protection or resiliency.

The main molecular targets of essential oils are:

  • Proteins
  • DNA and RNA
  • Biological membranes (cell wall)

Proteins

Essential Oils are a part of the plants immune system protecting it from a variety of viruses, fungi, bacteria and other pests. One of the ways it does this is by modifying the proteins of invaders. By targeting the functional proteins i.e. receptor sites and enzymes of attackers, essential oils deter pests, bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Receptor sites control what messages a cell gets while enzymes are responsible for building the proteins that a cell needs for normal function. By disrupting both the creation of proteins and the instructions for what should be done essential oils disable bacteria, fungi, and viruses.  Almost all essential oils have this capacity, which is why the majority of oils have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. 

Other metabolites in essential oils are almost identical to hormones and neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, serotonin, noradrenalin, dopamine, GABA and histamine as well as endorphins. These chemical messengers of the body are responsible for a myriad of functions. In this manner essential oils become a potent medicine.

DNA and RNA

Essential Oils have metabolites that can alter gene expression. In short they can turn specific genes on or off.

Using Essential Oils and Quality

How effective essential oils everything to do with quality.

If a bottle says ‘for aromatic use only’ you are better off saving your money. Chances are its synthetic or filled with fillers. Of all the essential oil companies in the world only 3 do third party testing.

Unfortunately there is no regulation in the essential oil industry and the majority of oils are not harvested or distilled for their therapeutic benefit. Most oils are intended for either the perfume industry or for the food industry, fast and cheap are the manufactures aim. Hence the overwhelming majority of essential oils are of poor quality.

Here are a few pointers that can help you identify quality out of the bottle:

  1. Some quality keys are having a deep aromatic scent that is complex; the aroma doesn’t stop in your sinuses you’ll feel your body respond.
  2. Being volatile molecules a drop of oil in the palm of your hand should evaporate without leaving a greasy feel. Carriers, synthetics and fillers don’t evaporate quickly and they can leave behind an oily residue.
  3. Essential Oils should be packaged in coloured glass. Light affects the oils causing them to oxidize. Real essential oils will react with plastics.

Synthetic are a problem. When an oil is synthesized it may taste and smell identically to the natural substance but it will have a different molecular shape. It’s the molecular shape that determines the action of the oil in the body. It’s the shape of chemicals that determine how or if they fit onto a receptor site and what kind of message they are giving to the cell.

This problem of imitation is being keenly felt in the increase in estrogen dependent cancers…synthetic and foreign estrogens are mucking up receptor sites creating a host of problems.

Unfortunately with the incredible popularity of scented products the majority of essential oils on the market are synthetic and created for the cosmetic and perfume industry. The second largest user of essential oils is food manufacturers, again the quality is poor and the aim is for flavouring not therapeutic value.

Therapeutic grade oil is a different animal altogether. Therapeutic grade oil from a reputable company such as doTERRA is grown, harvested and distilled with medical therapeutic benefits in mind. Hence the CPTG oils of DoTerra are going to have pronounced effects on the body where normal grade oils will have little or possibly erratic effects or even worse they may have adverse effects.

To learn more about essential oils and how you can use them to stock you medicine cabinet, clean, create personal care products and cook please attend any of my classes. You can follow me on Facebook to keep up with essential oil tidbits or follow my blog.

 

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