What are Essential Oils and What Do They Do?

Ever wonder who the greatest chemists are on earth? Plants. Through millions of generations plants have experimented with chemistry. Plants are superb chemists. In order to, reproduce, repair themselves, attract beneficial organisms, survive changes in the environment and fight off pathogenic microbes they have to be the master chemists on the planet.

A major part of plant chemistry is in their essential oils. Essential oils act as the plant’s immune system, both attacking anything harmful to the plant and repairing damage done to the plant as well as regulating various functions. In addition to that essential oils are the communication system that plants use its a rich and complex language involved in

  • Self regulation
  • Communicating with bacteria, insects, mammals and all other life forms it has contact with.
  • Communicating with other plants.
  • Cell Membrane

To understand why essential oils are so effective we need to understand a little biology. Cells are enclosed in a protective membrane of lipid (fat) molecules that serves as a selective barrier to separate their delicate internal system from the external environment. Structurally the cell wall is a barrier that is very difficult to penetrate, its designed to control what goes in or comes out of a cell.

The cell membrane separates the organelles inside of the cell from the external environment. In the early days of cellular biology we thought the cell wall was just that, a separator. But science now thinks of the cell wall as the cell brain. Covered in receptor sites it’s the cell wall that brings information, nutrients and other substances into the cell and causes various things to be stimulated in response. All living cells must exchange materials (nutrients, waste products, etc.) to remain alive and they do that across this cell membrane utilizing very specialized and selective processes.

What makes essential oils so special is that have the capacity to penetrate a cell wall because of their structure. Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds that are:

  • Non-polar in structure
  • Have low molecular size
  • Are lipid soluble

Because essential oils are both lipid soluble and offer small molecular size, they quickly and easily gain access to cells. Few other types of molecules can transverse cellular membranes so easily. Molecules that are larger or are not lipid soluble require specialized active or assisted transport methods to get into the cell (cofactors, transportation vesicles, etc.)

Because essential oils can penetrate a cell wall they can work inside of the cell. They can also influence cell wall permeability; altering what does and doesn’t come into the cell. This has a broad cascade of effects.

When you see how chemically powerful essential oils are you begin to understand that essential oils can have a strong effect on our overall health and a multitude of possible uses.

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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'Business Opportunity'
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• Delving into Essential Oils (Intro Classes)
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• Supplements 101
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'Advanced Classes Series 1'
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'Advanced Classes Series 2'
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• How Essential Oils Work
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'Advanced Classes Series 3'
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'Advanced Classes Series 4'
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