Monday, August 23, 2010

The science of Essential Oils

Finally got my hands on the Physicians Desk Reference of Essential Oils  ( 4th edition)
WOW this book is HUGE- and hard to find- will eventually have to give in and buy it. Finding out so much MORE than I knew before- this is one subject that is always growing and expanding -as its being researched constantly. I am always searching for books and furiously copying everything into my notebooks as fast as I can- there's no way I could afford every one of the amazing books I've found at my local Library and thru Search Ohio. If you don't use your library, really you should - its an amazing source of free information or just plain enjoyment. My focus has been on learning- so the books I brought home for enjoyment are untouched as of yet.

Today almost every product you see advertised on TV and on the shelf in any store contains EO's ( essential oils), from your hair color to your laundry detergent and cleaning supplies, your soap and shampoo, your candles and air fresheners. The issue here is that in most cases the EO's are synthetic - this means they duplicate the scent of say- sandalwood - which is now a very rare and expensive oil, as is rose and roman chamomile- in fact it takes approx 760lbs of lavender plant to create approx 68 oz or 8 cups of Lavender EO.
Then we get into how the plants and resins are chemically broken down to get their scent in an oil. Its alot of work - just like science labs create rubies and other gemstones - for reasons such as the real thing is hard to come by or they are less expensive when lab created. Lab created EO's are not pure and usually don't contain any part of the plant or resin its derived from. These synthetic "oils" are actually harmful to us and the environment. The chemicals in these "oils" cause breathing issues and skin irritation and , I have found, make people believe that what they are smelling is the "real" scent of a product- for example- I have been told," I cant take rose its so sickening sweet it gives me a headache", but real rose is a pure clear scent with a green undertone. Its actually quite beautiful and there's a world of difference in real EO's and synthetic ones- even in perfumes and colognes they use synthetic EO's and then add other chemicals to ensure the stuff doesn't go rancid and that it blends- and has staying power.
Real EO's have healing power and they alone can change your life.

EO's and human blood share several common properties. They fight infection , contain hormone-like compounds and initiate regeneration. Working as the chemical defense mechanism of the plant, EO's possess potent anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti viral properties. They also ward off attacks by insects and animals.

The ability of some EO's to work as hormones helps them to bring balance to many physiological systems of the human body. Oils, like clary sage and sage contain sclerol, for example,have an estrogenic action. EO's also play a role in initiating the regeneration process for the plant, the same way the blood does for the human body. The similarity goes even deeper. EO's have a chemical structure that is similar to that found in human cells and tissues. This makes EO's compatible with human protein and enables them to readily be identified and accepted by the body.

EO's have a unique ability to penetrate cell membranes and diffuse thru-out the blood and tissues. The unique lipid- soluble structure of EO's is very similar to the makeup of our cell membranes. The molecules of EO's are relatively small which enhances their ability to penetrate into the cells. When topically applied to the feet or elsewhere, EO's can travel thru-out the body in a matter of minutes.

The ability of some EO's, like clove, to decrease the viscosity (or thickness) of the blood can also enhance circulation of the blood also enhance circulation and immune function. Adequate circulation is vital to good health, since it affects the function of every cell and organ.
Research indicates that when EO's are diffused, they can increase atmospheric oxygen and provide negative ions which in turn, inhibits bacterial growth . This suggests that EO's could play an important role in air purification and neutralizing odors.

Because of their ionizing action, EO's have the ability to break down potentially harmful chemicals and render them non toxic. In the human body, EO's stimulate the secretion of antibodies and enzymes. Oils containing limonene have been shown to prevent and slow the progression of cancer. Other oils, like lavender, have been shown to promote the growth of hair and increase the rate of wound healing. Importantly, because of their complexity, EO's do not disturb the body's natural balance or homeostasis : if one constituent exerts too strong and effect, another constituent may block or counteract it.

Synthetic chemicals, in contrast,usually only have one action and often disrupt the body's homeostasis.

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