Oils work because they interact with cell receptors. If the molecules of the oil interact with the cell receptor, there is a need fulfilled. It’s not that the oils know where to go, it’s the body that utilizes them. Also, this is how oils are adaptogenic.
Question: If I apply oils onto my skin but have a few layers of fat between my skin and my organs, will the oils still work?
Answer: The oils are not liquids. They are, basically, liquid vapors. Vapors are like gasses. That’s why we smell them – they are vaporizing!!
They contain plant molecules. Just like being told that eating our veggies is good for us, if we can get this plant chemistry into our bodies, our body can figure out what to do with those molecules to “fix things.”
The oils are “lipid soluble.” What that means is that they pass through cell membranes which are made of “lipids” also called “fats.”
So if you can imagine applying oils to your chest, it’s easy for me to imagine those liquid vapors passing right through the skin, cells, etc., pretty much right away, perhaps even as we’re capping up the oil. I can almost imagine some of the molecules being picked up and used by the body, and the rest passing right through the body and out the head, back, feet, etc. That’s why they’re so safe. If we don’t use it, it’s gone. It’s not stored in fat or the liver like fatty oils. Essential oils are in a totally different chemical family than fatty oils like olive or canola!!
Here’s where it get’s interesting… When you apply an oil, it immediately passes through the skin. Some gets used right there on the spot. That’s why, when you apply Cool Azul Pan Relief Cream to a painful area, it may stop hurting right away. Some gets picked up by the blood, which is then carried around the body, and to each of the cells!!
According to Candace Pert, the scientist who discovered the first cell receptor site in the 70’s, every cell contains billions of receptor sites, and… drum roll here…. EVERY CELL CONTAINS RECEPTOR SITES FOR EVERY MOLECULE THE BODY USES. Profound…
Receptor sites are molecule specific. A receptor site that wants acetylcholine wants that one molecule. It waits. And waits. Molecules pass by in the blood, but it waits. Finally, one comes by that it can identify. The receptor site sends out a vibrating thread. If the molecule vibrates in a compatible way, the molecule is “docked” into the receptor site, and a message is sent to the brain saying, “Hey, we got some acetylcholine here!” That’s important because that’s the molecule our body uses to tense and relax muscles!!
So let’s say you or I are working in the garden, and our shoulder is beginning to get really tired and tense. Why? We may be running short on acetylcholine. We go in and open a bottle of Roman Chamomile and rub some on. Ahhh… relief. Why? There’s a molecule in chamomile called 3-methyl-butyl-acetate (sounds awful but it’s natural) that is a TWIN of acetylcholine!!!! And our receptor sites ACCEPTED the 3-methyl-butyl-acetate in place of acetylcholine, sent a message to the brain, and our muscles RELAXED! Instantly! The body works SO FAST when it has exactly what it needs!!
OK, so that’s the primary way the oils work in our bodies. We get ’em on, and they do the work!!
It’s helpful, but absolutely not necessary, to understand what molecules do what and which oils they’re in. Frank Burns, who started Healthier Thymes way back when used to say, “How do the oils work? Very well, thank you!” The main thing is to understand a few basics – lavender helps us sleep, peppermint regulates body temp, etc. The longer we use them, the more we learn. Perfect!!
Just like eating one piece of broccoli will not change much of our health and wellness, if we will just get these oils and other products into our bodies – as often as we can, our bodies will be able to pick and choose what they need for optimal wellness!!