Disease begins at the cellular level, more specifically at the cellular membrane level.
Your cellular membranes control all cell communication. They serve as a semi permeable, protective barrier, regulating what enters and leaves your cell. When they are compromised, the good things – important chemical messengers and nutrients – can’t get in and the bad things – cellular waste and toxins – can’t get out.
Equally importantly are the surface receptors on the outside of your cell membranes. These receptors are the lock and key mechanism that allow your cells to receive messages from your brain and your body. When the right chemical messenger binds with these receptors, it initiates a cascade of chemical changes inside your cell, in effect altering cell function. For example, insulin resistance occurs when insulin receptors stop receiving signals. Similarly, autoimmune disease, and even cancer, can arise when cellular communication runs amok.
Simply put, when cellular membranes are compromised — from toxic assaults and inflammation – cellular communication is compromised, resulting in hormone disruption and disease.
The key to fixing cellular function is to heal your cellular membrane. The key to stabilizing and repairing your cellular membrane is healthy fat. Your cellular membranes are comprised of fat and healthy fats from diet and transdermal application make membranes more fluid and efficient.
Repairing Cellular Membranes with Fat
Dr. Patricia Kane has done some interesting research in the area of stabilizing and repairing cell membranes using fat-soluble remedies. Kane believes that lipids in the membrane control the function of the membrane, controlling cell signaling and enhancing cell to cell communication.
Kane notes, “The most important nutrient for the brain is fat, and not just because the brain is made of fat but because of what the fat does. In particular, brain-cell membranes control the entrance and exit of material to and from each cell. Increasing the permeability of cell membranes speeds neuronal transmission. Brain-cell membranes also become rigid with age. Thus, nutrients that can maintain membrane fluidity show particular promise in maintaining healthy cognitive function. ”
In her book Radical Metabolism, Ann Louise Gittleman makes similar observations, noting that you can rebuild and fortify your fat based cell membranes based on the fats you assimilate because your cell membranes are composed of fat and your body incorporates fats that you digest or transdermally apply into your cell membranes. Bad fats, like transfat, can cause those membranes to deteriorate and good fats help the membranes heal.
Gittleman notes that your “body incorporates dietary fatty acids into cell membranes within minutes in a process called membrane reorganization.” These fatty acids then modify the actual structure and physical properties of cell membranes, influencing cellular processes that rely on this structure.
Gittleman advises the consumption of specific dietary fat to help stabilize and mend your cell membranes and reverse hormone resistance. She notes that fats make membranes more fluid and efficient. “Hormone receptors are attached and stabilized by little structures called lipid rafts (made of saturated fat and cholesterol), which become damaged by toxins and inflammation.”
How Essential Oils Help Mend Cell Receptors
Essential oils interact with and help heal cellular membranes and receptor sites. Cell membranes are fat loving, as are essential oils. This compatibility of chemical composition, along with the super small size of essential oil molecules, allows essential oils to directly traverse your cellular membrane, cleaning and mending receptor sites on your cellular membranes, which in turn improves their ability to properly receive and send cellular communication.
This is one reason that short chain fatty acids help heal inflammation – the fatty acids are composed of lipids so they can actually access the cell membrane. Essential oils have the same chemical composition and work in the same way! They support the normal electrical functioning of your brain and nervous system.
This makes essential oils especially helpful when your cells are compromised in their ability to efficiently pass substances across its membrane. Your cells can’t repair without the proper exchange of nutrients, but they cannot get the proper nutrients to repair and heal because membrane transport mechanisms are suboptimal. Essential oils have the ability to influence cells even when there is physiologic compromise such as during times of poor nutrition or environmental threats.
Endocrine Disrupting Toxins
One of the key impediments for healthy cell membrane function are environmental pollutants, known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC), which bind to your cell receptors and block your body’s hormones from binding and signaling these cell receptors.
EDCs produce adverse health effects by mimicking or interfering with the actions of your own hormones. You might think of cell receptors as limited parking spots on your cell membranes. If there are available spots, your body’s chemical messengers, like hormones and neurotransmitters can park, get out of the car and pass on their chemical messages. If all the spots in the lot are filled with endocrine disruptors — found in environmental toxins like BPA (bisphenol A) plastics and pesticides like DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) – your body’s own communication system cannot bind to your cell receptors and properly send or receive hormonal signals.
In his book, Toxic Solution, Dr. Joseph Pizzorno specifically notes that “toxins damage cell membranes so they don’t respond properly. “Signaling” in your body happens in your cell membranes. Damage to these membranes prevents them from getting important messages – for example, insulin not signaling the cell to absorb more sugar.”
Essential Oils for Endocrine Disrupting Toxins
Essential oils interact with and help heal cellular membranes and receptor sites. “The effects of aromatherapy are theorized to result from the binding of chemical components in the essential oil to receptors in the olfactory bulb, according to the National Cancer Institute’s PDQ online database
In his book The Chemistry of Essential Oils, David Stewart suggests that essential oils not only bind to, but clean cell receptors, noting that constituents of essential oils known as phenylpropanoids “clean the receptor sites on the cells. Without clean receptor sites, cells cannot communicate, and the body malfunctions, resulting in sickness.” Phenylpropanoids are found in essential oils of clove, cassia, basil, cinnamon, oregano, anise, and peppermint.
This ability to help repair and heal cell membranes has occasionally triggered confusion that essential oils like lavender and tea tree oil are hormone disruptors, as noted in an often cited 2007 study. Essential oil experts, like Robert Tisserand, have repeatedly disputed this study, pointing to research that demonstrates no endocrine disrupting effect from lavender or other essential oils.
Unlike endocrine disrupting chemicals, essential oils do not mimic or enhance your body’s own naturally occurring hormones. Instead, they help clean and repair cell receptors so that your body’s own hormones, like estrogens and thyroid hormones, can naturally bind to your cell receptors and elicit the desired chemical reaction in your body.
The Best Essential Oils to Mend Cell Receptors
The following essential oil blends may help mend and repair your cellular membranes:
1. Parasympathetic™: The parasympathetic state helps your body and cells recover. What’s more, research shows that Eugenol, an active constituent in Clove oil, may help “clean” your insulin receptors in order to restore proper insulin signaling. Eugenol has been shown to interact with cell receptors and inhibit or activate signaling cascades, which is how it effectively inhibits symptoms of pain and inflammation.
Another component found in clove essential oil, known as phenylpropanoids, has been shown to bind with cell receptors and consequently inhibit or activate your cell receptors to help your cells better respond to the presence of insulin. In essence, essential oils may help unblock blocked receptor sites which cause cells to be resistant to the effects of insulin.
To help mend cell membranes, apply Parasympathetic™ blend, which contains clove oil, to the vagus nerve (behind the earlobe on the mastoid bone).
2. Lymph™ : Your lymph system acts as the sewer system of your body, removing metabolic waste and toxins from cells. When toxins are carried out of the cells, they first pass through the extracellular matrix to your lymph, and then on to your organs of elimination. When your lymph is congested or stagnant, toxins can back up in your extracellular matrix and cells, which can cause a worsening of symptoms.
To enhance lymphatic flow and drainage, generously apply Lymph™ around the sides of your neck, under your arm pits and along your bikini line. You can also apply Lymph™ around the gut so that the rest of the lymph in the body can flow to the gut for elimination.
3. Immune Support™ – The ability of essential oils to increase permeability of your cell’s membranes is one of the reasons they are so effective at eliminating pathogenic bacteria, like biofilms in your gut. Significant research on essential oils, like thyme and Oregano in the Immune Support™ blend, demonstrates that how active constituents, like carvacrol, can impact the structure and function of your cell membranes, resulting in increases in cell fluidity and permeability, allowing both more healing nutrients into your cells and more waste to be released from your cells.
To help support cell membrane health, , apply Immune Support™ 2- 3 times daily on the throat (diluted) or the bottom of the feet.
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