Essential Oils

Earth-Essences

Essential Oil Activity on the Cellular Plane

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Essential Oil Activity on the Cellular Plane

While conventional research led to many invaluable revelations about the healing properties of essential oils, many of the insights that have emerged more recently arise from innovative research taking place at the interface between chemistry and biology. To facilitate our discussion of these newly evolving concepts, we shall briefly present the understanding of cells, their makeup, and especially some of the relevant processes on the cellular level as they have been expressed in bio-and cellular chemistry in the last decades of the twentieth century.

General Composition

  • Water 80-85%
  • Proteins 10-15%,functional components, enzymes receptors, etc
  • Lipids 2-5%, phospholipids, membranes
  • DNA 0.5% genetic code
  • RNA 0.5-1% linked chains, backbone of the double helix.
  • Salt (Ions) 1.5%, vital for signaling

Amino Acids and Proteins

  • The 10,000 different proteins of the human body are built of 20 amino acids.
  • Essential amino acids are not produced by the human body.
  • Amino acids have a carboxylic acid (acidic) and an amino group (alkaline).
  • The presence of amino acids results in an amphoteric character.
  • Carboxyl can bond with the amino group and form a peptide bond: by repeating this process amino acids can build chains.
  • Long amino acid chains twist, fold and rotate to form three-dimensional proteins.
  • Hence proteins have the following types of structures:*Primary,* Secondary (a-Helix, b-Sheet)*Tertiary,*Quaternary

 

Phospholipids: The Skeleton of Biomembranes

  • Glycerin is a C -3 molecule, where a hydroxyl (alcohol) group is attached to each carbon atom.
  • As alcohols react with acids to form esters, both fatty acids and phosphoric acid react with glycerin to form a triester.
  • Fatty acids are acidic because of their carboxyl group. Unsaturated fatty acids are a vital component of membrane phospholipids.
  • Phosphoric acid is H-3PO-4
  • Phosphoric acid + glycerin = glycerin-3phosphate (phosphoglycerin).
  • Fatty acids can esterify with phosphoglycerin.
  • The phosphate residue can continue to esterify (e.g. with cholin = trimethylethanolamin).

Sugar and Carbohydrates

  • Sugars are polyalcohols with an aldehyde- or keto-group, called aidoses or ketoses.
  • Sugars are named according to the number of C-atoms,trioses,tetroses, pentoses,hexoses and so on.
  • Sugars easily form rings: pyranoses, furanoses in many different stereo-isometric forms.
  • Sugar can bond with sugar; the elimination of water creates a glucosidic bond.
  • Several sugar molecules of the same or different kind can form chains.

Sugar and Carbohydrates

  • Sugars are polyalcohols with an aldehyde- or keto-group, called aidoses or ketoses.
  • Sugars are named according to the number of C-atoms, trioses, tetroses, pentoses, hexoses and so on.
  • Sugars easily form rings: pyranoses, furanoses in many different stereo-isometric forms.
  • Sugar can bond with sugar; the elimination of water creates a glucosidic bond.
  • Several sugar molecules of the same or different kind can form chains.

Nucleic Acids

  • DNA and RNA are nucleic acids: multiple molecules of different categories.
  • Nucleic acids are natural polymers consisting of many nucleotide building blocks.
  • Nucleotides consist of phosphoric acid, sugar (pentose), and base (pyrimidine and purine.)
  • DNA: the sugar is D-Deoxyribose; the bases can be thymine, cytosine, adenine, and guanine.
  • RNA: the sugar is D-Ribose; the thymine base is replaced by uracyl.

Reference: The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy: Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D.

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