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How do Essential Oils Work? It's Simple Chemistry!



In general, pure essential oils can be subdivided into two distinct groups of chemical constituents; the hydrocarbons which are made up almost exclusively of terpenes (monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and diterpenes), and the oxygenated compounds which are mainly esters, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, phenols, and oxides.

Terpenes - inhibit the accumulation of toxins and help discharge existing toxins from the liver and kidneys.

  • Sesquiterpenes are antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. They work as a liver and gland stimulant and contain caryophyllene and valencene. Research from the universities of Berlin and Vienna show increased oxygenation around the pineal and pituitary glands. Further research has shown that sesquiterpenes have the ability to surpass the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain tissue. other sesquiterpenes, like chamazulene and farnesol, are very high in anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial activity. Chamazulene may be found in chamomile, tansy, and yarrow.

  • Farnesene is anti-viral in action.

  • Limonene has strong anti-viral properties and has been found in 90% of the citrus oils.

  • Pinene has strong antiseptic properties and may be found in high proportions in the conifer oils such as pine, fir, spruce, and juniper.

  • Other terpenes include camphene, cadinene, cedrene, dipentene, p