The Blood-Brain Barrier and Essential Oils

THE BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER
By David Stewart, Ph.D.,R.A.

It was thought for years that the interstitial tissues of the brain served as a barrier to keep damaging substances from reaching the neurons of the brain and the cerebrospinal fluid. Instead of a barrier, it would be more accurate to consider it as a sieve or filter through which only molecules of a certain size or smaller can pass.

Most of the molecules of the substances used in chemotherapy are too large to pass through the blood-brain filter, which is why doctors say that chemotherapy doesn’t work on brain cancer. Some of the smaller molecules get through, but not the whole suite of drugs intended.

Doctors don’t know for sure, but it seems that in order to cross the blood-brain barrier, only molecules less than 800-1000 atomic mass units (amu) in molecular weight can get through. Lipid solubility seems to be another factor which facilitates passing through the blood-brain barrier. Water soluble molecules don’t usually penetrate into brain tissue, even when very small. The molecules of essential oils are all not only small, but lipid soluble as well.

In fact, when it comes to essential oils, small molecules (less than 500 amu) are what they are made of. That is why they are aromatic. The only way for something to be aromatic is for the molecules to be so small that they readily leap into the air so they can enter our noses and be detected as odor and smell.

That is why oils for cooking or massage, such as corn, peanut, sesame seed, safflower, walnut, almond, canola, olive and other oils pressed from seeds are not aromatic. Sure, they have a smell, but you can’t smell them across the room in minutes as one can when you opens a bottle of peppermint, hyssop, or cinnamon oil.

Essential oils of every species cross the blood-brain barrier.

This makes them uniquely able to address disease, not only from a physical level, but from a more basic and fundamental level-that of the emotions which are often the root cause of physical illness.

A QUICK COURSE IN CHEMISTRY
Because of the tiny molecular structure of the components of an essential oil, they are extremely concentrated. One drop contains approximately 40 million-trillion molecules. Numerically that is a 4 with 19 zeros after it: 40,000,000,000,000,000,000. We have 100 trillion cells in our bodies, and that’s a lot. But one drop of essential oil contains enough molecules to cover every cell in our bodies with 40,000 molecules.

Considering that it only takes one molecule of the right kind to open a receptor site and communicate with the DNA to alter cellular function (yes, bacteria talk), you can see why even inhaling a small amount of oil vapor can have profound effects on the body, brain, and emotions. Sometimes too many oil molecules overload the receptor sites, and they freeze up without responding at all, when a smaller amount would have been just right. This is why we say that when using oils, “sometimes less is better.” Sometimes more is better, too. Knowing the difference is the art of aromatherapy.

Essential oils are mixtures of dozens, even hundreds, of constituents, all of which are composed of carbon and hydrogen and sometimes oxygen. All essential oils are principally composed of a class of organic compounds built of “isoprene units.”

An isoprene unit is a set of five connected carbon atoms with eight hydrogens attached. Their molecular weight is only 68 amu, which is very small, indeed. Molecules built of isoprene units are all classified as “terpenes.” Terpenes are what make essential oilsunique in the world of natural substances.

Get Therapeutic grade essential oils!

PHENYLPROPANOIDS
Phenylpropanoids are compounds of carbon-ring molecules incorporating one isoprene unit. They are also called hemiterpenes. There are dozens of varieties of phenylpropanoids.

They are found in Clove (90%), Cassia (80%), Basil (75%), Cinnamon (73%), Oregano (60%), Anise (50%), Peppermint (25%). While they can create conditions where unfriendly viruses and bacteria cannot live, the most important function performed by phenylpropanoids is that they clean the receptor sites on the cells. Without clean receptor sites, cells cannot communicate, and the body malfunctions, resulting in sickness.

MONOTERPENES
Monoterpenes are compounds of two isoprene units, which is ten carbon atoms and sixteen hydrogen atoms per molecule-molecular weight 136 amu. There are an estimated 2,000 varieties of monoterpenes.

Monoterpenes are found in most essential oils: Galbanum (80%), Angelica (73%), Hyssop ((70%), Rose of Sharon (54%), Peppermint (45%), Juniper (42%), Frankincense (40%), Spruce (38%), Pine (30%), Cypress (28%), and Myrtle (25%).

While offering a variety of healing properties, the most important ability of the monoterpenes is that they can reprogram miswritten information in the cellular memory. With improper coding in the DNA, cells malfunction and diseases result, including lethal ones such as cancer.

SESQUITERPENES
Sesquiterpenes are compounds of three isoprene units, which is fifteen carbons and twenty-four hydrogens per molecule-molecular weight 204 amu. There are more than 10,000 kinds of sesquiterpenes. Sesquiterpenes are the principal constituents of Cedarwood (98%), Vetiver (97%), Spikenard (93%), Sandalwood (Aloes) 90%, Black Pepper (74%), Patchouli (71%), Myrrh (62%), and Ginger (59%). They are also found in Galbanum, Onycha, and Frankincense (8%).

Sesquiterpene molecules deliver oxygen molecules to cells, like hemoglobin does in the blood. Sesquiterpenes can also erase or deprogram miswritten codes in the DNA. Sesquiterpenes are thought to be especially effective in fighting cancer because the root problem with a cancer cell is that it contains misinformation, and sesquiterpenes can erase that garbled information. At the same time the oxygen carried by sesquiterpene molecules creates an environment where cancer cells can’t reproduce. Hence, sesquiterpenes deliver cancer cells a double punch, one that disables their coded misbehavior and a second that stops their growth.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has said that if they could find an agent that would pass the blood-brain barrier, they would be able to find cures for ailments such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Such agents already exist and have been available since Biblical times. The agents, of course, are essential oils, particularly those containing the brain oxygenating molecules of sesquiterpenes.

THE TRIPLE WHAMMY
The big triple punch combination of “PMS” (Phenylpropanoids, Monoterpenes, and Sesquiterpenes) found in essential oils is very powerful in addressing many illnesses, injuries, and disease conditions. That is because this combination offers the following:

First, you clean the receptor sites allowing the proper transfer of hormones, peptides, neurotransmitters, steroids, and other intracellular messengers. (The Phenylpropanoids do that.)

Second, you deprogram or erase the wrong information from cellular memory stored in the DNA. (The Sesquiterpenes take care of that.)

Third, you reprogram the cells with the correct information so they can function properly. (The Monoterpenes do this.)

These three classes of chemical components are why essential oils can sometimes affect a healing that is nearly instant and also permanent. What they simply do is to restore the body back to its natural state of balance and health. While a specific oil may have one or two of these three classes of compounds as its predominant chemistry, all the Biblical oils contain some of all of them. This is one secret to their amazing healing abilities.

So there you have it in a nutshell: The way the blood-brain barrier works and the biochemistry of one of the ways essential oils can help achieve a healing.

Dr. David Stewart is an avid user of Young Living Essential Oils and and the author of: Healing Oils of the Bible, A Statistical Validation of Raindrop Technique and the ever popular The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple: God’s Love Manifest in Molecules

Learn more about making the switch to safe solutions.

Get Therapeutic grade essential oils!

10 thoughts on “The Blood-Brain Barrier and Essential Oils

  1. Do you have any information regarding essential oils relating to treatment of brain cancer, specifically glioblastoma multiforme stage IV?

    Thank you.

    Hi Dottie,

    I personally do not have any clinical studies on that treatment. Perhaps someone else knows???

    Thanks for asking, ~ Evelyn

  2. Good Morning,
    My son, has ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) he is high functioning. Although the stimming (self stimulation with guteral sounds and hand gesturing) is exacerbated in situations that are over stimulating for him. This can be over obsessive thoughts or even a compliment. Three months following my mothers death he suffered from a grand mal seizure. He has now received another label of Epilepsy.

    As a parent I know his brain and body is stressed.

    My question…are there studies or suggestions in using essential oils to help these symptoms or better yet help with his road to recovery.

    Thank you.
    Rene Hockenberry LMP
    Mother and advocate for Autism

    Hi Rene,

    I cannot make any essential oils suggestions for those with Epilepsy. It is recommended that those with Epilepsy consult their doctor before using any essential oil.

    Apologies that I cannot provide any other type of feedback. My best to you, your son, and your advocacy in Autism. Many Blessings ~ Evelyn

  3. I too am looking for information about essential oils and glioblastoma multiforme stage IV. Does anyone have any resources that would be helpful? Thanks.

  4. I am doing research on natural therapies for ASD and here are a couple of things: 1. The essential oil geranium is helpful for Candida issues which is typical for ASD children. 2. My ASD clients also benefit from a parasite cleanse 3. I also use far infrared sauna treatments with them with success 4. Of course no wheat, dairy or processed foods 5. I also have clients use total home protection air and water purifiers. 6. And an EMM is also beneficial.

    Thanks-Hope this helps!

  5. Have you ever had anyone become cancer free from using essential oils?

    Hi Jan, Yes, I have. Using the essential oils and YL supplements. ~ Evelyn

  6. My Daughter has PANDAS alot some people are useing olive leaf?
    What does that do.. and does it interfer with the fish oil and her antiobotics
    (Azith) and the probotics that she takes?
    Thank you
    Tracie

    • Hello Tracie,
      Currently I’m not aware of what olive leaf can do and if it interferes with anything else your daughter is taking.
      Apologies for not being able to answer your question. ~ Evelyn

  7. Hi I am so delighted I found your weblog, I really found you by accident, while I was researching on Aol for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a fantastic post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the excellent job.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s