Sorry I haven't got this up soon enough. I'm a work in progress on personal schedules. :) I did my studying when I was supposed to, just didn't get it up here.
This next section almost describes essential oils as if they are alive. The role they play in plants actually trains them for the role they are to play in our bodies. They have been called the lifeblood of plants because they do exactly what our blood does. They circulate through tissues and cell walls, carrying nutrients in and carrying toxins out in plants and us, and even animals. They are known to carry oxygen into our cells, which cleanses us in itself. They are also able to remove pharmaceutical drugs, petrochemicals, and other things that interrupt communication between cells. They can chelate heavy metals, and all of this cleansing actually makes us more able to absorb our vitamins.
Essential oils act as hormones in plants, which helps them to function normally and keeps them producing vitamins and enzymes. They can carry messages between cells and keep them active. They are also able to do this in humans. We call them neurotransmitters, which is a category that encapsulates peptides, steroids, hormones, enzymes, vitamins, and other types of molecules that carry messages to cells. Ligand is another name for a molecule that fits into a cell receptor to give it a message. Essential oils always give the correct message to the correct receptor, which contributes to overall wellness and health.
Essential oils have what we call homeostatic intelligence. What this means is that they are able to bring our bodies into balance, which is called homeostasis. Homeostasis is when all systems in our bodies are functioning fully and properly, executing the perfect proportions of give and take. They are able to correct unhealthfulness while boosting healthfulness all at the same time. Here are some examples:
Oregano kills germs while keeping beneficial bacteria healthy in the body.
Angelica can stimulate a woman's uterus to contract for labor, or can calm it if it's premature.
Myrtle can stimulate or calm the thyroid, depending on what is needed.
Cinnamon will raise or lower blood sugar levels, depending on how it is off balance.
This particular characteristic of essential oils makes them so much more advanced than pharmaceutical drugs all by itself simply because drugs cannot do more than one task. They are specifically formulated to only do one task. There are drugs to lower thyroid function, and there are drugs to increase thyroid function. No one drug is prescribed to perform both tasks, because no one drug has been formulated to tackle both directions. This contributes to eventual and sometimes immediate imbalance in the body and leads to side effects and consequential health problems. Essential oils have no such effect on the body because they work toward balance by offsetting positives and negatives at the same time.
Essential oils eradicate viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi in plants. They can produce unpleasant flavors and odors sometimes to repel plant predators. They can even act as herbicides to keep other plants from growing next to the plant they are in. Some plants in the desert release an oil into the soil around them to keep other plants a certain amount of distance away so that they have enough water for themselves. Tomato and tobacco plants emit an oil that attracts certain kinds of wasps that eat the big fat green worms that feed on the plants. However, different oils in the same plants attract the moth that lays the eggs for the worms. Lima beans in south America release an oil that attracts certain kinds of wasps that eat the spider mites that feed on them.
Essential oils that are normally harvested aren't the ones that attract wasps, fortunately! :) Some of them make great repellents though!