From Essential Oils Pocket Reference
“Essential oils have a unique ability to penetrate cell membranes and diffuse throughout the blood and tissues. The unique, lipid-soluble structure of essential oils is very similar to the makeup of our cell membranes. The molecules of essential oils are also relatively small which enhances their ability to penetrate into the cells. When topically applied to the feet or elsewhere, essential oils can travel throughout the body in a matter of minutes.
Research indicates that when essential oils are diffused, they can increase atmospheric oxygen and provide negative ions, which in turn inhibits bacterial growth. This suggests that essential oils could play an important role in air purification and neutralizing odors. Because of their ionizing action, essential oils have the ability to break down potentially harmful chemicals and render them nontoxic.
In the human body, essential oils stimulate the secretion of antibodies, neurotransmitters, endorphins, hormones and enzymes. Oils containing limonene have been showing to prevent and slow the progression of cancer. Because EOs are composites of hundreds of different chemicals, they can exert many different effects on the body. For example, clove oil can be simultaneously antiseptic and anesthetic when applied topically. It can also be anti-tumoral. Other oils, like lavender, have been shown to promote the growth of hair and increase the rate of wound healing along with aiding in burns, insect bites, headaches, PMS, insomnia, stress and hair growth.
Importantly, because of their complexity, EOs do not disturb the body’s natural balance or homeostasis; if one constituent exerts too strong an effect, another constituent may block or counteract it. Synthetic chemicals, in contrast, usually have only one action and often disrupt the body’s hormones.