Pink Pepper essential oil. It’s all the rage but what is so important about it? It’s not an easy answer and there is much to say about this oil as a whole. The best way to start is to simply say it assists the immune system pathways in dramatic ways! Lets begin by getting you acquainted with the immune system. The immune system is designed as our body’s defense against invasion and ultimately infection. Our immune system will do its best to launch an attack against any foreign invaders or organisms that can cause illness and disease. Our immune system is set up to work with the different networks of cells, tissues and organs that are specialized to protect the body. The body can get rid of potential danger by behaving like that old game, “PAC man” – chasing and chewing up invaders. This behaviour is called phagocytosis. This happens through cells called phagocytes. Another way that the immune system addresses invaders is through cells called lymphocytes. They help the body to remember invaders that have breached the immune system barriers previously and they tell the body to recognize and destroy those invaders. There are 2 kinds of lymphocytes; B-cells and T-cells. The B-cells work like a military outpost to locate any invaders that breach the system. They send out their navy seal-like T-cells to seek and destroy. There are some T-cells that are actually called “Natural Killer” cells (NKT) (NK) These cells are born to destroy! They have a natural ability to kill certain kinds of tumor cells. These cells can also help to regulate autoimmune responses. Natural killer cells play a critical role in tumor recognition and anti-tumor actions. Natural killer T cells directly eradicate target cancer cells via apoptosis (cell death) through different ligands – (cell messengers). It’s interesting to note that NKT cells can both suppress and promote immune responses at the same time. That can certainly come in handy. So what does all this have to do with Pink Pepper? Well, I’m so glad that you asked! The messenger molecules in pink pepper have been shown to activate strong immune cells that induce NK cells, the same cells that we have been talking about. They increase phagocytosis – that PAC-man behaviour that chases and eats up invaders of the immune system. They to come to aid the body when it is in immune system crisis. Enter alpha-phellandrene! The terpene alpha-phellandrene has been shown to alter cell cycle expression, DNA damage, and apoptosis, and is found in high levels in the dōTERRA pink pepper essential oil. Now that is some very exciting information! Getting your immune cells signaling in the most beneficial way for your body is a very important process. Learn how to implement high quality essential oils into your diet to help your cells better and more effectively communicate with each other! And….we haven’t even talked about the fact that we are dealing with the CB2 receptors!
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(2). Tan J, et al., “Type I natural killer T cells: naturally born for fighting”. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, (2010): 31.9:1123–1132.
(3). Lin J, et al.,“alpha-phellandrene alters expression of genes associated with DNA damage, cell cycle, and apoptosis in murine leukemia WEHI-3 cells”. Anticancer Research, (2014):34.8: 4161-4180.