Vetiver essential oil is derived from the roots of a species of Haitian tropical grass known for its ability to support a healthy immune response. In a new study conducted by doTERRA scientists, the scientists found that use of Vetiver essential oil may indeed have significant cellular effects.1
Using the BioMap® system, doTERRA scientists are able to examine the activity of oils in an environment that closely mimics a real human health condition. In this study, researchers first used cell culture techniques to grow a special type of living human skin cells (called dermal fibroblasts) in a dish.2 Later, the cells were exposed to factors that induced a change in their cellular activity in a way that parallels the changes that occur in cells found in a living person.
Sometimes fibroblasts multiply rapidly, which can lead to a change in the cellular composition of a tissue. Such a change may prove detrimental to its health or function. The fibroblasts themselves also secrete structural proteins into the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is the space surrounding the cells. While these proteins are normally found in healthy individuals, an excess of ECM proteins can make a tissue that is normally flexible become rigid, a characteristic that can have a number of health implications.
Han and his associates used certain known biomarkers to quantitatively measure the levels of ECM proteins and the rate of cell division. They found that their fibroblasts showed significantly lower levels of division and secreted significantly less collagen III (a prominent ECM protein) when exposed to Vetiver essential oil. Both aspects of the cells’ health were improved after exposure to the oil.1
To explore the mechanism by which Vetiver essential oil affected the fibroblasts, they evaluated cell activity by measuring the levels of metabolic molecules. There were significant changes in cellular metabolism. Thus one possible mechanism for the observed change in the inflammatory response may be that Vetiver essential oil affects the metabolic activity of the cells in a way that supports tissue remodeling processes.
These exciting results indicate that the use of Vetiver essential oil is a great way to support healthy-looking skin.
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