In the popular culture of essential oils, the phrase “reprogram DNA” gets tossed around. Here’s a brief explanation of what that might mean from a cell biology perspective. Since there is a direct feedback between the cellular machinery (status of the membrane system, signal cascades from outside triggers, level of oxidative stress) and expression of DNA, anything that influences the cell in a sustained way can create a ‘program’ of response. This response certainly includes the DNA. Since essential oils definitely affect cellular machinery (often by means of fat-soluble antioxidant activity), essential oils can help the cell run a maintenance program instead of a stress program.
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