The Endocrine System consists of glands in the body that produce and secrete hormones directly into the circulatory system. The hormones are carried to targeted organs and tissues where they bind only to cells with necessary specific receptor sites. The endocrine system is responsible for bodily functions and processes such as cell growth, tissue function, sleep. sexual and reproductive functions, metabolism, blood sugar management, how the body responds to injuries, and stress, energy, water and electrolyte balance, and more. It basically tells the cells in the body exactly what to do.
The glands of the endocrine system include the pituitary gland (the master gland which helps regulate the other glands within the endocrine system), pineal gland, thyroid and parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, hypothalamus, thalamus, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract and reproductive glands (ovaries/testicles). Many organs that are part of other body systems (such as the liver, kidneys and heart) also secrete hormones, and this is recognized as a secondary endocrine function. The exocrine system also secretes hormones, but uses glands with ducts — such as sweat glands or salivary glands — to deliver these secretions.
The Endocrine system affects weight management, the thyroid, and insulin response. Promoting hormone balance and regulated release of hormones, as well as proper cellular messaging are key to overall health of the body. Stress electrolyte or fluid imbalnce as well as other health changes can affect the endocrine system.
How Essential Oils Work with the Endocrine System
Because of the unique delivery system of the endocrine system (sending hormone to targeted organs and tissues via the circulatory system), essential oils can be especially beneficial since they use the same delivery system! Essential oils are able to profoundly benefit cells they encounter throughout the body as they circulate. There are also specific oils that have been shown to be incredibly supportive with certain gland / organ functions. Individuals can work together with their health providers, when necessary, to consider the benefits of natural solutions as well as modern options.