Define human physiology -

The vital functions of the body - the science of the mechanical, physical, & biochemical function of normal humans and their tissues/organs. Physiology literally means "knowledge of nature" - and the developed science serves to explain the human body's function and connection to nature.

Physiology - function

Anatomy - form

The whole Picture:

Holistic Physiology recognizes energetic and spiritual aspects and their interconnection to the human and the its systems. Identifying and accounting for the environment and conditions in which an organism exists.

"there is a need to understand more comprehensively how various aspects of life impact collectively on health, involving such factors as living environment, work, relationships, community, knowledge and practice of health promoting or health damaging behaviors including diet and exercise. In order to do this we must move from groups to individuals and understand how behavior and biology interact." (MacArthur) 

Differentiate between allostasis and homeostasis -

Allostasis is the process of maintaining stability through changes the whole body endures; Homeostasis in the process of balancing to achieve that stability - negative feedback loops. Allostatic load is the accumulated efforts to maintain stability through change, essentially the accumulated wear & tear (stress) on the body of repetitive cycles of allostasis & homeostasis.

Identify the components of a cell and compare their basic functions -

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Located in the Cytoplasm (in the cell) -

Membranous Organelles :

Mitochondria - ATP synthesis

Endoplasmic reticulum - continuation of outer nuclear cell membrane that transports

Golgi apparatus - protein modification and packaging

Lysosomes - contain powerful digestive enzymes

Peroxisomes - contain enzymes that break down fatty acids & some foreign materials

Inclusions :

Lipid droplets - used in cellular metabolism to store oil-based reserves of metabolic energy and components of membrane lipids

Ribosomes - dense granules of RNA & protein that manufacture protein under the direction of the cells DNA

Protein Fibers :

Cytoskeleton - the internal scaffolding of a cell, composed of micro filaments, intermediate filaments & microtubles

Centrioles - made from microtubes and direct DNA during cell division

Cilia - hairlike structures that project from cells and create currents across the cell surface to move fluids & secretions.

Flagella - larger cilia structures that exist of free floating single cells - sperm.

Outside the Cell :

Glycocalyx - a gel-like layer at the luminal side of endothelial cells lining the blood vessels throughout the body. The endothelial glycocalyx plays an important role in protection of the vascular system against atherogenic challenges associated with cardiovascular disease. It is involved in the physiological regulation of organ perfusion*, which is important for an effective delivery of nutrients and hormones to their target cells.

> Glycocalyx senses pressure/movement of blood and signals for Nitric Oxide production from smooth muscle around blood vessel - causes dilation of blood vessels and relaxation of muscle.

*perfusion is the process of a body delivering blood to a capillary bed in its biological tissue. The word is derived from the French verb "perfuser" meaning to "pour over or through."

Describe the structure and function of the cell membrane, and the modes of transportation into and out of cells -

The cell membrane is composed of a phospholipid bilayer which is made up of a thin layer of lipids (phospholipids, sphinolipids & cholesterol) that acts as a gateway & barrier to the aqueous fluids of inside of a cell. The cell membrane contains proteins & carbohydrates which facilitate the transportation of various nutrients, ions, products and waste into & out of the cell, structural stability, cell recognition and immune response. The proteins also act as transporters, enzymes & signal receptors.

In & out -

"So how do cells maintain different concentrations of proteins and molecules despite the pressures on them to be homogenous? Cell membranes are semipermeable, meaning they have control over what molecules can or cannot pass through. Some molecules can just drift in and out, others require special structures to get in and out of a cell, while some molecules even need an energy boost to get across a cell membrane. Each cell’s membrane contains the right mix of these structures to help that cell keep its internal environment just right...There are two major ways that molecules can be moved across a membrane, and the distinction has to do with whether or not cell energy is used. Passive mechanisms like diffusion use no energy, while active transport requires energy to get done."  Khan Academy -

Passive Transport -

Simple Diffusion: small particles scattering form a high to low concentration, "down" the gradient. Molecules that practice simple diffusion must be small and nonpolar.

Facilitated Diffusion: gradient diffusion of larger molecules through carriers or channels, may be open or open through chemical/electric signals. These channels are almost always specific for either a certain molecule or a certain type of molecule and so they are tightly linked to certain physiologic functions. (i.e. GLUT4 glucose transport)

Osmosis: diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane to achieve an equilibrium.

Active Transport -

"Uphill" - carrier uses ATP and can move substances against the concentration gradient.

Primary Active Transport - directly uses ATP for energy (i.e. sodium-potassium pump, proton pump)

Secondary Active Transport - molecule going with &/or molecule going against gradient secondary to , "piggybacking"

Vesicular Transport: moves large particles in and out through endocytosis (phagocytosis) & exocytosis.

Factors in Movement -

Osmotic Pressure: pressure created by a high concentration of particles.

Hydrostatic Pressure: confined pressure (like a hose)

Compare characteristics of the 4 tissue types -

Epithelial tissue covers the body surface and forms the lining for most internal cavities. The major function of epithelial tissue includes protection, secretion, absorption, and filtration. The skin is an organ made up of epithelial tissue which protects the body from dirt, dust, bacteria and other microbes that may be harmful. Cells of the epithelial tissue have different shapes - thin, flat to cubic to elongated.  

Connective tissue performs a variety of functions including support and protection. Consisting of fat tissue, dense fibrous tissue, cartilage, bone, blood, and lymph.

Muscle tissue: skeletal, smooth, and cardiac. Skeletal muscle is a voluntary type of muscle tissue that is used in the contraction of skeletal parts. Smooth muscle is found in the walls of internal organs and blood vessels - It is an involuntary type. The cardiac muscle is found only in the walls of the heart and is involuntary in nature. 

Nerve tissue is composed of specialized cells, neurons, that are excitable & conductive and neuroglia cells (glial cells) which support, nourish and protect by forming a scaffolding around the neurons.

Explain the importance of this module’s material in the study of herbal medicine

It is important to recognize the forest for the trees. To see the microcosm and the macrocosm as one coexisting force, understanding the processes and similarities between the world around us whether from an airplane or viewed under a microscope. The inner workings of a cell are essentially the foundations of life on this planet. As an herbalist it is valuable and beneficial to understand how the system functions to better understand the structures & functions of both plants and humans. This knowledge is also useful as a holistic practitioner in an allopathic world, where systems and microcosm based science is the foundation of the treatment.

More specifically, for this badge, it is important to have an understanding of the body and cell's function in regard to specific herbal actions/constituents, one's constitution and tissue state.