This book is a good starter for people wanting to learn more about essential oils and aromatherapy in general, especially if you’re (justifiably) skeptical of the information put out by Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) companies. I wasn’t completely satisfied with parts of this book, as you’ll read below, but it is a decent starting point.
Title – Aromatherapy: A complete guide to the healing art
Authors – Kathi Keville and Mindy Green
Page count – 214
Goodreads rating – 3/5 (liked it – some parts were 2/5 but majority 3/5)
This book is split into four parts: Theory, Therapy, Alchemy, and Materia Medica. The section about Theory covers the historical use of fragrance and the science behind how it works in the body. This was my favorite section because it was informative and backed up (as much as possible) by scientific research.
Therapy covers the practical application of whole herbs and essential oils, including safe usage. This section provides a host of recipes to address specific ailments in the body or more general body/hair/face care.
Alchemy covers the chemistry side of essential oils and the plants they come from: how the oils are extracted and blended, and why understanding the molecular level of fragrance is important for using herbs and oils safely and effectively.
The section called Materia Medica was more of a reference guide. It provides a glossary of common essential oils with background and instructions for use, as well as some at-a-glance charts.
I’m one of those people who is skeptical about the information provided by MLMs because their main goal is to turn a profit – of course the info they put out is going to be biased. While I don’t think that necessarily negates the quality of the oils themselves, I thought it would be prudent to look to independent industry experts regarding their safe and effective use. This is just the first book I’ve read, and I’ve got a few more lined up that focus on different areas from essential oils to herbs to medicinal gardening.
Like I said above, this is a good starter guide and a quick reference for what specific oils/herbs do, plus some practical recipes. What I didn’t like about it was the lack of scientific support for the Therapy and Materia Medica sections. The authors would mention that “studies show…” but offered no references. (There is a Bibliography at the end but no associated footnote links.) I want to know that the research is sound but can’t verify that without more specific information.
No quotes this time – this book doesn’t really lend itself to that. Excuse me while I go apply a lavender-coconut oil hair mask. 🙂