Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review: "Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art"

Book Title: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, Second Edition
Authors: Kathi Keville and Mindy Green

Published: 1995, 2009; Crossing Press
Summary provided by publisher: "A comprehensive guide to the art and science of creating therapeutic essential oils and herbal preparations, and using them in health, beauty, body care, massage and more."

My star rating: 4/5

My thoughts: 
This an easy-to-read guide to aromatherapy. The authors, who have a combined 75 years of experience, present complex topics in a way that anyone can understand. This book is set up in four parts: theory, therapy, alchemy and materia medica. An important component of this book is the incorporation of herbal information - the more I learn about aromatherapy, the more I'm interested in herbs - that is not often included in a book about aromatherapy.

In the theory section, you will find information on the history and science behind aromatherapy, as well as the effects on the body and mind. In therapy, they cover guidelines for safely using essential oils - the safety information is good, but as always, I recommend getting a second opinion. Each system in the body is given its own section, alongside the essential oil therapies, herbal adjuncts are included. Section three, alchemy, teaches us about blending, extraction and the chemistry of essential oils. The final section, materia medica, includes the typical guide as well as one for Ayurvedic aromatherapy and a section on chakras. Throughout the chapters you will find recipes, but if that's all you're after this book isn't for you, as the bulk of the text is informational. 

Overall, I would recommend this book to readers who are past the beginning level but not quite ready for advance study, in between the beginner and intermediate. Many of the concepts were repeats of what I've previously learned. 

Sections I have marked for quick reference:
Scents That Turn on Women, Men page 18
Aromatherapy Blends for Emotions page 33
Rotate essential oils page 38
Toxic Oils page 40
Methods of Application page 42
Suggestion Dilutions for Various Methods of Application page 44
Preparing Herb-Infused Oils page 49
Kit of Ten Basic Essential Oils page 53
Using Herbs in Your Bathtub or Teacup page 82
Herbs and Essential Oils for Skin Care page 100
Facial recipes page 112
Top, Middle and Base Notes page 130
Olfactory Study of Essential Oils page 134
Chemical Groups page 160
Materia Medica page 175
Charts page 220

Interested in picking up your own copy? You can purchase the book HERE.

Source: Keville, Kathi, & Green, Mindi (2009). aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art. Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press.