Monday, November 3, 2014

Book Review: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils

I have been on an aromatherapy reading spree the past few weeks. I hope you enjoy these book reviews as much as I enjoy reading the books.

Book Title: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy and Herbalism 
Author: Julia Lawless

Published: 1995, reprint 1997; Element Books
(There are other additions available, this is the version I have.)

My star rating: 4/5

My thoughts: This illustrated encyclopedia is wonderful. I particularly enjoy the photos and sketches of the plants and the photos of the color of the essential oils. This adds a wealth of information that is not available in other texts. 

This book is in three parts: An Introduction to Aromatics, Therapeutic Index and The Oils. The first section gives the reader and introduction to aromatherapy including history and how essential oils work with the systems of the body. There is a wealth of information and each topic is briefly covered, with references. The second section gives a therapeutic index grouped by systems of the body, with an abbreviation guide for suggested applications. The final section covers 165 essential oils. This is the most fascinating to me. It includes color photos and sketches with a description of the leaves, fruits and other plant material. We also receive a brief description of herbal and folk tradition, aromatherapy/home use, other uses, distribution and other species information. This section is the main reason I enjoyed this book so much. 

Overall, I would recommend this book for readers who love aromatherapy and want to learn more about particular essential oils. I also feel it's important to have other more recently written and published essential oils books to cross reference with for updated safety information. 

Sections I have marked for quick reference: 
How air-borne aromatic oil molecules interact with the systems of the body - chart, page 23
Therapeutic Guidelines, page 26
Chemisty - chart, page 49
Therapeutic Index, page 55
The Oils, page 69
Botanical Index, page 248

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

Source: Lawless, Julia (1997). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. Rockport, MA: Element.

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