Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review: Advanced Aromatherapy

Book Title: Advanced Aromatherapy: the Science of Essential Oil Therapy
Author: Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D.

Published: Originally published in German in 1995; first US edition published in 1998.
My star rating: 3/5

My thoughts: This book is just like the title suggests - advanced. It starts by covering some general topics on essential oils and then dives right into the chemistry. I will be honest, I got lost in the science of it all. I had to read several sections multiple times and am still not sure I grasped the concepts. Despite this, there is some very fascinating information in this book. One thing I learned is how the terpenes control what type of effect the essential oil has on a person (i.e. emotional, antiseptic, etc).

The following quote reflects what sets this book apart from others:
"What has been missing in the aromatherapy literature is a simple, conclusive system that connects essential oils and their effects. First, such a system would enable us to recognize the healing effects of an oil based on its position in the system, and second, to mix essential oils to create optimized synergistic effects."

In doing this, he illustrates (literally) the structure-effect diagram. I felt like this could be great and help readers understand the structure. But, no matter how many times I read through this section I wasn't able to understand how and why the diagrams were set up the way they were. This is likely from my inability to grasp the concept and not necessarily a flaw in the book. 

The final section of the book talks about how essential oils can be used to treat different issues. There are recipe to try for various ailments, including skin treatments. that use mL as measurements vs. drops. 

Overall, I would recommend this book for readers who already have some advanced aromatherapy education under their belt. Others who might find this book to be awesome are those with an understanding and interest in chemistry.

Sections I have marked for quick reference: 

  • Oils Containing Ketones, chart pages 44-45
  • Known Contraindicators, chart page 39
  • Description of the Oils, starting on page 59
  • General Treatment Principles for Infectious Illnesses, chart page 107

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

Source: Schnaubelt, Kurt (1998). Advanced Aromatherapy: the science of essential oil therapy, (1st US edition). Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

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