Monday, June 8, 2015

Book Review: Authentic Aromatherapy

Book Title: Authentic Aromatherapy: Essential Oils and Blends for Health, Beauty, and Home
Author: Sharon Falsetto

Published: 2014, Skyhorse Publishing

My star rating: 4/5

My thoughts: 

This book was a pleasure to read. It was like sitting down with Ms. Falsetto and chatting about essential oils over a pot of tea. The writing is easy to understand and engaging. It really is written as though she's explaining essential oils to her dear friend. 

This book is in three parts: Part One - The Basics of Essential Oils, Part Two - Using Essential Oils, and Part Three - Essential Oils Reference Guide. In part one, we cover the basics, like history, quality, and chemistry. Something I really liked and haven't seen in other aromatherapy books is a table listing several common plant families and their aromatherapy properties. It helped me grasp some bigger concepts about the therapeutic properties of essential oils. For example, frankincense and myrrh are both in the Burseraceae family and have therapeutic values for healing wounds and scar tissue. In this section she also talks on a basic level about plant nomenclature, which I think would be very helpful for anyone without a biology background. Finally, other things covered in this section that I have no seen in other books include - a discussion about endangered essential oils, regional essential oils, and the difference between fragrance and essential oils. 

In part two, we learn how to use essential oils. This section starts off with a great chapter on safety. Whenever I do a book review, I'm always asked about the author's view on internal use - Ms. Falsetto covers this topic several times and believes there can be a benefit but that you should consult a professional trained in aromatic medicine. She also covers inhalation and topical use. Additionally this section teaches us about essential oils for women, babies and children, for the home, travel and seasonal and special occasions (have a fragrant theme at your wedding!). 

Part three profiles 40 essential oils, giving their botanical names, synonyms, botanical family, note, what it blends with, alternative oils, method of extraction, distribution of plant, description of plant, characteristics of essential oil, main chemical components of essential oil, main therapeutic properties of essential oil, uses for body care, uses for health, uses for women, uses for babies and children, use for the home, use for travel, social and seasonal use, ways to use, cautions and cost. 

In most of the chapters, there is a "how to use" section, giving practical information to help you implement it into your life. This book has an excellent bibliography and index. It does lack detailed information about the author, however that is available on her website HERE.

Overall, I would recommend this book for readers who are just starting to learn more about essential oils. Ms. Falsetto states the book "is a simple introduction for either the professional or lay person new to aromatherapy." I did learn a few things and I wouldn't consider myself "new" to essential oils, so I think it's also a great addition to people, like me, who enjoy reading different perspectives 

Sections I have marked for quick reference: 

  • Plant Families and Therapeutic Properties, page 58
  • Essential Oil Blending Chart, page 82
  • Skin and Hair, pages 100
  • Essential Oils for Health (includes essential oils for the different systems), starting on page 109
  • First-Aid Kit for Your Home, page 130
  • Making Up an Essential Oil Kit for Travel, page 136
  • Essential Oils Reference Guide, starting on page 151
Interested in picking up your own copy? You can purchase the book HERE.

Source: Falsetto, Sharon (2014). Authentic Aromatherapy: Essential Oils and Blends for Health, Beauty, and Home. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing. 

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