Best Audience: Herbalists and beginners who want to learn more about essential oils, folks who sell essential oils but may not have gotten in-depth training, Beginning aromatherapists
I absolutely love Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green. Kathi and Mindy have covered a lot of ground regarding this herbal tradition, tying together science, traditional herbal practices like Ayurveda and traditional Chinese Medicine theory, empirical evidence, and good old-fashioned experience.
While Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art includes many practical recipes and potential practices, what I love most is the solid, factual approach. Each chapter is backed by further references, including research and traditional, well-established practices. With the level of mis-information and marketing hype I’ve seen with regard to essential oils (most notably the essential oil companies who shout about quality and sell their essential oils at amazingly inflated prices beyond those charged by solid, reputable, organic, sustainable distilleries and blenders), it’s refreshing to see the art and science of essential oils spelled out in such understandable terms.
I love that Kathi and Mindy have offered me the tools to recognize true quality in essential oils. They offer discussion of the science of essential oils, making the MSDS offered by reputable sellers understandable, and they include many intelligent tips for making good choices both when buying and when designing formulas. Their material medica is well-chosen and clearly written from a perspective of experience using each essential oil included. The section on Guidelines for Using Essential Oils offers solid information on carriers, which I loved, that makes it easier to make a thoughtful choice about the entirety of the formula (and not just the essential oil blend itself).
I also love that Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green covers such a wide range of uses, from physical disorders and diseases or injuries to mental-emotional-spiritual challenges, from European-style use to Ayurvedic application, all with considerations for personalizing your practice.
The Bottom Line: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf.
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