Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit

Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit
Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils
By Gabriel Mojay
Copyright 1997 Gaia Books Limited

In 2016 I attended the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) conference and had the pleasure of meeting Gabriel Mojay. I was able to have my copy of this book signed by him.

During my 7 hours of flying time home I was able to read through most of the book. I have gone back and referenced it several times since then.

This book is broken down into three parts; the therapeutic foundations, the materia aromatica, and restoring balance.

The therapeutic foundations, introduces the reader to essential oils. He takes us on an aromatic journey of 4,000 year describing some of the ancient traditions. Leading us to our current use of essential oils and the various extraction methods. Since essential oils should never be used “neat” (undiluted) there is some information on carriers.

On pages 18-23 there are beautiful illustrations showing how to effectively utilize a massage blend on the full body.

Gabriel is trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and shares these concepts as they relate to aromatherapy in the remainder of this section. The book includes colorful charts and diagrams for Yin and Yang, and the Five Elements that help to describe these concepts.

The materia aromatica includes 40 essential oils. True to the title each of these focuses on the emotional healing. One thing that I enjoyed in this section was all the historical information he shares about the plant. As an example, from the fennel profile; “The Greeks were among the first to recognize its value as a gently diuretic slimming aid, naming the herb Marathron, from maraino, to ‘grow thin’.” (pg. 72)

Each essential oil also includes an illustration of the plant. Also, in the margin there are historical facts and an illustration to match.

In the final section, restoring balance, the focus is on balancing the mind, body and spirit. Although, I have been studying TCM for a few years this may be a challenging section for anyone that doesn’t have a basic understanding. As he states the mental concerns addressed may need attention from a trained physician, but the suggested blends and massage techniques can help. Personally, I feel these concepts are something we should be learning and paying attention too.

Overall, I would recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about aromatherapy. Although the TCM concepts may be something new they are valuable and worth exploring.

Please share your recommendations in the comments.

 

Book Review – Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals

Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals

By Kristen Leigh Bell

Findhorn Press 2002

 

When researching books on aromatherapy for animals and essential oil use it is hard to find reliable information. Many books do not have valid detailed information. They do not address safety and usually are specific to one animal.

 

As with most good aromatherapy books there is a brief history of modern aromatherapy. The author also shares her story of what drew her towards essential oils, and how it progressed to an interest of use with animals.

 

Section 2 provides a breakdown of essential oils (what they are), absolutes, hydrosols, and the other botanical ingredients that are commonly used. She does a good job of explaining the different forms of extraction as well as ways products are adulterated.

 

Section 3 is a breakdown of the aromatics that are explored. She only explores about 50 essential oils, but these are the ones that are generally considered safe for use with animals. There are details on a few hydrosols, which have gained popularity since publication.

 

Sections 4 through 7 explores the uses of aromatherapy with animals. Four and five are the largest exploring dogs and cats respectively. Six and seven provide a brief glimpse for use with small animals and large animals.

 

The remainder of the book is a variety of resources for both further education as well as the resources for the information provided throughout the book. Due to the age of this book not all the resources are valid any more.

 

Overall this book does provide a lot of good information. It is short at 200 pages so easy to read or use as a reference. The author put a lot of thought and research into all the information. Based on what I have learned and the publication date some of the information is outdated. Also, as a side note this author discontinued working with animals shortly after the publication of this book in 2002.

 

If you are interested in more information please feel free to contact me.

 

 

The Heart of Aromatherapy

The Heart of Aromatherapy

An Easy-to-Use Guide for Essential Oils

By Andrea Butje

Copyright 2017 Hay House Publishing

 

I must admit I pre-ordered this book and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I am a graduate from Aromahead Institute so knew that this book would be worth adding to my library. The author Andrea Butje has a way of making complex information fun and easy to understand. That teaching style comes through in this book.

 

The book is filled with over 100 recipes to support your mind, body and spirit. The beginning of the book offers Andrea’s approach to essential oil use. She tends to be on the conservative side using low dilutions of everything. There are detailed explanations of how essential oils are created and a breakdown of the safety considerations. There is a short-detailed section describing the various carriers, carrier oils and butters which are used in the recipes.

 

My favorite part of this book is the essential oil profiles. The author brings the oils to life giving each a personality. One example would be “opopanax the archaeologist” in which she describes the grounding capabilities of this essential oil. At the end of each profile she does let the reader know of any safety considerations. This is something that I believe all responsible essential oil users, authors and educators should provide.

 

Another aspect that I enjoyed were all the authors personal stories. She has been fortunate to

travel the world visiting many distillers. These stories allow the reader a glimpse into the efforts that small farmers take to provide us with these precious plant gifts.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in essential oils. It is one that any level of user can utilize to safely explore essential oils.

French Aromatherapy – Book Review

French Aromatherapy

ESSENTIAL OIL RECIPES & USAGE GUIDE

By Jen O’Sullivan

Copyright 2016 Create Space Publishing

The cover of this book is pleasing to the eye. The title is geared toward people in the aromatherapy community. I asked a friend what she might think a book titled “French Aromatherapy” would be about and she replied “a romance”. Although the subtitle does clear up the books purpose. The author’s synopsis on the back speaks to her excitement in using essential oils, but also indicates that she will be touching on a controversial subject.

The beginning two sections are a brief introduction of the author and a quick introduction of Latin binomials. For those that are new to essential oils, generally an oil will be referred to with a common name Lavender and a Latin binomial in italics Lavendula angustifolia which indicates the plant genus and species. She utilizes this chapter to indicate all of the essential oils she may reference so that readers will be able to see this information without having to type out the Latin binomials throughout the book.

Chapter one had me a little confused as to where she was going. It is an introduction to essential oils, but she speaks a lot about the human/plant relationship. She references an article that is about the deforestation of the planet. And is concerned about people being willing to eat fast food, but questioning the need to use a plant based product. There is a paragraph that gives a brief idea of truly what an essential oils is. The author then goes into the size of essential oil molecules and her idea of how they function in the body. The chapter concludes with her recommendation of utilizing a device that will provide biofeedback or bioimpedance to better understand the health of your body.

Chapter two she does address a controversy that is occurring in the aromatherapy community. She states that there are three different schools or models of teaching aromatherapy the Anglo-Saxon (English), French, and German. As someone that has been immersed in the aromatherapy community for several years I have heard the controversy. I have only ever heard about the “French” method and English. German was a new concept and really of no importance. Briefly, supposedly the French method teaches and encourages internal use and the other two discourage it. I found it interesting that to defend her thoughts in one paragraph she states that people will say you can’t drink essential oils in water because oil and water don’t mix. Then in the next paragraph she is encouraging the reader to drink essential oils in water, but don’t use “hot” oils because oil and water don’t mix. I find it sad that she claims there is a “…ever-present “war” going on in the essential oil industry…”. I am sure that not a single person/aromatherapist in the industry wants to be at “war”!

The chapter that had me the most concerned for novice readers was chapter five. In this chapter she states that people cannot be allergic to essential oils. “It may be better to adopt the term ‘allergen-like response’ rather than ‘allergen’ or ‘allergic reaction’ based on the science behind how allergens are created.” To ensure that I understood the word allergy correctly I dug out my dictionaries. Webster’s defines an allergy as 1. altered bodily reactivity to an antigen in response to a first exposure (bee sting). To better understand though I also got out my Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (pg.72). Allergy – An immune response to a foreign antigen that results in inflammation and organ dysfunction (it continues on). The definition of an allergen: any substance that causes a hypersensitivity reaction. It may or may not be a protein. Among common allergens are inhalants (dusts, pollens, fungi, smoke, perfumes, odors of plastics)… This chapter although has some interesting information was very alarming.

Chapters six through eight provide the authors different recommended recipes. Chapter six is for inhalation, mainly through the use of a diffuser. Chapter seven covers topical recipes such as lotions, bath salts, and roll ons. Chapter eight covers the recommendations for internal use. Throughout these chapters she rarely mentions anything that you should be concerned about (safety) when using essential oils. According to her nearly 4 million essential oil users have used them without incident (according to her “common knowledge based only on Young Living member number to date as of May 2016” pg 32 references).

The author does state within the final chapter (Chapter 10) that she is a Young Living advocate. She supports the multi-level marketing (MLM) model and believes that her company has the safest oils for ingestion. I personally have never ingested essential oils, but do know people that do and have had success with this practice. If we are going to utilize the “French” school of thought it is my understanding in France essential oils are considered a medicine sold in a pharmacy. This is in violation of the FDA’s classification of them as a cosmetic.

In summary this book is not one that I would recommend to a novice essential oil user (not an experienced one either).

Essential Oil Safety Second Edition – Book Review

Essential Oil Safety Second Edition

By Robert Tisserand & Rodney Young

Churchill Livingstone Elsevier Copyright 2014

 

As a lay person simply looking at this book can be intimidating. However, if you are going to embark into the fascinating world of essential oils it is important to either purchase this book or have access to it. This is not a book you will sit down to read cover to cover, unless you enjoy chemistry and lots of technical jargon. This is a large reference manual intended to provide users of essential oils with a comprehensive place to find safety information.

 

The beginning part of this book provides detailed information about what an essential oil is, the chemical composition and the things that can adversely affect the therapeutic properties. There are also chapters on the individual body systems: the skin, respiratory, cardiovascular, urinary, digestive, nervous, and reproductive system. The authors have broken down how the systems work and how essential oils will work or react within the system. Due to the sensitive nature of cancer there is dedicated chapter to safety issues for this concern.

 

The remaining portion of the book includes profiles for 400 different essential oils and 206 chemical constituents. As an example, there are just over two pages (325-328) dedicated to information on Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). In looking at the information provided we can see that the top two constituents are linalool or linalyl acetate. We can then turn to pages 584-588 and learn what other essential oils contain linalool and all sorts of information about this constituent including that it is not considered a skin sensitizer.

 

We are fortunate in this day to have such a detailed guide available. This book gives you a good starting point for research about the safety considerations of an essential oil.