There's so much info available about Essential Oils, it gets a little confusing. To help you figure out what's worth reading, here are reviews of some of my favorite books if you want to deepen your learning.
I do get a small compensation if you click through on any of the book covers below. It is much appreciated. You can go back and forth clicking on each book that interests you, adding them to your cart as you go. Thank you--Happy reading!
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The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia, 2003
I love this book but it is rather pricey and sometimes unavailable. It is honestly worth the price if you are seriously wanting to learn a lot about essential oils. It is an excellent reference book about all aspects of essential oils. Though it tends to the professional, it is very readable with a wealth of information. Salvatore draws from several authorities in the field to flesh out his offering of information.
He talks about the history of essential oils, quality, chemistry, safety, aromatherapy in massage and in the spa, healthcare, how essential oils can be used to support all the body systems, olfaction, and that's not even everything.
The only thing this book doesn't have is "recipes" per se. But he does give many suggestions for singles to use for every condition he covers, for body systems in general, and historical uses for every oil. Since he also covers blending, then you can make your own blends for your own needs.
If you could only buy one book starting out and you desire a broad range of knowledge--I would suggest this one. If your budget is smaller and you want a good overview and practical guide to get started, see the next book.
Essential Oil Basics: The Complete Pocket Guide
by Jennifer Eden Clark
This is my own book. If you are new to essential oils, I wrote it for you! If you already know a lot, I'm told you can still learn something. It makes a great class handout, plus an easy portable reference. I use it myself!
It covers a lot of territory in it's pages but won't take you long to read, 60-90 minutes I'm told. People like it because it is unbiased and simply states the facts then lets you decide for yourself. For bulk discounts click here.
It has dose, dilution, and duration guidelines, lists of safe essential oils for particular user groups, basic blends you can make to treat common conditions, some myth-busting, a great discussion on ingestion of essential oils plus guidelines on how to use them in this way, recipes to make from sweet to savory, and cleaning products you can manufacture yourself.
Complementary Nursing in End of Life Care:
Integrative Palliative Care by Madeleine Kerkhof
Madeleine has vast experience in this territory. She is a nurse and professional aromatherapist who has very successfully introduced aromatherapy and other integrative therapies into the medical palliative care realm in The Netherlands. She teaches and speaks extensively throughout Europe, the United States, and beyond.
This is essentially a textbook for nurses. It is detailed and thorough so a very valuable resource.
She is Dutch and though she speaks excellent English, some readers have commented that the phraseology challenges them at times. However, I do not find that it detracts from the knowledge she is sharing.
This book is currently quite expensive!
Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit
by Gabriel Mojay
A beautifully and thoughtfully written book from the voice of experience, with elegant illustrations, which is centered on the effect essential oils have on our emotions.
I use this book a lot when I am blending for inhalation therapy to affect the psyche. Since olfactory perception of scent has an immediate and demonstrable effect on memory, mood, and emotion due to the direct interface the olfactory system has with the brain - inhalation is the preferred method of delivery when dealing with things such as stress, anxiety, fear, and the like.
Essential Oil Safety by Tisserand & Young
This revision full of good, well-researched information was 12 years in the works. It is no wonder then that it may seem a bit overwhelming at first crack. But if you look at it more as an encyclopedia of essential oils rather than a read-straight-through tome, then you can enjoy the wealth of information to be found therein.
It reaffirms that essential oils are really very safe when used appropriately. There is a summary at the end of each chapter that is useful if you’re skimming for information or need help understanding what all the scientific jargon means.
Considering that the essential oil profiles take up 195 pages and the constituent profiles 164 pages, there are only 306 pages left to read! (not including the introduction or anything after the appendices) Yes, definitely a book that is well worth reading—topically. This is a reference book everyone should have who wants to get into essential oils more than just skin-deep and really wants to be confident knowing what they’re doing.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
This was my very first book on aromatherapy and has now been released in a second edition. The information, coming from an experienced aromatherapist, is great and the specific blends are effective. My only criticism (in the first edition) is the index. It is not a great one, which makes it hard to find things again. I had to add my own entries.
The second edition has a better index. She has conformed to the current essential oil suggestions for children in the blends that she offers for them. The blend I used more than any other for my children, Sniffs & Snuffles, is no longer included because it contains eucalyptus. Personally, I think that's a shame because it worked wonders. But, fortunately, I had already included it in my book, so if you want it you can find it there or in her first book. She didn't suggest using it (and I never did) on the face of any child because that is where the real problem lies with oils containing 1,8 cineole, like eucalyptus.
Essence & Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume
by Mandy Aftel
Mandy is an engaging and skilled writer so this book is a pleasure to read. It has a fantastic history of perfume and where fragrances came from, including essential oils.
If you are interested in perfumery or making your therapeutic blends appealing and enjoyable this will make a great reference for you. I'm sure she would argue though, that perfumes are therapeutic and I would agree.
The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils by Kurt Schnaubelt
I love his philosophy that essential oils are for everyone to use and that we can learn and experiment ourselves. He also cautions against being so cautious in using essential oils that we miss out on some of their amazing benefits. Great science in this book too.
Aromatherapy for Health Professionals
by Shirley Price and Len Price
I frequently reference this book when I'm writing or simply want more information on a topic or an oil. The authors are seasoned professional aromatherapists so I place a lot of stock in what they have to say. They are from England so the healthcare environment they work in is slightly different than in the USA.
They cover the foundations of aromatherapy as well as using essential oils in practical context such as: primary health care, stress, pregnancy and childbirth, learning disabilities and autism, care of the elderly including dementia, palliative and supportive care.
Aromatherapy for Babies and Children
by Shirley Price and Penny Price Parr
This is an older book, 1996, so before all the hype and hullabaloo about what essential oils to use for babies and children. It is written by two women, a mother and daughter duo. The mother used essential oils on her daughter who in turn used them with her children and they are professional aromatherapists as well. I very much like the practical approach to using essential oils that they have. When I look for a good aromatherapy book with valuable information, I favor authors who have used essential oils for ten years or more and in this case real moms with real children over time.
They cover the basics of essential oils, share what they use as carrier oils and why and cover twenty essential oils in detail. They use a multitude of case histories to illustrate how to use essential oils for various conditions and the outcomes they produce.
They give dosage guidelines and have a Common Ailments A-Z section and Massage. They use lots of photos to illustrate the techniques they are teaching.
The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils
by E. Joy Bowles
This is the book for those who want to go deep into the essential oils themselves to understand how plants make essential oils, the classes of molecules they contain, and the individual chemical constituents that are in each essential oil and some of the general actions people apply to them. My book is heavily highlighted because this was part of my Aromatherapy Master Diploma program.
The book ties up with The Pharmacology of Essential Oils [the study of the actions and effects of drugs on living organisms], explaining Pharmacodynamics [how drugs bind to drug targets] and Pharmacokinetics [the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs] or as I've heard it before, the effects drugs (essential oils) have on the body then the effect the body has on the drugs.
She ends with a chapter on Quality Control.
Aromatherapy: Soothing Remedies to Restore, Rejuvenate and Heal by Valerie Gennari Cooksley, R.N.
Experienced aromatherapist, great blends, great case studies, well-written. This was one of my first books on aromatherapy. I have referred to it often and enjoyed it greatly.
Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies by Stephanie Fritz, Midwife
Stephanie knows her subject very very well and has a ton of experience using essential oils in the ways she does. However, I champion dilution (especially for babies and children) and she does not, so whatever oils you choose to use simply dilute them. She also uses some oils not typically suggested for this group of people, but I find it hard to ignore her practical experience and success in using them the ways she does. She even covers fertility, having helped many couples get pregnant. Do some research and use your best judgment. The book above, Essential Oil Basics, talks about the safe use of essential oils in pregnancy and has a list of Pregnancy-Friendly Oils for those wanting some peace of mind about the essential oils they use.
NOTE: Stephanie, the author, is affiliated with dōTERRA, so all the blends and supplements she suggests are of that brand. She also uses many single oils, so no problem there.
Arnica Gel - A mother's best friend
As much as I love essential oils, I don't think they are the best answer to every last thing.
For instance, bumps, bruises, breaks, twists, and sprains at my house are always addressed first with arnica gel. Initially it may make the area throb slightly but then the pain is lessened quite quickly and swelling is greatly lessened. The most beautiful thing about arnica is that a bruise almost never turns black and blue. Instead it skips to the yellowish end-of-bruise stage and the pain goes away more quickly.
I have also found that it is incredibly soothing on a burn and can be combined with lavender essential oil to promote quick healing as well.
It has the caution to not be used on open skin so I would always use it around a scratch or wound. I have since heard it on authority that there is no danger in using it on a small scratch or the like and I haven't had any problems with it.
Taking arnica orally is great for bruising, body trauma, breaks, and after surgery. The 30c is for localized pain. The 200c is for whole body trauma and for surgery and healing.
I have always used the tube of tiny pills, at left, but while traveling I ran my eye into the corner of a shelf. I didn't have the gel with me, but a friend gave me the tablets she had. They worked fabulously well.
Hypericum is for pain. I have used it for myself (with the oral arnica) and for my kids when they had their wisdom teeth out. If you are interested in a protocol for surgery check out my Facebook page where I detail how I used Arnica, Hypericum, and essential oils for gum grafting surgery.
Pictured here, on the left, are the 30c for general use of localized aches and pains. On the right is 200c, which is for whole body trauma or for surgery.