Book Review: Home Aromatherapy: A Step-by-Step Guide on Using Essential Oils at Home

I’m excited to announce book reviews as a new feature to the Kitchen Cupboard Underground. We'll cover various books on aromatherapy and herbology and give you insight if a book would be a good addition to your library. My goal is to help you explore the world of self-care through essential oils and herbs. Enjoy!

Home Aromatherapy: A Step-by-Step Guide on Using Essential Oils at Home, Julia Lawless
Readers Digest Association Inc., 1993, 80 pages

The intent of Lawless’ book is to provide the reader with, as the title says, a step-by-step guidance on how to utilize essential oils at home for everyday needs.  This book is sectioned into three parts: Part 1 – An Introduction to Aromatherapy; Part 2 – A Guide to Home Uses; and Part 3 – Index of Essential Oils.  Lawless provides a brief section on some of the properties of essential oils such as: stimulating, relaxing, expectorant, antiseptic, etc.  To these she notes what each of these mean in quick detail, as well as providing a short but helpful list of essential oils that fit in to each category.  Methods of use are covered to show the reader how aromatherapy and essential oils can be utilized.  This includes bathing, diffusers, topical applications and gargling.  In terms of ingesting essential oils, Lawless notes not to do so per the International Federation of Aromatherapists.  

For neat (undiluted) applications of essential oils, the author discusses this topic twice on separate pages.  Each discussion covers a bit different information and should have been covered once so as not to confuse the reader.  It would have been nice for Lawless to instead use the extra space to include a bit more information about carrier oils as she covers so little about them. 

On the plus side, not too many aromatherapy books cover the use and dose of essential oils for babies; Lawless breaks down the dosing from 0-12 months, 1-5 years, 6-12 years and 13+.  This allows the reader the opportunity to treat the entire family without worry.  But considering the thought put in to the dosing for children, it would have been ideal to cover similar information for elders. 

Lawless covers a decent amount of home uses for such a small book which include: The Treatment of Common Complaints; Women, Pregnancy and Children; and Beauty, Perfumes and Pleasure.   The recipes themselves are straightforward and tend to mainly include the use of essential oils and carrier oils.  The end of the book details various essential oils with their uses, methods of use and safety data.   

Though this book is over twenty years old, it is still useful and beneficial to the inexperienced.  There is enough information for the novice to become acquainted with aromatherapy and get them started on the path to wellness at home.   The book is available on Amazon for less than $10.  If you’re just beginning to explore aromatherapy, this book would be $10 well spent.  If you're well versed in the use of essential oils, this might not be the book for you.

Until next time, discover the power of your kitchen cupboard.

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