Book Review: The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Handbook for Everyday Wellness

This week the Kitchen Cupboard Underground reviews another book on aromatherapy and herbology. The goal of these book reviews is to provide you insight if a book would be a good addition to your library. Enjoy! 

The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Handbook for Everyday Wellness, Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele
Robert Rose Inc., 2014, 480 pages

The intent of Purchon and Cantele’s book is to provide the reader with, as the title says, everyday wellness recipes for daily use. The book has four parts: Part 1: The Oils; Part 2: Remedies; Part 3: Aromatherapy for Daily Living; and Part 4: Practicalities. One thing to note is the section on Practicalities is at the end, rather than the before the recipes. Practicalities contain an important aspect of working with essential oils such as Equipment and Measuring and Storing Essential Oils. I highly recommend that those who are new to aromatherapy start with this section before reading Part 2 as it will help to provide them with a better understanding of essential oils and how to create aromatherapy products.  

Right away the book contains side tips, cautions and other pertinent information that readily stands out as something to highlight and remember. Be aware that the authors choose to post some of the same tips and cautions over and over again. This could lead readers to completely ignore them; causing them to potentially miss something new to be aware of. The introduction covers a quick blurb of ways to use essential oils which can add to the excitement of the reader to learn more. These include adding essential oils to: compresses, hair care products, makeup, household cleaners and so much more.  

It is always helpful when have authors point out that essential oils can be costly but that you can start out with only a handful of them to meet so many personal needs. The book provides a quick note on why individuals need to be aware of and concerned with the Latin names of essential oils which is tremendously important. (The use of Latin names ensures that you are choosing the correct essential oil as some have several varieties such as rosemary essential oil, which has seven different types.)

One area a lot of aromatherapy books neglect to cover is the properties of essential oils and the description of them; an example of this is saying that lavender is an analgesic, which means it relieves pain. It was nice to see that these authors made sure to discuss this in detail.  

All in all, this book is a great addition to any aromatherapy collection and a particularly lovely starter book for those new to the world of aromatherapy. There are enough recipes that an individual could rely in it for years to come. Purchon and Cantele’s The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Handbook for Everyday Wellness is available through online retailers for around $15.  Consider calling your local book store to see if they can order it for you; support local, buy local. 

Until next time, discover the power of learning something new.


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