Book Review: Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies for Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding


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!

Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies for Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding, Demetria Clark
Book Publishing Company, 2015, 183 pages

The intent of Clark’s book is to take a mother-to-be, their partner or helper, an aromatherapist or herbalist or birth doula/midwife and introduce them to the uses of aromatherapy and herbal remedies specifically for pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Clark takes the reader through separate introductions of aromatherapy and essential oils, and herbal remedies and introduces the reader to the appropriate ingredients to be used from pregnancy all the way through postpartum concerns. Towards the end of the book there is a glossary of terms that people may not be familiar with, a list of suppliers for ingredients, associations and schools and finally recommended reading.

The introduction of aromatherapy and essential oils is well detailed and put simply for those new to this field. Included is a brief history of aromatherapy which then leads to how essential oils are distilled from plants. Clark covers a general outline of aromatherapy product uses from topical use, inhalation and diffusing; giving excellent examples of each one. Most books tend to fail the reader by skipping the fact of buying essential oils. Clark doesn’t make this mistake.  In the first chapter, she lets you know to do your homework on what you want to purchase, reading labels, avoiding marketing buzz words and ensuring the essential oils are packaged correctly.  Chapter one also includes the importance of how to safely use and store essential oils.

The second chapter focuses on the essential oils that can be used and when; such as after the third trimester or only during the postpartum period for example. From there Clark follows up with those essential that must be avoided during pregnancy and those that should be avoided in general. The third chapter follows the same outline as the previous one with a history of herbology, using herbs safely, herbal applications, buying and growing herbs, wild crafting, harvesting and preserving herbs. Chapter four also covers what herbs can be used, which ones should be avoided and which ones are safe for culinary use.

Again, as this book is geared to someone without prior aromatherapy or herbal knowledge, in chapter five the author goes over the basics of how to prepare remedies such as: room sprays, massage oils, salves, decoctions, teas and tinctures to name a few. What is most helpful is that Clark breaks down the remedies in chapters six, seven and eight into appropriate and separate chapters for pregnancy, labor and deliver, and breastfeeding and postpartum. Each section starts out with the remedies listed alphabetically by the need such as anemia and includes a brief description as to what that ailment is. From there the author includes a wealth of recipes that include aromatherapy and/or herbal appropriate remedies. Mothers-to-be will find much needed relief from the recipes that cover common concerns such as morning sickness, dry skin, fatigue, pain and more.

This book would make an excellent addition to anyone’s library as its well designed and easy to follow. Clark takes the healing world of aromatherapy and herbology and combines them into one go-to resource that will last for years. Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies for Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding is available through online retailers for around $14.  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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