AROMATHERAPY THE ESSENTIAL BEGINNING
BY GARY YOUNG.

A review by
Martin Watt Cert. Phyt.

The whole of the book is packed with major errors. It gives advice on medical conditions that should only be treated by medical doctors. It provides information on, and recommends the use of, some extremely hazardous essential oils. The writer ignores safety information which had been available for over 30 years, on the hazards associated with the uneducated use of essential oils.

The book is strongly aimed at those who have powerful Christian beliefs, and this is used as a totally dishonest, immoral selling technique.

A confidence trickster wrote this book in order to build a dangerous cult of believers that he could extort money from, there is no other reason!


The following does not delve into every major error or misrepresentation of the facts in this book. It is simply a selection from the worst parts.

Page 1: He states that: "there are 188 references to oils in the Bible".
In biblical times essential oils were not available, only infused oils and here he is clearly referring to essential oils.

"the ancient process of distillation is a delicate and precise art that has almost been forgotten".
This is proof of someone who knew nothing about the subject. Distillation of essential oils has been going on for hundreds of years. The art has now turned into a highly skilled industrial science.

"clinical research shows that frankincense has high immune stimulating properties". I am not aware of any such clinical research for the oil.

Page 2 - line 6: It is claimed that in 1973 he was "paralysed for life" following a logging accident. He claims he healed himself but gives no details. I do not know of any evidence to support his assertion of this severe injury. The next thing we find is he has bought a mail order degree in Nutrition from a well-known scam operator and thereafter gives himself the title Dr.

Page 2 - Last two lines: An unbelievable statement that "essential oils increase cellular oxygen". Funny I always thought haemoglobin did that! There is no sound evidence to support this crazy idea.

Page 3: He gives names of his teachers, and locations he claims to have trained at. Subsequent checking has failed to support the claims made on "training". Some of that "training" would seem to have involved attending conferences of one or two days, and possibly attending libraries. I am not aware of any medical doctors registered to practice in England that he could have studied with on the use of essential oils (as he claims).

Page 4: He states: "Dr. Valnet, the first medical doctor to do research on essential oils". This is totally untrue, eminent physicians in the UK and USA used essential oils in the 1800s. Other claims on studying in France are suspect.

The book he holds up as evidence of the expertise of his teachers (Franchomme and Penoel) is far from an authoritative work on the clinical use of essential oils. Indeed it has been claimed that much of it was completed by editors. It contains outrageous medicinal claims, with few if any references to support the claimed research.

Page 5: He claims he studied at Cairo University but I am sceptical. I have been studying research papers on essential oils for years, and do not recall seeing papers written by the person he names.

Once again this ludicrous statement about the oxygenating properties of essential oils. In FACT oxygen generally destroys the properties of essential oils and increases their dermal sensitisation properties.

Page 10 - last paragraph: While in the previous pages he talks about how fragrant infused oils were used, here he states: "The Egyptian people started collecting essential oils and placing them in alabaster jars". This would indicate ignorance of the difference between infused and essential oils.

Page 12: Here he claims to have travelled through Egypt for 3 years. A technique used to make the reader think he studied there for 3 years. My guess is he was having a couple of vacations there.

Page 11 to 14: These pages are mainly unverifiable Ancient history and contain a lot of doubtful or incorrect information. A lot of emphasis on the Blue Lotus and its healing properties, but of no relationship to its essential oil, if it even exists?.

Page 14 - last paragraph: He states: "essential oils are probably the oldest form of medicine known to mankind".
This is utter nonsense, herbs are the oldest form of medicine and their use goes back way beyond man, many animals still use plants for self medication.

Page 15 - 2nd. Paragraph: He states: "The Romans used Essential oils...." As far as we know, the Ancient Romans did not have distilled essential oils.

He states: "The Greeks elaborated on the use of essential oils for hair, skin...." As far as we know, the Ancient Greeks did not have distilled essential oils. Both societies used aromatic extracts, but almost certainly not distilled essential oils.

Page 16: Several mentions of oils claimed to have been used in the Bible. Again a total corruption of the facts to suit his own purposes. See page 1.

Page 18 - 2nd. Paragraph: He states: "Essential oils as powerful oxygenators have the ability to carry nutrients to cells". This is just madness or a confidence trickster in full flow.

Page 19: More of this pseudoscience about oxygen. This clearly indicates a total lack of knowledge of chemistry and biochemistry.

Page 20 - Paragraph 1: He states: "Scientists in European countries have found that essential oils will bond to metallics and chemicals and carry them out of the body". This is total fiction. Likewise, essential oils act as air filters??

Page 21. - Paragraph 1: He states: "Essential oils .....decrease the viscosity of the blood....". No references are given on any of his claims.

"When applied to the body by rubbing on the feet, the essential oils will travel throughout the body and affect every cell, including the hair within 20 minutes".
This is a pure fabrication; no one has yet proven that any essential oils can penetrate through the skin of the feet. Anyone who claims they can affect the dead tissue of hair within 20 minutes is a con artist.

"They may have a lasting effect for as long as 5 months from only one application". This is just laughable, and he contradicts this statement in the next sentence, where he says "the oils do not build up and store in the body".

Paragraph 2: He claims that: "essential oils carry nutrients to the cell walls to the nucleus". Again this crazy unfounded notion that essential oils carry nutrients to the cells.

Page 27. Paragraph 2: He claims that: "The molecules of essential oils are so microscopic that they can penetrate the fatty layers of the skin".
It has not been conclusively proven that essential oils can penetrate human skin via massage as suggested here, or that they can then pass through cells as suggested.

Page 28. Paragraph 2: He claims that: "Oxygen is the key element in essential oils". This is absolutely stupid. The molecules in essential oils have properties ranging from highly toxic to highly therapeutic. The key issue is not that they contain oxygen, but it is the arrangement and numbers of all the atoms in the given molecule of which there can be many. In addition, too much oxygen destroys essentials oils by changing one molecule into something different and often dangerous.

Last Paragraph: Again this utter nonsense about "essential oils delivering oxygen to the cells". He talks of these effects "astonishing researchers" but fails to say who these researchers are and if their garbage has been published.

Page 29: He gives the classic aromatherapy nonsense about "functional groups" of chemicals and the actions they posses. All this information is WRONG as explained in other articles on this web site.

Last line to next page: He claims that a Dr Lapraz said that cinnamon and oregano oils can destroy viruses. This may be true in laboratory testing, but there is no sound evidence that most essential oils can do this in the body. Indeed cinnamon oil on the skin, or in the mouth, will destroy our cells causing severe pain and inflammation.

Page 30 - 2nd paragraph: He mentions the mutagenic effects of Chernobyl and the Ebola virus in Africa. This is all scare mongering to increase his sales of essential oils.
Last paragraph: He talks about the electric frequency of his Valor oil blend.
This nonsense about electrical frequencies of essential oils has absolutely no scientific or logical foundation whatsoever. It is all an invention based on the work of a long discredited French aromatherapy author.

Now we begin on the marketing of his oil blends.

Page 31: 2nd. Paragraph: "Spruce oil contains methyl salicylate".
Well that's news to essential oils analysts which the Young Living Company did not have when this book was written. On the rare occasion a natural spruce oil might contain that chemical, it is at trace levels which would have no physical effects whatsoever.

2nd. Paragraph: "These two formulas will take away 75-90 percent of bone and tissue pain in a matter of minutes..." This is a disgraceful claim to make without any attempt to encourage people to get a doctors diagnosis of the cause of the pain. No essential oils will remove pain originating within bones.

3rd. Paragraph: "Frankincense and clove are anti tumoral and anti-cancerous" He then goes on to claim these effects have "all been documented by medical doctors and scientists in Europe". I know of no such published literature on the external use of these oils. It is a disgraceful attempt to fool gullible, seriously ill people into buying his scam oil blends.

Page 32: He now presents tables of the actions of essential oils taken from the book partially written by the French authors Franchomme and Penoel. Not one of the claims made are referenced, many are simply preposterous, and others are potentially fatal as they deal with serious medical conditions.

Page 33: He is advocates rubbing his blend of essential oils over the throat and spine, but makes no mention of the dilution of the blend first.

Page 37 - first paragraph: "Applying oils to the feet they travelled to the neck in 1 minute". How silly can you get, they travel through the air not through the body.

Pages 35 to 40: The references to the electrical frequency of essential oils are without any sound scientific foundation. Each of hundreds of different oil molecules in a single oil have a different frequency. In addition, every batch of oil has a slightly different blend of molecules. Therefore, this is a totally unreliable method for crediting therapeutic properties. His claim that Young Living discovered the electrical properties is a lie. Such unsound fictitious work was undertaken by long discredited French aromatherapy authors.

Page 41: In the opening statement he claims that "distillation goes back hundreds of years before Christ". We do not know how old essential oil distillation is, but we do know that it was not recorded by the Ancient Egyptians. See also page one.

He is constantly mixing up infused aromatic fixed oils which were available, with distilled oils which were probably not available.

Page 42: An awful lot of historical conjecture here, but presented to look factual.

Page 43 - first Paragraph: His comments on the Egyptians not having steam distillation are totally contradictory with earlier statements where he says they did use distilled oils.

2nd. Paragraph: Again a corruption of history. He says Napoleon may have bought distillation from Egypt to France. This is wrong as distillation had been used in Europe since the middle ages. There are numerous pictures of stills circa 1500 AD which were commonly used by apothecaries and in the 'still rooms' of manor-type houses.

Page 47: A whole list of unverified and unreferenced medicinal claims from a quack practitioner of the worst kind.

Pages 48 to 51: This covers his claims to being trained in distillation in France and the type of equipment that should be used. What a shame he did not learn safety issues of distillation better. Later, a worker at his farm in the USA died following a distillation accident.

Page 51: The information that trained "noses" "can detect toxins in oils" is nonsense.

It does not require anything like the sums he mentions to perform adequate analysis. It also shows his ignorance of the US analytical experts who have been undertaking expert analysis of essential oils for years before Young wrote this novel. Expertise that his company was NOT using when this work of fiction was first written.

Final paragraph: Implying that Russian lavender is 'radioactive' is disgraceful. Essential oils exported from Russia or Siberia are provided with a certificate of radio-chemical purity. It should also not be forgotten that the plume from Chernobyl went right across Europe. Therefore, one cannot possibly assume that oils from France are less contaminated. Indeed some of the former Soviet block countries that produce essential oils, were not on the path of the radioactive cloud.

Page 59: His reference to still manufacturers in the US only making stills using aluminium is a complete fabrication. Most food trade stills and processing vessels are in FACT made of stainless steel. In addition, all the equipment used to cold extract essential oils via CO2 or molecular extraction is made in the US from stainless steel.

Last paragraph: I doubt the existence of a Young Living farm in Inner Mongolia as in that region very few crops of any kind can grow. These claims about "our farms" in these countries are just marketing hype!

Page 61 - Paragraph 1: This supervision of distillation he is talking about is a lie. It is impossible to on-site supervise all the essential oils that Young Living import from diverse locations around the world.

Paragraph 2: This "ten years spent studying in Europe" must also be a lie. This does not equate with the time scale mentioned in the opening paragraphs. More likely is vacations and one day conferences he took over that period.

Page 63 - second Paragraph: Once again a whole string of lies. He was not the "first" to develop processes for putting essential oils into food supplements. In fact they have been used for their flavouring and therapeutic properties in foods, pharmaceuticals, drinks, and in compounded herbal tablets, since way before the 19th century.

Page 65 - second Paragraph: "For example, in 1991, Helichrysum was virtually unknown". Another lie, Helichrysum essential oil was tested by the RIFM in the 1970s. They only tested commonly used extracts used by the cosmetics and perfumery trades. The final lie is that Young Living buys 98% of the Helichrysum produced.

Page 66: Again we have bold statements about 'restoration of hearing' with nothing to back them up. What was the cause of the hearing loss, had it been medically diagnosed? Where are the references for these 'miracles'?

Second Paragraph: A whole list of serious medical conditions which he claims his oil blends can cure. These claims are outrageous when not a single reference is given. It is used simply to trade on people vulnerabilities.

Third paragraph. These statements on the undiluted use of essential oils, indicate complete ignorance of the hazards associated with that method.

Page 67: At last an easily checkable reference, i.e. quality analysis at Webber State University. I wonder why they missed the oils later found to be adulterated? Could it be that this claimed agreement is yet one more of his numerous lies?

Third Paragraph. The suggestion that cinnamon oil may be applied neat to the feet is outrageously dangerous.

Last Paragraph: There is no evidence whatsoever that essential oils "detoxify the blood or cells".

Page 68: Vita Flex Therapy. This form of treatment is an utter fabrication, there is no traditional or scientific basis for this method of using essential oils. The regular use of undiluted essential oils on the hands of the therapist is highly likely over time, to lead to permanent sensitisation reactions in the therapists.
Page 70: Acupuncture. "The antibacterial properties of the oil will sterilise the needle" This advice is dangerous in the extreme as not all essential oils are antibacterial and few are antiviral. Someone reading this may be tempted not to sterile needles between patients, this could result in life threatening cross infection between patients.

Page 70: Colonics. Is he suggesting that it is safe to administer 10-15 drops of oils such as Cinnamon bark or thyme oil into the rectum, even when diluted??

Page 72: Earaches. Is he suggesting that one drop of neat cinnamon bark oil can be administered to anyone in this way, including babies, I would love to try it on him.

Page 73: Some potentially hazardous advice on the selection of essential oils.

Page 74: Raindrop therapy. The statements made here, about essential oils being capable of correcting structural problems of the spinal vertebra is just unbelievable. The statement that viruses cause scoliosis, makes me certain that this author has had no medical training of any sort. This method of using essential oils is typical quack medicine.

Page 75: The claim that the oils will work "continue to work in the body for 5-7 days" is without any foundation.

Page 76:
(2).
Again the crazy statement without any foundation, that scoliosis is caused by viral or bacterial activity. Also, that thyme oil can treat the condition by penetrating the body and killing the virus. One hundred percent quack medicine.

(4). Birch oil is not anti-inflammatory when applied to the skin, in fact it is a powerful dermal irritant. He has got the internal use of methyl salicylate mixed up with its external use. Methyl salicylate does not have a cortisone-like activity. Cortisone is ant-inflammatory, whereas birch oil on the skin is strongly inflammatory.

(5) There is no evidence whatsoever that Cypress oil applied externally can help relieve edema, cellulite or water retention.

(6) Peppermint oil 'soothes and strengthens the nerves' ? What on earth does "strengthen the nerves" mean, What an utter load of rubbish.

Page 78: The use of undiluted drops of essential oils as described is extremely hazardous.

Page 79: Again the use of extremely irritating essential oils used neat

Page 80: Terribly irritating oils used neat.

Page 81: Again oils used neat. STEP 5. This application of hot wet towels, will drive essential oils through the skin, which could result in severe dermal irritation, and even worse possible sensitisation. When an individual has acquired sensitisation as the result of this treatment. The resulting potential for cross sensitisation reactions occurring from subsequent consumption of foods containing those essential oils is very high.

Page 82: Neat highly irritating essential oils.

Page 84. 2: Lemon has been found to "dissolve cellulite" an outrageous statement designed to maximise product sales

ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS. I can not pass comment on these without knowing their constituents, but we are still faced with the problem of him recommending their use undiluted.

Page 90: "Frankincense increases oxygen around the pineal and pituitary glands". "It also contains anti-carcinogenic properties" What can I say, it just gets worse!

Page 95: This reference to the secret room in the temple of Isis is very doubtful. I have been there with an eminent Egyptologist who writes on Ancient Egyptian perfumery. She does not know of any such 'secret room'. Perhaps Gary was hallucinating!! However, as the temple was moved to its present site in the 1970s, would a secret room not have been found?

Page 103: Contains a lot of suspicious looking information. A physiologist could check this out better than me.

Page 104 - Bolded paragraph: Essential oils do not contain hormones.

Final paragraph. "The first food product to contain essential oils". As pointed out earlier this is a lie.

Page 105-6 - Last paragraph: About intestinal parasites. "I witnessed a human body... eaten alive by worms" Either another lie, or grossly exaggerated as normal gut worms do not leave their home. In addition, modern medicine is finding distinct medical advantages (in those with a good diet), of having some gut worms as they seem to protect their host against certain illnesses.

Page 106 - First Paragraph: "patchouly aids in the digestion of toxic wastes". Do I really need to say anything !

Second paragraph: "Citrus oils help decongest the lymphatic system". Do I need to say anything. Evidence please.

Page 111: Aldehydes: Azulene "activating the pituitory-adrenal system..". Azulene is a number of chemicals, not one. The pathways of action he suggests are unproven, and highly unlikely from the use of azulene containing oils.

Page 113 - Linalool: "Tones without irritating", what on earth does that mean?

Sesquiterpenes. There are no scientific references to any of the research he mentions.

Terpenes. This is complete fabrication. Thujone is not a single chemical and alpha-thujone is a permitted food flavouring.

Pages 131-147:
A lot of the chemical names are incorrectly spelled, and a lot of the compositions supplied are inadequate.

Bergamot. There is no mention that this oil is a powerful photosensitiser.
Cinnamon bark. This is a notorious sensitising agent at all levels of use.

Numerous medicinal claims are made for these oils without the slightest foundation. Many are utterly wrong and many are misleading. The whole object is to get vulnerable people buying them hoping for miracle cures. Many of the claimed uses are for beauty type treatments for which they can not possibly work.

It seems confidence tricksters like Young can write what they like and their mind controlled followers really believe it.

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