What would be the best aromatherapy books to add to ones collection?

A personal view by Martin Watt

The Chemistry of Essential Oils by David Williams. Click text for review.

I do have respect for most of the books written by Daniel Ryman.

I recommend Chrissie Wildwood 'Bloomsbury Encyclopaedia of Aromatherapy'.

A good basic starter is 'The Essential oils book' by Coleen Dodt.

Even in both the above, there are properties attributed to essential oils that are based on herbal medicines, but at least these authors tried to do the background research rather than just copying it from others.

Gattefosse's Aromatherapy is an excellent historical work written in 1937. ISBN. 0-85207-236-3. However, you need to be aware that he mostly used deterpenated oils not whole ones as many AT writers assume.

A good book on fixed oils and their uses is: New Vital Oils by Liz Earle. ISBN. 0-09-187669-9.

Generally the best sources of accurate technical, toxicological, dermal reactions and some therapeutic information can be found in the numerous International scientific and medical JOURNALS.

If you want good information then you have to pay for it. There is very little sound information on the medicinal and historical uses of essential oils to be found on the Internet. On the other hand, there is vast amounts of hype, lies and misinformation mainly on aromatherapy suppliers web sites. Sound information has never been a driving force in aromatherapy and numerous 'approved' courses still revolve their tuition around the trades 'novels'.

The list below is for those who are prepared to pay for good information resources. Many more good technical works can be added to this list.

The best books on essential oil history, production, botany and fragrance are those written on the subject of perfumery, or medical pharmacology from the mid I800s. Such books can often be 'picked up' by frequenting second-hand book shops (cheap) or by getting on the mailing list of antiquarian book dealers (expensive). Internet searching can locate copies of old books in various National Library collections.

PERFUME AND FLAVOUR MATERIALS OF NATURAL ORIGIN by Steffen Arctander. Available from allured Press, USA.

ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF COMMON NATURAL INGREDIENTS. ISBN 0-471-50826-8

POTTER'S NEW CYCLOPAEDIA OF BOTANICAL DRUGS AND PREPARATIONS. ISBN 0-85207-1973

THE BRITISH PHARMACEUTICAL CODEX 1934, or old US PHARMACOPOEIAS.

ADVERSE EFFECTS OF HERBAL DRUGS vol. I & 2 by De Smet. ISBN 3-540-55800-4

TEXT BOOK OF PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS 1901 by W. Hale-White M.D. F.R.C.P.

A MODERN HERBAL by Mrs M.Grieve. Various publishers.Click textfor review.

CHINESE HERBAL REMEDIES 1984 by A. LEUNG.

THE ESSENTIAL OlLS by E. GUENTHER. Publ. Van Nostrand. New York.

ESSENTIAL OILS, 1976-1991,by Lawrence, B.M., Allured Publishing Co.

BOTANICAL DERMATOLOGY 1979 by Mitchell and Rook . (out of print)

ADVERSE REACTIONS TO COSMETICS by Anton de Groot. ISBN 90-900-2597-9

SCENTED FLORA OF THE WORLD by R. Genders, Publ. Mayflower.

STURTEVANT'S EDIBLE PLANTS OF THE WORLD 1919 republished 1972 by Dover.

THE CHEMISTRY OF ESSENTIAL OILS BY DAVID WILLIAMS. ISBN 978-1870228-31-2

AROMATIC PLANTS AND ESSENTIAL CONSTITUENTS. ISBN 962-238-112-X

The 'out of print' books, are frequently available from science or medical libraries.

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