tribute to my Dad (Sam Watt), who died Sept. 2007 - one day short of his 97th
To my Aunt (his Sister) who left us a month before her 101st birthday July 2010.
My Mother who died aged 93 in Feb 2017. All gone but never forgotten.
Since the age of 15 I was in the print trade as a printer on a wide variety of presses and in various locations, finally becoming a sales office manager.
For many years prior to formal training below, I had been deeply involved in growing, processing and using a wide variety of herbs. I was a member of a University tree club where we had detailed lectures from specialists as well as wild flora studies in the countryside. I conducted surveys of flora around the area I lived and contributed this information to the County conservation organisation. I also grew and gathered herb and wild plant seeds and contributed those to a seed bank.
After giving up with the print trade, I studied a part time course on herbal medicine. Then progressed to three and a half years of full time training. From that I qualified as a Medical Herbalist (Cert phyt) in 1986.
The study included among
The medical sciences including tuition from doctors.
Herbal materia medica, herb processing and pharmacology.
Clinical practise in 3 training clinics.
Also in 1986 qualified as a masseur.
Following herbal training, I specialised in aromatherapy and essential oils. The trade in essential oils and their chemistry was learnt while working for an essential oils importer and analyst. During that time, many trade contacts were established, and a good inside knowledge of the essential oils and aromatherapy trade.
Years were devoted to investigating knowledge about plant medicines buried in various reference libraries. Finding scientific literature on the uses and safety issues of essential oils has been a major preoccupation. This was used to produce trade reference manuals and training materials.
I was the first in the aromatherapy trade to investigate in any depth the great importance of skin reactions to essential oils and to publish that information. Earlier aromatherapy authors treated the subject superficially, or tended to concentrate on toxicity issues. My publication 'Plant aromatics' was on the market for 18 years until 2010, and sold copies around the word.
My particular interest has always been in finding scientific research that supports ancient healing knowledge, or rejecting traditional knowledge when this is proven inaccurate. That rejection of unsound knowledge has often bought me into clashes with those teaching it as fact which has been common within the aromatherapy world.
All the above equipped me with an ability to judge the value or relevance of information (sorting the wheat from the chaff). Something rarely found in aromatherapy education.
I was advisor on essential oils and aromatherapy to the ex Institute of Complementary Medicine - UK.
I was an advisor on Education to the International Aromatherapists and Tutors Association in Canada.
In the past I taught aromatherapy classes in the USA, Canada and Korea, as well as trained visitors on private tuition courses.
Several challenging articles of mine have been published in a number of aromatherapy publications and on the Internet.
Compiled referenced research data suitable for medical professionals. Gave advice on treating leg ulcers, bed sores and infected cellulitis to a hospital in Scotland. This included the use of various essential oils and techniques for treating these problems.
Provided assistance and advice to a few aromatherapy authors and vetted training course materials.
Advised companies on product development, and on issues of legislation regarding the sale of preparations containing botanical extracts.
Co-authored the book Frankincense and Myrrh with Wanda Sellar. Now only available from booksellers as an ebook.
Known for not accepting the hype in the aromatherapy trade. I do not support most aromatherapy trade organisations. These organisations are ultimately responsible for allowing a tremendous amount of poor quality education on aromatherapy to continue. They also have provided platforms for some very dishonest individuals and trading practices. I was well known on the newsgroups for fighting the purveyors of hype and misinformation. Detested by the many con artists in this trade, and loved by a few caring therapists. That's good enough for me.
I detest everything about the commercial spying of facebook, twitter and google and so do not participate in the modern ways suppliers and teachers now manipulate their customers. I prefer the old way of emails and will always respond to non commercial ones. As I am now a retired pensioner, this gives me a bit more time for communications.
I removed several of my publications from sale in 2015 due to needing to become a full time pensioner. I got fed up having to spend hours on business tax returns for the tiny income generated by this site. That does not prevent me from helping colleagues on a voluntary basis with their new schemes and that is ongoing.