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336 of 336 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2000
In a field where so many books are filled with unproven claims, outright falsehoods, and just plain fluff, Kurt Schnaubelt's books stand out as serious, well researched works that accord aromatherapy the respect it deserves.
By focusing on the chemistry of essential oils, we learn *why* an essential oil works the way it does and how different chemotypes of the same EO can have vastly different effects (an important issue that is completely ignored by many aromatherapy books). We also learn why some EOs must be used with great caution. Dozens of oils are profiled with diagrams, lists of primary effects and contraindications, etc. There is also a chapter with proven recipes for a variety of physical, psychological, and cosmetic conditions. All methods of application are covered (including those well established in Europe but rarely used in the U.S., e.g., suppositories), and Dr. Schnaubelt candidly states where essential oil therapy is most effective (e.g., infectious diseases, hormonal imbalances, and problems affecting the psyche and nervous system) as well as where aromatherapy has relatively little to offer (allergic and autoimmune conditions as well as chronic metabolic and degenerative conditions).
What makes Advanced Aromatherapy even more of a gem is that Dr. Schnaubelt integrates the science of aromatherapy into a holistic rather than an allopathic framework and gives pointers on selecting the appropriate EOs by taking into account the totality of the patient's symptoms.
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229 of 230 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2002
First and most importantly, I *love* this book. It explains the chemical composition of essential oils in easy to understand terms. It gives a science-loving person a lot of interesting information. It cites studies (and *DOES* have footnotes....)
This is NOT a simple recipe book. It does have some great ones listed throughout the book, but it is promarily an explanation of the science of many essential oils. How they work, what molecules they are made of, which ones are toxic and at what levels, etc.
What I am peeved about is that, when I first came on Amazon to look for science-oriented essential oil books and found this one, the negative reviews made me decide *not* to buy it. Luckily, I happened to see it in a bookstore, picked it up, and found out for myself that it is a perfect book to supplement the essential oil library. There is so much great scientific info in easy to understand terms. I *highly* recommend it if you are interested in science.
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139 of 139 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2001
This excellent book takes a difficult subject--how essential oils work--and makes it very understandable. No doubt many scholars would be daunted by trying to explain sesquiterpenes to a lay person, but Schnaubelt, who has a PhD in chemistry, makes it interesting. Understanding the chemical composition of oils is valuable because it can help us see relationships between various oils that aren't obvious, such as between pine and citrus oils. This book is far beyond the usual fare for aromatherapy; most books on the subject ask little of the reader and generally consist of lists of symptoms and oils with no explanation of why one oil is effective in a situation and another is not. Schnaubelt offers much more--a deep understanding of how oils work. This is the kind of science writing everyone can enjoy. A reviewer who remarked that the work has no footnotes apparently didn't actually read the book. It does have footnotes, even though the book is geared to a lay audience rather than to academics.
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84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon November 11, 2004
In addition to the use of body models to show which parts of the body (lympatic, circulatory or nervous systems) are affected by an essential oil, another novel feature of this book is the use of sidebars showing negative characteristics of essential oils. Some oils can be skin irritating, others photosensitizing, and contraindications with oils exist and are grouped in one handy chart so that you don't have to flip around to discover you had best take care with lemon and hyssop if you have high blood pressure. In addition, some folks may be sensitive to certain oils and one should proceed cautiously when using a "new" oil. The age of the individual, health conditions and other factors may make an oil you once used verboten. Not all oils can be consumed, even in small amounts. Using an oil on the skin is a form of consumption. The body absorbs whatever is placed on the skin, as any fan of Agatha Christie knows. Oils used singly might not harm but blended oils might produce a synergistic effect that can kill you. Oils are great, but make sure you are fully informed before you try them. ADVANCED AROMATHERAPY will help you get there.
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85 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 1999
For anyone trying to use essential oils to heal themselves and take their health back into their own hands, this book has a great deal of information to help. It describes each essential oil, its properties, what it's good for and any things you should look out for when using a particular oil. This book also tells how to apply the oils on the skin, how to take them internally both orally and by suppository (which is the way in France) and why essential oils are so powerful as healers. I have six different aromatherapy books in my library and I refer to this one most often. It's well-written and Dr. Schnaubelt's philosophy is a down-to-earth explanation of a complex subject. This is a "must have" for anyone interested in aromatherapy and the use of essential oils.
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 1999
As a passionate aromatherapist, the most frequent question I hear is "How does it work?" Kurt Schnaubelt's comprehensive book explains the chemistry and action behind the effectiveness of essential oils. He's a leader in the field and keeps current with developments from around the world. This book is a "must buy" for anyone interested in complementary medicine and enhancing one's own health through the use of essential oils. It's easy to read and understand, with excellent graphics and many useful tips. His explanation of chemical actions helps to build knowledge that easily transfers to understanding other holistic modalities, such as medicinal herbs, use of hydrosols, etc.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2013
Advanced Aromatherapy, published in 1995, is more technical than Kurt Schnaubelt's 2011 follow-up, The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils. Advanced Aromatherapy discusses the terpenes hydrocarbons, esters, alcohols, acetates, etc. that compose many of the most common essential oils. Why does anyone really need to know this information? Essential oils works because of how the molecules bond to lipids in our bodies, and that's pretty much the gist of the whole thing. I would have preferred to learn about the energetic frequencies of these essential oils, but that's just where my own interest lies. The biggest take-away I got from Advanced Aromatherapy is that rubbing the oils on one's feet is probably the best place for topical application, due to the workings of the circulatory system. I much preferred Schnaubelt's second book, The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, which is, firstly, much more visually beautiful. Second, it gives more practical information, such as how to take essential oils internally for medicinal purposes. Third, it has a greater depth of recipes for topical usage. I think most of the pertinent information from the first book can also be found in the 2nd. Another really great book on aromatherapy is Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils, by Gabriel Mojay.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2004
This book has three sections, all of them useful! First, an introduction to the SCIENCE of aromatherapy, which (for instance) quotes double-blind placebo studies. Then there is a guide to individual essential oils and uses -- I only wish there were rarer oils included! The third section explains safe effective uses for ailments and preventative care, including recipes. The skincare recipes are very useful. A beginner can get the BEST advice (although it can get technical). For serious aromatherapy, self-treatment or practice, this book is a MUST!
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2000
Just the word Science turns me cold but I warmed up to Kurt's book right from the beginning. It is very nice to hear from the other side of Aromatherapy in a very honest way. This book for the most part was very easy to follow; a few deep scientific areas but Kurt did not lose me. He was able to keep it at a level that "the I don't care about science person" could hang in there. Very, very informative. I would highly recommend this book because it gives a 2 sided view of Essential oils. A side missing in the Aromatherpy field. Thanks Kurt
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon November 21, 2009
In my opinion, anyone who wants to mix their own essential oils (rather than buy pre-mixed oils or follow proven recipes) needs to read "Advanced Aromatherapy" in order to safely do so. The book explains the science behind why the essential oils work the way they do and provides the results of scientific studies that show which oils are most effective at doing certain actions.

This book helps the reader to understand: why various essential oils act on the human body the way they do. Why some essential oils, when combined, are more powerful than when used alone and how to select oils to create this effect. Why different chemotypes of the same essential oil can have different effects. Which oils are safe to use daily and long term and which should be limited in amount used, duration used, or how they are administered. Which oils are safe to take orally or to use on sensitive skin like mucus membranes. Which medical conditions essential oils are very successful at treating and which conditions are less so or which require long-term use to create improvement. And much more.

The book also contains a section covering various medical conditions (from the 'flu to bruises and scrapes) and gives recipes for which oils to use to treat these conditions and how to most effectively administer the oils.

I found the book easy to read and understand, and I refer back to it frequently. Readers with little science education might be a little overwhelmed at times, though. Overall, I'd highly recommend this book to those interested in aromatherapy, especially those interested in the medical uses of essential oils.

Reviewed by Debbie from Different Time, Different Place Book Reviews (differenttimedifferentplace. blogspot. com)
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