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Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art Paperback – December 16, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A comprehensive guide to using essential oils in health, beauty, and well-being. * Expanded and revised throughout, including new material on ayurvedic and ceremonial aromatherapy, massage, and herbal treatments, as well as updated resources and scientific findings.

About the Author

KATHI KEVILLE is an internationally known herbalist and aromatherapist. The author of 12 books, she has taught seminars for more than 40 years and is the director of the American Herb Association in Nevada City, California.

MINDY GREEN has worked in the natural products industry for more than 35 years. She is a founding member of the American Herbalists Guild and is the clinical aromatherapist for the Aveda Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crossing Press; 2 edition (December 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580911897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580911894
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

My passion is nature--gardening, hiking, biking, canoeing, and visiting botanical gardens. When I'm not enjoying being outside, I'm writing about it. I love sharing the healing gifts of nature. The result is 15 books and well over 100 magazine articles on herbal medicine, aromatherapy, organic gardening, and just plain healthy living. I teach in North America, Europe, and in year-round classes and at my Green Medicine Herb School in Nevada City, California, along with visiting herbalists. You can find me, Green Medicine Herb School, and the American Herb Association at www.ahaherb.com.

My steep 10-acre property of mostly oak and pine runs from exactly 2700 to 2800 feet elevation in the Sierra. It is hot every summer and snows in the winter, yet I still manage to grow a world-wide selection of 500 medicinal species in an acre of terraces on my Oak Valley Herb Farm. I grow some vegetables and also dine on wild foods.

Another fun plant-oriented activity is my monthly radio program. The Garden Forum: Herb Edition on KVMR (89.5 FM) is a call-in show if you ever want to participate on the first Friday 1pm-2pm. I'm in my garden discussing the plants that I grow on the multi-series aromatherapy show "Everybody Nose" on Dish Network TV (Veria Network).

I am the Director of the American Herb Association. Since 1981, I've published the subscription AHA Quarterly Newsletter containing up-to-date news. I'm also a member of United Plant Savers, was a founding member of the American Herbalists Guild, and an honorary member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. I've belonged to the California Native Plant Society, Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, and other environmental groups for decades.

A little more about me is that I've been devouring books since I learned to read. I remember pouring through writings of Jules Verne, Charles Darwin, and Charles Dickens in fifth grade, and then moved on to the Classics. Early on, my goal was to be an art teacher and to write and illustrate children's books. I do have an art degree, but I became fascinated with using rather than illustrating the green world around me. Today, my library of plant books covers the four walls of my office, and then some!

Several of my 15 books have been translated into other languages.

Herbs for Health & Healing is in Spanish as both Yerbas por Remedias and Hiebas para la Salud, and in Polish as Lieloa Apteka .

Herbs, An Illustrated Encyclopedia has a French edition, Le'Encyclopedie des Plantes de Santé.

Herbs: American Country Living is also in French as Le Monde Merveilleux des Herbes.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book gave suggestions for using both herbs and essential oils in health and beauty applications. It covered the use of herbs and essential oils in massage, in cooking, and in making perfume and beauty products like lip balm, lotions, daily skin care, shampoos, and so on. They gave enough scientific and detailed information that a person could safely and competently make their own mixes to achieve a desired effect. In the back, they also included quick-reference charts covering what essential oil was good for what. Overall, it covered a wide variety of information in good depth.

The authors kept to a fairly scientific approach to essential oils. Some books view essential oils in a mystical way, like they are a magical source of healing or courage/love/etc. potions. In my view, essential oils are simply naturally-derived medicines, and very effective ones at that, so I appreciated how they approached essential oils.

My one "complaint" is that the section detailing what each essential oil could do listed so many things for each oil that I couldn't believe they all did practically everything (at least, that's what it looked like on first reading). I wanted to know what each oil really did do, not all the uses people have ever used it for. So I bought "Advanced Aromatherapy" Kurt Schnaubelt, which clearly explains a number of scientific studies on what various essential oils do. That's the book I primarily refer to now, and it's always been correct.

So, if you're interested in learning more about essential oils, this is a great starter book. I'd also recommend "Advanced Aromatherapy" Kurt Schnaubelt.

Review by Debbie from Different Time, Different Place (differenttimedifferentplace. blogspot. com)
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Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying I love this book! Finally a complete guide that is easy to read and affordable. The descriptions, explanations, and step-by-step preparation methods are written for the novice and are easy to follow. I especially like the quick reference on page 30 outlining the basic essential oils. I copied it onto a piece of bright purple paper and put it on my refrigerator for easy reference. The book is full of them, and I think they're wonderful to use in concocting new, safe and different aromatherapy mixtures. Likewise I enjoyed the herbal, aromatic recipes in chapter ten. I would have liked, though, to have seen photos or drawings of some of the major herbs and procedures described throughout the book. Since I am just beginning in my studies in aromatherapy, it would have been nice to have a visual reference to look to after reading about a specific herb's positive attributes and usage. That said, Kathi Keville and Mindy Green have done a remarkable job of translating the seemingly enigmatic language of aromatherapy. The charts in chapter four are especially helpful. Now lavender oil has become a relaxing addition to all my baths!
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Confused and disappointed with aromatherapy books that threw out disjointed information, expected you to be a chemist in reciting plant properties, or assuming you have 50- 100 essential oils for mixing concoctions (without giving precise recipe amounts), I started inter-library loaning - to finding more books. Someone had to understand that a) there were people that didn't know the first thing about this subject (and weren't interested in chemical compositions of essential oils) 2) wanted a reference book for specific situations (ie illnesses or natural beauty enhancement)and 3) didn't have $1000 to make this their overpriced hobby.

Kathi has written an orderly basic book for those of us who are just starting out, and tired of the side effect laden concoctions from pharmaceuitical companies. She starts with fascinating stories how through the ages, essential oils have kept people well. Next, she talks about how the sense of smell affects our health. She goes on to discuss the many uses for aromatherapy in medicine for anxiety, depression, insomnia stress fatigue and other uses.

I liked how she talked extensively about the safety issues in essential oils (as opposed to info I received from MLM true believers who skip warnings about issues such as liver safety in prolonged use of some of the more powerful oils). THESE OILS NEED TO BE UNDERSTOOD before just using them willy-nilly. She lists varying toxicity of different oils and why they are so to be used sparingly, if at all.

She has more, specific recommendations for dilution, for body oil, massage oil, in the bath, steam bowl inhaling, foot and sitz baths and so on. She even has a chapter on how to make your own herb infused oils, salves and vinegars.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very practical and sensibly written book that touches on every aspect of Aromatherapy and leaves you with a clear understanding of essential oils without getting too lengthy or technical. Occassional anecdotes make reading this book more interesting and the many charts make things easy at a glance. This is a great book for beginners and the more experienced as well.
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As a beginner to aromatherapy I found that this book was an excellent starter book that doesn't over simplify techniques, but is still easy to use and enables you to understand and apply the methods. The book is layed out very well. Each oil is described thoroughly by origin, family, extraction, medicinal action, cosmetic/skin use, and emotional attributes. The reader will learn the many different uses of aromatherapy. The book also reviews safe use of aromatherapy. I highly recommend this well written book for anyone starting to use aromatherapy.
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