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644 of 662 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Valerie Ann Worwood's book "The Complete Book Of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy" is one of the most complete and down-to-earth books on the subject, especially for the beginer. If I were to teach a course on aromatherapy for beginers, this would be one of two main texts I would use, as it is so complete. Here writing style is very clear, easily understood, and enjoyable to read. No dryness here. She begins by discussing ten essntial oils as a "basic care kit," and explains how such oils should be used via an A-Z list of common household occurances. The list includes the following as some topics: -Abdominal pain. -Abraisions. -Black Eye. -Bruises. -Colds. -Fever. -Headache. -Hicups. As a matter of principle, she explains at the very begining of the book that the information contained therein is NOT intended to take the place of a Physician's care. Her chapters on Travel, Sports related injuries, and Beauty (3 chapters covering head to feet!), Maternity and Motherhood, Mens/Women's health (seperate chapters), and Aging are exceptional. She closes with chapters on aromatherapy for animals, and gardening; which I have not seen except in a work by Dr. Gary Young. The charts at the end of the book are indespensable, and complete as a ready quick refrance. Valerie's bibliography contains such authors as Belaiche; Gattefose; Valnet, Duraffourd, Lapraz; and Wells; shows that she is very well read as she is experienced. These authors are the very pioneers of the modern resurgence of aromatherapy, and should be read by all who desire to be serious students of the art and science that is aromatherapy. Those who may wish to criticize her lack of litterary sitations should go and read the works cited here, remembering that Valerie has over 25 years of practical experience as a student and practicioner in a country where aromatherapy is taken seriously, and all they will be left holding is empty litterary critique. Better still, they should utilize her book, and let experience speak for itself! My only sugestion for a revision would be an in-depth chapter on essential oil chemistry, and their interaction with the bodily systems. Otherwise, I consider this book to be amoung the best out there on the subject. It makes a great gift for all occasoins.
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908 of 947 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
The book is filled with some good information. However, There is no safety data for the oils presented. Some oils are not safe to use during pregnancy, estrogen dependent cancer, or may cause skin irritation or phototoxicity (sunburn). Use caution when trying the recipies in this book or research the oils further.
A disturbing section was the one on pets. I would definately do more research before putting anything on a cat. Cats lick their fur and not all oils can be ingested. Eucalyptus is toxic if taken internally. There have been reports of Tea Tree nearly killing cats. In addition, they recommended adding tansy to a horse's feed to treat worms. Tansy is very toxic to horses and cows. People usually try to remove the plant from their pastures.
Last word. Do your research and don't just use one book.
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297 of 310 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
I think this is a good concise book on essential oils (and I have many in both English and Italian, giving the aromatherapy perspective from England, North America, Italy and Germany). However, I caution you all to ignore Wormwood's advice on using essential oils on animals. Wormwood recommends the use of certain oils including tea tree oil, lavender and others on cats all of which are highly toxic to felines. Before buying this book, I had instinctively known to never use any essential oils on my two cats (I think mainly because whenever I would use tea tree oil or lavender on myself, they would avoid me like the plague). But when I saw these same oils highly recommended in Wormwood's book for use on cats, I foolishly thought that if it's in print, it must be true. So, when one of my cats got an abscess on her hip from a cat bite, I tried Wormwood's abscess treatment using tea tree oil (only a couple drops) on her. She frantically tried to get away from me as I tried to apply the drops and then within about 15-20 minutes, started acting very ill. Thank God I had the common sense to stop the treatment, did a search on Google and found out that in fact, tea tree oil as well as a number of other oils that Wormwood recommends are highly toxic to cats - their livers cannot process certain oils and become poisons in their systems. I've even read reports of kittens being killed from low dosage applications of tea tree oil. I would say this is a very good reference book for applications on humans but if you care about your pets, do more research on your own to find out the facts about using essential oils on animals. You might just save their life. If it hadn't been for the dangerous misinformation in the pet section, I would have given the book 4 stars.
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296 of 315 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the most practical aromatherapy book ever! I've finally found a book that gives actual formulas for all kinds of everyday health problems, plus others for serious health conditions I didn't expect to find in it. Every formula we (my friends and family) have tried works! It's like having your very own health care specialist on hand, and its become indispensable. And it's written like a friend talking to you. As well as all that, there are whole chapters on pets, gardening, cooking, children, babies, elderly, the home, work-related problems etc etc etc. This book has totally changed my life!!- and I feel FANTASTIC about it. What this book is not - a boring catalogue of details about essential oils, with no practical advice. This is the book for everybody. You'll wonder how you lived without it. It's given me control of my life. Feel stressed? Just look it up, put the oils in the bath and - hey presto - no more stress! A WONDERFUL LIFE-CHANGER!!
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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for starting out or for recipes. As noted it doesn't cover the modes of action (turn to Kurt Schnaubelt or R. B. Tisserand if you want that), but it is an excellent book! It starts off with a basic care "kit" of ten moderately priced essential oils. However if you read the WHOLE (unlike those who claim she uses only ten) book you'll find she covers many others. She covers common medical problems (consult a doctor first, of course), beauty creams and lotions, household uses, garden uses, and food. I would research the pet uses first, she suggests giving tansy to a horse which is a good way to end up with a dead horse. When purchasing essential oils always check the scientific name of the plant from which the oils was extracted--otherwise you may end up with something other than you intended (ie. eucalyptus, eucalyptus lemon and eucalyptus peppermint depending upon whom you purchase them from are all labeled eucalyptus, it is the scientific name that distinguishes them) Overall this is an excellent, excellent book.
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104 of 115 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I was excited to get this book - until I turned to the chapter on cats. The advice there flys in the face of well-documented information about feline metabolism and liver function. The veterinary sources I consulted told me following this advice could likely KILL YOUR CAT. And, that's enough to discredit the entire work. I would not recommend this book or anything else by this author.
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127 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I LOVE essential oils. I started using them after I went into the health food store with a headache I couldn't shake and came out feeling great. I talked with the owner and she told me the names of the essential oils she was using in the store that day and I bought both. I now have probably thirty or more and I have a plastic chart that tells me what each of the oils will do. My little chart is better and easier to read than this book. The index is horrible. I wanted to know about the oils and this book does not do that. Go inside the book, click on the index, and see how many names of oils are there. I tried her remedies for several things---didn't work.

I read the low reviews on this book but I did not listen to them because there were so many great reviews. Now I am back looking for a book on the oils, not on her thoughts. She even goes into the morality of having oils that your employer might use in the air system to get you to behave a certain way. I HATED that---I just want to know about the oils, what they do, what combines well with what---and let me decide how I want to use them. If you want information on oils, this is not the book.

I am willing to sell it, half price. I didn't return it in time.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I was looking forward to a recipe book for aromatherapy. I have already been researching some formulas for tendinitis and thought it would be nice to have a book with recipes for other ailment. After getting the basis of a formula together (for my tendinitis lotion) after checking multiple sources, I wanted to compare it to the formula from this book. Needless to say they were nothing alike. I know I don't have years of research but I work weeks specifically trying to find what essential oils would work best for tendinitis. I was left wondering how effective these other formulas were if this one was so off. Even after this disappointing revelation I still looked through the book. There was little information on why formulas were set up as they were. Example, it said formula for the flu use essential oil A, 6 drops essential oil B 2 drops, essential oil C 4 drops and mix in 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil. That recipe is great and all but then it would go on to say you can substitute with essential oil D, E or F. It did not explain which to take out and how many drops to add of the new oil. And I want to quote the author on this matter. "When the combination is more than the sum of the parts, there is a synergistic effect. By mixing together two or more essential oils you are creating a chemical compound that is different to any of the component parts, and the synergistic blends are very particular and powerful." The author states that formulas are very "particular" so how can a beginner change a formula when they don't know if they will get the proper results. So, if you want to make formulas and not know what you're doing then you would probably like this book. But if you want to know why your using certain essential oils and how to change or add oils and know why your doing it. Do not get this book!!

Also I wish I read the reviews, because after reading the pet section i was shocked to find that this person is using certain essential oils on cats(I work in the Veterinary field). Some of the oils listed are TOXIC to cat and can KILL them. Again leaving me to wonder how well this author knows essential oils!

Also her recipes almost all say put in vegetable oil. There are many other BETTER carrier oils to use that absorb into your skin better. I don't cook my food in vegetable oil. let alone put it on my skin. For all I know she could have stated somewhere that you can use other oils. But I say too many flaws off the bat to waste my time with this book. It was returned needless to say!!
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is better than many popular works, but, in my opinion falls short in some areas.
Ms. Worwood uses geranium in almost every blend. Now, granted, geranium is a useful oil for physical and emotional balance, but she does tend to overdue it a bit.
She also really doesn't give quite enough information about the individual oils. A lot of suggestions as to their uses, but if you are trying to research an individual oil, this is not the place to start.
I'd also like to see more safety information; she seems to ignore the issue of sensitization.
It's not a bad book; but not the be all and end all of aromatherapy information.
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121 of 137 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This book covers a basic care kit of 10 oils. It covers these oils well and provides receipes covering many ailments and situations using just this kit. If you are just interested in getting your feet wet in aromatherapy this book is a good one to start with. However if you think you might be interested in going beyond the beginning phase, then this book will not take you there.
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