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Showing 1-10 of 184 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 215 reviews
on August 22, 2016
This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it! If you're just starting out with essential oils I recommend this book. This book talks about some of the most common essential oils and also some of the most complex essential oils. She also lists all the safety information for each essential oil as well which is a huge Plus!! She talks about the origin of each essential oil, the plant parts that are used, dilutions and what other essential oils might mix well with others essential oils. Everything about this book is exceptional!! There's also some history on essential oils.
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on April 10, 2012
I was actually surprised by two things:
1. The fact that I have a now vast and still growing library of books on Aromatherapy and Essential Oils (Including from authors like Worwood, Cooksley, Schnaubelt and Tisserand) yet I now find myself reaching for this one more than some of these other authors.
2. The negative reviews of others.

I guess my expectations were different. While it is an Encyclopeia which should make it a valuble reference source, I feel it does what an Encyclopeia should do and what is standard for that type of reference - that is it covers a lot of information on a broad range of items that you can look up (in this case essential oils) and does a good job giving you the necessary background and basic information that you would need to get a good understanding of what it is you looked up. (Not be a master at that topic because that would result in something far more extensive and a very weighty book when covering so many oils.) Despite being concise and to the point Lawless still manages to give you a snap shot of each oil with information on 13 topics for each of the over 165 oils listed (one review said over 190 but not sure where that number came from, I counted something around 168, still quite a list!).

The only thing I will say is that she is along the lines of Cooksley and Worwood where I sometimes feel like they are overly cautious. I believe in being responsible and informed with use but I prefer authors like Schnaubelt that don't discount an oil due to one study that was done once by someone and recorded and therefore it is now considered toxic, without looking at how the study was done and what factors were involved, if constituents of the oil were isolated, etc. However, if you are new to EOs than it is best to error on the more restricted use just to be safe.

I will not list the chapters in the introductory Part 1 as another reviewer already covered. But in Part 2 "The Oils", each oil is listed with its botanical name and then given the following information in the following order:

BOTANICAL FAMILY
SYNONYMS
GENERAL DESCRIPTION (Of the plant)
DISTRIBUTION
OTHER SPECIES
HERBAL/FOLK TRADITION
ACTIONS
EXTRACTION
CHARACTERISTICS (Of the oils, scent, appearance, etc.)
PRINCIPAL CONSTITUENTS (Chemistry snapshot)
SAFETY DATA
AROMATHERAPY/HOME USE
OTHER USES

This is what the majority of the book IS (just like an encyclopedia would be) and I believe it does a good job doing what it is designed to do. The fact that it is only missing about 3 of my favorite oils (probably because they are newer, i.e. Rhododendron, Palo Santo, etc.) and lists so many others, it truely is a nicely organized and very handy and useful reference.
It is easy to find the information you need and quickly. Despite the lack of "color" complaints by other reviewers, I still found it one of the more attractive aromatherapy books. It is well laid out, in nice print, and has some lovely black and white illustrations. The book is actualy more attractive than some of the other more well know ones and I think I reach for it more often now because I don't have to wade through many reciepes and a ton of other chapters to get to hunt for the part that just profiles the oils themselves. (Other information is good, all of the recepies, uses on animals, household cleaners, etc. just not what I am looking for when I am grabbing an encyclopedia to give the basic background and profile.)

ALSO - The Therapeutic Index in the back along with the General Glossary that defines the medical terms addressed in the book (and address in several others, but are not defined in a lot of other books) for those who do not have a health science background proves very useful. There is also a rather extensive Botanical Classification and a good Botantical Index in the very back.

So I will be getting the newer Illustraded version eventually but not out of dissapointment for this one, if anything because I was so impressed with the layout and information that exceeded my expectaions of this author that I took a chance on. (Getting a good used copy of this edition will allow those pinching pennies to add a great reference book to their Aromatherapy library.)
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on April 6, 2017
I would consider myself a well rounded essential oils user and this book in my opinion is perfect for readers who are new to oils, or have been using oils for years! Essential oils is such a fascinating subject but can be overwhelming to learn and retain everything and that's why I LOVE this book! The beginning goes over the history of oils and how overtime their use has been diminished with modern medicine yet the benefits of oils still holds its value. The book then goes into detail over individual oils, their usage, origin, history, demographic history and variations with usage, distillation process and what oils it blends well with! OMG I'm in oil heaven! It's easy to read, short but informative and allows advanced oil readers satisfied with knowing more than just the basics while covering it's bases with the basic information a beginner would need.
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on March 21, 2016
This book is perfect for the Essential Oil dabbler and the professional alike! Julia Lawless explains the history of aromatherapy, the medicinal benefit behind it and, most importantly, she talks about the dangers/times to avoid an oil as well as it's benefits. She approaches her use of oils purely from a topical or inhalant standpoint (she doesn't endorse internal usage), but the knowledge she imparts is beneficial to anyone interested in Aromatherapy. She spends anywhere from a page to several pages dissecting each oil and their benefits, historical uses, cautions, and other oils that it goes well with for different purposes.

After doing a lot of research on different EO resource books on the market, I am quite pleased with my decision to purchase this one based on the depth of her coverage, the broad spectrum of information she includes, and her exhaustive technical research that went into making this EO Encyclopedia a necessity for every EO user!
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on May 18, 2016
This was another book I decided to purchase because it was recommended by Mountain Rose Herbs. I believe this is a must-have for anyone who buys essential oils. It really is so important to know about how to purchase good quality oils, the safety of handling this oils, and how they can and should be utilized. This book is the perfect tool for providing you with the information to do just that.
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on March 10, 2017
It has order. Everything has a place. And everything is in it's place. Even if information is repeated.
This book will take you beyond basics. And while recipes are not it's forte, the information included is greatly beneficial to the making of your own.
This book will help take you from someone using a diffuser with basic(or less) knowledge and make you into a guru in the history, usage, creation, application, etc... of essential oils.
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on April 14, 2015
Lists many, many essential oils with lots of technical info and some nice sketches, but lacks much info on aromatherapy usage. When it gets past chemical makeup and history of the plant, the information is very sparse. Was very disappointed as the book looked great when I first got it, but on trying to use it kept finding myself having to go to other resources to get more therapeutic info on the oils.
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on March 20, 2017
My #1 go to.. love this book. Exactly what I've been looking for...folklore..origin..subspecies..constituents..uses..all in there! Even includes rarer oils that most books dont contain. Highly recommend!
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on January 21, 2015
I bought this book used at a very good price. It has a lot of information in it. I have many essential oil, herb books, and this one is easy to find solutions to problems. I like that the part on "Aromatic Remedies" is clearly broken down to subjects such as "The Skin, First Aid, Burns, Cuts, Wounds etc. In case anyone wonders, it is not just the "breathing in" of essential oils, but applying, gargling, etc. I also like that it explains how some essential oils can be uplifting and yet soothe the nerves. It states that "Although neroli and rose essence do indeed stimulate the brain and uplift the sprits, at the same time they reduce the heartbeat and blood pressure and soothe the nerves.

It has a section on the respiratory system, the circulatory system, the oils for headaches, etc. Then there is the "Index of essential oils" where it shows picture of each herb, describes each one, states the "actions" i.e. antiseptic, tonic etc, and the uses.

It has good size print, very easy to read and understand and has good pictures.
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on February 11, 2014
It's an ok guide but I would not go so far as to call it an encyclopedia. I use essential oils and wanted a version for my computer tablet to use as a quick reference. There are better guides out there.
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