by Cal Orey
It's encouraging that the Foreword of the book was written by someone with a Ph.D in Biological Science. I could warm up to this idea of essential oils having healing properties.
I just finished reading a book on essential oils that warns against ingesting them, so I was a little surprised to see an emphasis on ingestion and using them in recipes! The tone of the author's writing struck me as a little new age and trying too hard to convince, but the information was good. As much as I love the scent of Lavender, I have no interest in eating it, considering I don't even like Parma Violets, but I found the information on olfactory sense and how it affects the mind and body of interest.
The second chapter is about the history of essential oils, or at least starts out that way. It gives more of a time line than a comprehensive history and delves into usage and cautions by the end. The book as a whole is a little scattered and non-linear in relation to most non-fiction books and often goes into the autobiographical before getting to more general information.
The weight loss chapter had an interesting concept about scents diverting us from eating fattening foods which bears some personal research. I did wish the author would quit going on about the Mediterranean diet and giving us health food recipes, as I didn't choose this book for food or lifestyle advice, just to learn more about essential oils. The idea of using cinnamon or ginger oils in a recipe where you could use the actual spice didn't sit well.
There was a long medical uses segment which I will refer back to and try as needed. It's mostly for things like colds and skin ailments, what you would expect to treat with this medium. This flowed neatly into Aromatherapy and Spa treatments, followed by a chapter on scenting cosmetics with some recipes that bear testing.
Next is a chapter called 27 Essential Oils for a Healthy Household, but there is no list of these 27 oils. There is, however, some very interesting ideas for scented household cleaning products made with things like baking soda rather than harsh chemicals.
The book goes over trends, making scented candles, and to my alarm, a chapter on using oils on babies and cats which were strictly warned against in other books on the subject and this makes me very uncomfortable.
Then it wraps up with food recipes that I won't be trying. As I said, I'd rather use the spices than a concentrated oil. Resources for obtaining oils are provided, but all American.
Overall the book had some very interesting information, but it wasn't organised as well as it could be and the safety of using oils in food, on babies and on cats is something I feel is just wrong here.