Aromatherapy Books

Gattefosses Aromatherapy by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse

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Information: 148 pages, paperback

They say: Here is the missing link in Essential Oil literature, the first modern work written by the man who coined the word 'Aromatherapy'. In July 1910 Rene-Maurice Gattefosse discovered the healing properties of lavender oil after severely burning his hands in a laboratory explosion. This led him into a lifetime of research into Essential Oils. His remarkable book was first published in 1937 and has been out of print for many years. Now translated, Robert Tisserand, author of three books, has edited it on aromatherapy (including the best-seller, The Art of Aromatherapy), editorial adviser to the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and editor of The International journal of aromatherapy.

The book is a fascinating blend of ancient and modern knowledge and aromatherapists will find it an essential tool of reference. Extensive notes are provided by Robert Tisserand at the back of the book. Chapters include those on human smells and animal smells, toxicity, the properties of essential oils and their constituents, the treatment of many diseases, and over fifty case studies from doctors.

Aromatherapists will recognise the source of many facts, and they will find much that is new and absorbing. Robert Tisserand

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First published in 1937 in France, this classic book is by the man who coined the word ‘aromatherapy’. The first chapter ‘Human Animal & Plant smells’ is an interesting introduction to aroma, which then leads onto ‘The classification of essential oils according to the chemical constituents’. ‘Essences in ancient pharmacopoeias’ include the traditional properties of aromatic plants including ‘exotic pharmacopoeia’ – some plants I’d not heard of and ones that are not used now. Chapter four includes ‘more recent works on essential oils’ and although ‘recent’ is quite out of date now, Robert Tisserand’s notes bring the book more up to date as they mention more recent research and give the book more longevity. The following chapter goes onto discuss ‘uses of the oils’ with examples and discussions on absorption of oils – the link between massage and oils hadn’t quite been made when this was written but is considered briefly here. There follows case studies which are medical in nature but demonstrate the efficacy of lavender and its amazing role in wound healing. The book concludes with a biography of Rene-Maurice Gattefosse’s life. Some of the book went scientifically above and beyond my Level 3 Diploma understanding; in this sense, it might be useful for the more advanced student. Although I did not find this an easy book to read, the section on lavender and wound healing speaks volumes, demonstrating why aromatherapy is so amazing and making this a book worthy of a place on any aromatherapist’s book shelf.

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