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Home Page > Aromatherapy Books > The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils


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The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy

Author: Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D.
Publisher: Healing Arts Press
Copyright: 2011
ISBN: 1594774250 / 978-1594774256
Pages: 234

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Although the subtitle of this book is The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy, this book is quite different from Kurt Schnaubelt's older book Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Therapy.

The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils is beautifully presented. The eye-catching layout includes numerous color photographs and educational sidebars.

Although I have high esteem for Kurt Schnaubelt's work and give his findings and opinions serious consideration, my own opinions do differ in some areas as our professional background, experiences and perspectives are different. For instance, his criticism of particular attempts to lean towards the side of safety concern me:

  • In Chapter 5, Aromatherapy Safety in the Information Age, Schnaubelt offers some very enlightening comments. Some of his remarks, however, seem to reveal that he does not understand the concerns and dilemmas of those that publish content to millions of individuals including to those that do not speak English as their first language. Within this chapter, Shnaubelt criticizes the disclaimers and certain broad comments that appear on Web sites and throughout the internet. I can't speak for other Web sites or their motives, but I know from repeated experience in operating AromaWeb for 15 years that I must include very broad statements to help protect the over 2 million annual visitors who visit AromaWeb. Some read and skim way too quickly (and thus may misunderstand, and I do my best to keep that in mind when discussing particular topics). I also need to protect AromaWeb and manage my time in handling the countless emails and inquiries that I get, and I need broad statements and disclaimers to help handle that. I would much rather lean towards the side of prudence and safety.
  • Also in Chapter 5, Schnaubelt states "Consequently many aromatherapy rules based on the assumption of random toxicity are not justified by any perceivable reality. For example, many texts will decree never to use essential oils undiluted, when in fact quite a number of essential oils can safely be used undiluted on the skin." Indeed, irritation and sensitization certainly doesn't affect everyone. However, when sensitization does occur for certain individuals (and there is no way of truly knowing who may develop sensitization), the consequences can be extremely serious. Read the quote about Marge Clark's experience in developing sensitization to lavender essential oil on AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils page. Additionally, if my memory serves, a classmate that was enrolled in the certificate of aromatherapy course at ACHS at the same time that I was went on to establish her own aromatherapy business. At some point thereafter, she used lavender neat a few times and developed sensitization and medical issues to the point where she had to close her business.

My point in stating the above is that I believe in prudence and leaning on the side of safety when doubt exists, and respecting those that are genuinely trying to protect the wellbeing of their readers. While he is so absolutely correct that some precautions and contraindication warnings are only based on hearsay that can't be proven, I remain a bit concerned with a few of his comments and the tone of his writing in certain places.

Having said that, I do not want to discourage you from procuring this text for your aromatherapy library. His insights are quite valuable in a number of areas, and I've learned quite a few intriguing things within its pages. And if you want to dig deeper into particular areas that aren't covered on AromaWeb or in many books, this is an insightful book to add to your aromatherapy library. Also, if you are looking for a text that goes into the internal use of essential oils, this book covers it.

Contents of The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy:

  • Introduction
  • BioPrimer: Relevant Concepts and Terms
  • Part I:
    Understanding the Language of Plants / The Science of Aromatherapy
    • Chapter One: The Foundations of Aromatherapy
    • Chapter Two: The Bioactivity of Essential Oils
    • Chapter Three: From Biology to Aromatherapy
  • Part II:
    Exploring Authentic Essential Oils: Recognizing Authenticity, Safety, Diversity, Fragrance
    • Chapter Four: Authentic Essential Oil
    • Chapter Five: Aromatherapy Safety in the Information Age
    • Chapter Six: Aromatherapy Connects with Diverse Traditions
    • Chapter Seven: The Mystery of Fragrance
  • Part III:
    Healing with Essential Oils: Treatment Strategies and Protocols
    • Chapter Eight: How to Apply Essential Oils: Topically
    • Chapter Nine: How to Apply Essential Oils: Internally
    • Chapter Ten: Essential Oils for Common Ailments
    • Chapter Eleven: Essential Oils and the Skin
    • Chapter Twelve: Treating Chemotherapy-Induced Vomiting and Nausea
    • Chapter Thirteen: Aromatherapy and Cancer
    • Chapter Fourteen: Selected Aspects of Chinese Medical Aromatherapy: Cancer and Autoimmune Diseases
    • Chapter Fifteen: Essential Oils and Hepatitis B and C
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Recommended Reading
  • Resources
  • Index

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