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What to Look for When Shopping for Essential Oil Books

How to Find and Purchase Reputable Essential Oil and Aromatherapy Books

AromaWeb provides 700 pages of objective, brand-neutral articles, guides, essential oil and carrier oil profiles, blends, recipes and other helpful information. However, there is so much more that you can learn and enjoy by immersing yourself in additional reputable resources including aromatherapy books written by experienced authors and educators.

There are numerous outstanding essential oil and aromatherapy books available, many written especially for beginners. There are also a wide range of books covering important specialized topics such as Essential Oil Safety, Essential Oil Chemistry, Aromatherapy for Babies and Children, Subtle Aromatherapy, and many others.

However, it is way too easy nowadays for people to self publish crudely written books regardless of their actual subject knowledge. And for those that do go through a publisher, not all publishers and editors know how to assess the accuracy or validity of information presented in an essential oil related book. Such books can potentially include harmful information and suggestions. At best, books written by inexperienced or poorly educated individuals can lead to ineffective results and discouragement.

I've been shopping on Amazon since the 1990s and love it. However, as time has passed, I have noticed how tricky it is for beginners to shop for reliable essential oil and aromatherapy books through Amazon (or anywhere, really).

Sadly, the number of positive Amazon reviews given to an essential oil book isn't always reflective of the reliability of the information contained within its pages. It's not uncommon for problematic books to have lots of positive reviews. In some cases, authors ask their friends and acquaintances to post reviews. In others, authors may offer perks or discounts to those that leave reviews.

List of 10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Shopping for and Comparing Essential Oil Books

  1. What is the professional background and education of the author?
  2. Does the author disclose where he/she received his/her education?
  3. Does the author have any brand or commercial affiliations that may lead to potential bias?
  4. Does the book only list the publisher or an editor instead of listing the actual author?
  5. Does the author also happen to be an educator?
  6. How long has the author been working with essential oils?
  7. Is the book brand-specific or brand-neutral? The most objective books tend to be those in which the author is not affiliated with any specific brands. There are certainly exceptions. The point of this suggestion is to encourage you to look more closely at any possible bias.
  8. What are unbiased essential oil educators, experts and other essential oil authors saying about the book? Is it just essential oil beginners raving about the book in reviews or social media commentary? Beginners that comment or leave reviews usually have a harder time spotting inaccurate or potentially harmful information. Does the book include a forward or editorial reviews from unbiased essential oil professionals?
  9. What is the edition history of a book? Even though a prior book edition may be priced much lower than the newest edition, an older edition will likely have obsolete or less information. The second edition of Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young is an excellent example. Although the first edition was an incredible resource after its release in the 1990s (and was a required textbook for my cert. Aroma coursework from ACHS at the time), it now pales in comparison to the significant and helpful updates offered within the second edition.
  10. Does AromaWeb include a review of the book within the Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Books area? Look to AromaWeb's Books area for reviews and descriptions for over 70 essential oil and aromatherapy books. The Books section is categorized, so you can easily drill down into the type of essential oil books that are of the most interest to you. AromaWeb can't possibly include every single published reputable essential oil book, but AromaWeb's Books area is comprehensive and is an excellent resource for your quest.

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Alliance of International Aromatherapists Wendy Robbins National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

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