One of the first questions of anyone starting to discover the world of aromatherapy is, “Which aromatherapy book(s) should I buy first?” A search on “aromatherapy” in Amazon books yields 5,679 results. An Amazon book search on “essential oils” yields 8,970 results! So, you can see that this is an important question since one cannot possibly read every single book on essential oils and aromatherapy in one lifetime!
I’ll start by telling you about the first aromatherapy book I ever bought: Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils by Gabriel Mojay. At the time I had just gone through a Reiki attunement and I was interested in the energetic uses of essential oils. Gabriel has put together a beautiful collection of 40 essential oils one by one as well as mental conditions and restoring balance to the mind and spirit. He does an excellent overview in the beginning of the book of yin and yang, the five elements, the distillation process, and methods of essential oil application. This book was a great start and it got me yearning for more.
The book that I wanted from the beginning was Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals 2d by Robert Tisserand. At the time the book had just come out and seemed out of budget at a cost of nearly $100. I’ve since purchased both the print and electronic versions of this book and it has proved indispensable as an everyday reference. Someday I’d like to read the book cover to cover, but for now I especially love the ability to search the electronic version and find just what I’m looking for in regard to safety of any given essential oil.
The next big-ticket book on my list was The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy Second Edition by Salvatore Battaglia. This book may have been written more than a dozen years ago, but it is still a must-have text for understanding the complete picture of aromatherapy and how essential oils affect the systems of the body. Battaglia outlines countless essential oils and lists information such as botany and origins, method of extraction, essential oil characteristics, historic and traditional uses, chemical composition, pharmacology and clinical studies, therapeutic actions, indications for use, energetics, mode of administration and safety of each oil. He then does a thorough overview of each of the body systems so you can understand how essential oils interact with the human body. This book is the text for many aromatherapy students and an invaluable reference for aromatherapists.
I spoke with aroma-chemist, Mark Webb, and asked him to give me his top three picks for aromatherapy books. As is the way with Mark, he gave me more than I asked for and listed his top four.
Mark Webb’s Picks:
- The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils 3d by Joy Bowles: This is your book for aromatic chemistry from the perspective of understanding the therapeutic aspects of essential oils and their chemistry.
- Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals 2d by Robert Tisserand: An excellent reference text, this is the go-to book for aromatherapists, clinicians, and formulators of cosmetics. Mark says it’s “My most referenced text on a daily basis!”
- Essential Oils: A Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice 2nd Edition by Jennifer Peace Rhind: a good book if you want to learn about aromatherapy. It’s not a beginner book, but if you’re serious about aromatherapy for a well-rounded, well-written evidenced-based book, this is the one to read.
- Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Healthcare, 3rd Edition by Jane Buckle PhD RN: This is the book to read as your knowledge grows. It’s evidenced based and talks about more serious clinical conditions and the treatment thereof.
Thanks Mark, for sharing your list with us!
Emily’s Aromatherapy Bookshelf:
Here are some other books in my personal collection (in no particular order):
- Complementary Nursing in End of Life Care – Integrative care in Palliative Care by Madeleine Kerkhof-Knapp Hayes: Don’t let the name of this book fool you. It’s packed full on information about treating many conditions and the knowledge can be applied far beyond the realm of palliative care.
- Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, 4e by Shirley & Les Price
- Understanding Hydrolats: The Specific Hydrosols for Aromatherapy: A Guide for Health Professionals by Les and Shirley Price
- Magical Aromatherapy: The Power of Scent by Scott Cunningham
- Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy by Suzanne Catty
- Gritman Guide to Essential Oils 4th Edition by Margaret Shehad
As I’ve shared before, I love the Secret Healer series of eBooks by Elizabeth Ashley available from Amazon. They are great quick reads targeted to your interests:
- The Complete Guide To Clinical Aromatherapy and Essential Oils of The Physical Body: Essential Oils for Beginners (The Secret Healer Book 1) (Always FREE)
- Essential Oils for The Mind Body Spirit: The Holistic Medicine of Clinical Aromatherapy (The Secret Healer Book 2)
- The Essential Oil Liver Cleanse: The Professional Aromatherapist’s Liver Detox (The Secret Healer Book 3)
- The Professional Stress Solution: Essential Oils, Aromatherapy and Holistic Healing Stress Management Techniques for The Professional Aromatherapist (The Secret Healer Book 4)
- The Aromatherapy Eczema Treatment: The Professional Aromatherapist’s Guide to Healing Eczema, Itchy Skin Rashes and Atopic Dermatitis with Essential … Medicine. (The Secret Healer Book 5)
- Sales Strategies for Gentle Souls: Targeted Sales Training for Professional Aromatherapists (The Secret Healer Business Guides Book 1)
- 75 Quick and Easy Aromatherapy Christmas Gifts Ideas: Essential Oil Recipes For Handmade Personalised Gifts (The Secret Healer)
- Vetiver: An Ayurvedic Medicine: How To Meditate And Heal The Physical Body Using Medicinal Plants and Essential Oils For The Mind Body Spirit (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 1)
- Monarda: A Native American Medicine: How To Meditate And Heal The Physical Body Using Medicinal Plants and Essential Oils For The Mind Body Spirit (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 2)
- Holy Basil – Ayurvedic Medicine’s Tulsi: How To Meditate And Heal The Physical Body Using Medicinal Plants and Essential Oils For The Mind Body Spirit (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 3)
- Rose – Goddess Medicine: The Timeless Elixir of Ancient Egypt, Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Essential Oils and Modern Medicine (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 4)
- Sweet Basil – Ocimum basilicum- The Essential Oil of Empowerment: How To Heal The Mind Body Spirit With Medicinal Plants And Aromatherapy (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 5)
- Clary Sage- Salvia sclarea; Natural Estrogen?: Alleviate Symptoms of Menopause, Premenstrual Syndrome and Period Pains. Reduce Muscle Cramps And Restless … De (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 6)
- Spikenard -A Woman Anoints Jesus’s feet -: Did She Use the Spikenard of Aromatherapy? Nardostachys jatamansi – An Essential Oil And Medicinal Plant for … (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 7)
- Helichrysum For The Wound That Will Not Heal: The Lost History of Immortelle, The Everlasting Flower, Its Chemistry and Helichrysum Italicum Essential … (The Secret Healer Oils Profiles Book 8)
Next on my list is the new book by Andrea Butje entitled, The Heart of Aromatherapy: An Easy-to-Use Guide for Essential Oils. Andrea is a wonderful teacher and I’m looking forward to reading through what she has deemed important to share with the world via this book. I know it’s going to be amazing!
Afraid to read aromatherapy books alone? There’s a Facebook group for that! Alecia Buono is the founder of the group, “Aromatherapy, Herbal & More Book Club“, where they read aromatherapy books together chapter by chapter and discuss as they go. Their current book is: Aromatherapeutic Blending: Essential Oils in Synergy by Jennifer Peace Rhind.
What about you? What are your top picks for aromatherapy books? Which one did you buy first and which one are you getting next?