The cover states “The most comprehensive guide to aromatherapy ever published” and that’s not an exaggeration. Davis presents the aromatherapist with a fully researched, in depth guide which as expected, does an admirable job of covering the basics. What really sets this volume apart is wealth of more unusual applications of essential oils. Take lavender for instance, while its effectiveness as a sedative are well known this is one of the few guides which promotes its use as an effective burn treatment and clearly outlines appropriate treatment procedures. A wealth of botanical and historic information is provided in addition to which oil blends work best to boost a specific healing quality.Information is listed alphabetically from “Abscesses” through “Zone Therapy” and while subjects are easy enough to locate it would have been nice to have an index for those times when you really need to find something fast. Davis gains credibility in her unswerving commitment to the patient’s best interest. Whenever appropriate she stresses the importance of seeking professional medical treatment, advocating the use of oils and aromatherapy as a way of augmenting patient treatment and improving the overall sense of well-being.
Of particular interest is the list of counter-indications listed in the appendix. These spell out which oils are thought of as too toxic for general use, are photosensitizing, irritants or should be avoided by epileptics or during pregnancy. Having this information available at a glance is plus for the practicing therapist. While written with the aromatherapist in mind, anyone with an interest in herbal lore will find this a fascinating read.