Since yesterday, I have read hundreds of replies to my post. Some of you brought me to tears. Some of you made me feel like I was part of a very large group. And some of you made me smile in solidarity.
The biggest message I got (and it was a stunner) was that so many people have *only* heard of, or learned about essential oils through the person they purchase them from! The number of requests for places to find good, useful information was dumb-founding. And I mean that literally. I had to stop and think about it, and then ask my aromatherapist friends for suggestions. So first, a few really good websites, and then some of my favorite books...
A terrific source for articles, book reviews, sources, schools, etc. Lots of good, reliable information.
A good scientifically oriented site that sifts through the hype and mumbo-jumbo to give you good, clear data.
Robert Tisserand's Blog: TisserandInstitute.org/blog
The Tisserand name has been prominent in aromatherapy since the 70's and Robert Tisserand has been a professional aromatherapist for over 45 years. Good, trustworthy information.
For injury reports and instructions on how to report injuries: http://aromatherapyunited.org/
As for the books, I will tell you that I am not terribly left-brained and while some of my friends prefer huge professional aromatherapy tomes (and might call some my choices "novels" in a slightly condescending manner), I believe that the general public, the people that I'm talking to... will get what they're looking for by starting with one or more of these books. None of these books set out to CURE anything. They comfort, ease, soothe, and help with symptoms and/or self-limiting illnesses or mental frames of mind and behavioral issues.
HERBS & THINGS, Jeanne Rose's Herbal (IBSN 0-399-50944-5)
This book has been around since 1972, and it's still a good book to have. For one thing, I believe that anyone getting into essential oils should at least understand what an infused oil is, what a water infusion is, and then they will be able to grasp just how concentrated essentials are. This book is full of interesting information. Jeanne Rose is now more focused on distilling, and her site is copperstills.com
THE COMPLETE BOOK OF ESSENTIAL OILS & AROMATHERAPY by Valerie Ann Worwood
This was one of our favorite books back in the early 90's when we had our shop, and we recommended (and sold) it often. The author shares ways to incorporate essential oils into life in hundreds of ways, and does it in a safe and reasonable manner. There are some food recipes, so that may be confusing to some, since in order to convince people to stop drinking and encapsulating these oils, very often the aromatherapy community seems to be saying NO consumption, but there you have it...
ESSENTIAL OILS AND AROMATICS by Marge Clark (ISBN 978-1-933317-73-1)
Marge happens to be a good friend, but I would love this book even if I'd never met her. It is beautiful, concise, tells you what you need to know, and then shares some wonderful formulation recipes.
THE HERBAL HOME SPA by Greta Breedlove (ISBN 1-58017-005-6)
For those wanting to make their own products for body care, this book is a blast. Hair, face, massage, and skin are all covered. Tons of recipes and instructions.
This book is from Storey Publications, and I'd also highly recommend their offerings:
THE HERBAL BODY BOOK, by Stephanie Tourles
THE ESSENTIAL OILS BOOK, by Colleen Dodt
NATURAL BABY CARE, by Colleen Dodt
In fact, Storey has a lot of great books. My sister and I share the library, and these are down at the soap workshop right now, so I don't have the ISBN's.
HARVEST TO HYDROSOL, by Ann Harman (ISBN 978-0-9913859-0-4)
This book is pretty new. I loved reading it even though it is all about copper stills, and mine is glass. Hydrosols are the steam that rises and carries the essential oil away from the plant material, and when it returns to a liquid state, tiny molecules of essential oil are emulsified and suspended in the water. We are generally most familiar with hydrosols in the form of witch hazel or rose water. This is a lovely book.
THE COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO AROMATHERAPY, by Julia Lawless
This book covers 65 essential oils, giving description, actions, extraction method, characteristics, and common usage. It goes on to provide a reference section on common complaints, discussion on the art of blending, information on buying, storing, and safe use guidelines. And a whole lot more, especially in relation to massage.
If none of these look interesting, try Googling "Essential Oil Book" and you'll find many more. These are just the ones I have handy that have been helpful to me.