Essential oils have been adopted in the last decades as glamorous ingredients for product lines by cosmetics and perfume consortia in the United States and Europe. Kurt Schnaubelt shows that for hundreds of years essential oils have been used successfully for healing, and deserve more serious consideration as a current therapeutic option.
Schnaubelt traces aromatherapy's French origins paralleling the development of pharmacology. Grounding his inquiry in the chemistry of body odor and natural human aromas, he explores the molecular make-up of the major essential oils: their composition, biosynthesis, and effects in healing--including their action as anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral agents. Understanding the chemistry of the essential oils allows one to appreciate their effects and applicability.
Schnaubelt reviews the standing of aromatherapy as an alternative medicine in the present social and cultural landscape within science, government, and industry. As a self-care method, aromatherapy returns power to the patient, lessening dependence on the authority of the medical establishment. The fact that essential oils can never be patented is a virtue, Schnaubelt argues, preventing them from becoming co-opted by corporate commercial interests or regulated by government. In this vein Schnaubelt aligns himself with scholars such as Ivan Illich
(Medical Nemesis) and E. F. Schumacher (Small is Beautiful). A population impatient with the expence and complexity of managed care may well return medicine to a small-scale community context relying on inexpensive methods.
Size: This book measures 9" x 6" and is 295 pages.
Kurt Schnabelt holds a doctorate in Chemistry and is the Scientific Director of the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy in San Rafael, California.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
An Unclear Picture
Odor is Identity
Evolution and Pesto
The Vitalist/Physicalist Debate
Unhealthy Consequences of the Scientific Revolution
Science and Plant Intelligence
A New Economy of Healing
Healing and Belief
Aromatherapy Delivers the Goods
Composition, Biosynthesis, and Safety of Essential Oils
Classification of Essential Oils
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