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The Expert's Guide to Aromatherapy & Essential Oils for Health: A - Z of Ailments and Natural Remedies to Treat Them

The Expert's Guide to Aromatherapy & Essential Oils for Health: A - Z of Ailments and Natural Remedies to Treat Them

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The Expert's Guide to Aromatherapy & Essential Oils for Health: A - Z of Ailments and Natural Remedies to Treat Them

250 pages
1 hour
Jul 1, 2015


Did you know how effective simple, natural remedies can be in helping to treat common ailments, and, also, how quick and easy it is to create them?

From the world-renowned expert in aromatherapy and natural wellbeing, this comprehensive guide offers natural remedies to treat over 100 common ailments at home. Packed with tips and simple advice to treat specific health conditions, you'll also learn how to boost your immune system, promote your family's general wellbeing, make easy skincare preparations for glowing skin and tips for a healthy pregnancy.

Danièle Ryman is widely acknowledged as the world's leading authority on natural health and wellbeing. Natural remedies, and notably aromatherapy (the use of essential oils and plants for therapeutic benefit and for cosmetic purposes), have gained recognition worldwide as powerful healing and restorative tools. This book is based on Danièle's four decades of research and experience advising global health & beauty companies, private clients and the media as well as lecturing worldwide.

The book is a straightforward reference for whenever your family has a health concern. Only basic, inexpensive items are required to prepare Danièle's recommendations and she suggests foods, plants and oils which are widely available.

Read how to treat common ailments from colds and 'flu, headaches, stress, insomnia and fatigue to acne, scar tissue, stretchmarks, and rejuvenation. You'll learn general tips for healthy living and:

• How to effectively treat your family's illnesses with natural remedies
• How to use herbs in cooking to enhance wellbeing
• How to use plants and oils in lotions and massage
• How to reduce stress with inhalations & relaxing baths
• How to create effective anti-ageing preparations, plus much more...

Part of Danièle Ryman's expert series for natural wellbeing, this book means you'll benefit from the sort of advice Danièle offers to her clients in private consultations.
Jul 1, 2015

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The Expert's Guide to Aromatherapy & Essential Oils for Health - Danièle Ryman



Danièle Ryman was born in France where she studied in Paris under the pioneer of aromatherapy, Marguerite Maury. Danièle has been a leading authority on aromatherapy, aromacology (the psychology of smell) and natural wellbeing for over four decades and this book is a distillation of her skills, experience and research.

A practical guide for people who want to enjoy the benefits of natural therapies at home and to professional or student aromatherapists alike, this book examines how plants and essential oils can be used to heal minor ailments and promote wellbeing. It also offers guidelines on how to use them safely and effectively.

In the book, Danièle emphasises the importance of knowledge for those preparing remedies at home, the purity of the plants and oils used and the great care needed in administering a treatment. She also highlights the need for training for professional aromatherapists.

The book covers over 100 ailments for which aromatherapy is thought to be effective in treating and these range from arthritis and excema to influenza, the common cold and toothache.

Danièle explains how to carry out the treatments safely and effectively and provides recipes for lotions, massage oils and tisanes (herbal teas), also advising how aromatherapy can be used safely in your diet.

Further information on specific plants and essential oils is available on Danièle’s well-known Aromatherapy Bible website, www.aromatherapybible.com, should you like to read about them in more detail.

There is a remedy here for everyone who is already practising or wants to begin to enjoy this popular therapy. Read on to find ways to help yourself and your family.

Chapter 1: Using essential oils and plants to treat illnesses

The best way to use essential oils is to understand what they can do. Essential oils can be massaged into the skin, added to warm bath water or to the shower tray, inhaled or added to grain poultices or compresses. None can be taken internally, but many essential oils contained in food (vegetable, fruits and herbs) can be of internal benefit.

Although I give warnings about particular oils throughout the book, it is appropriate to repeat here that you should always be very careful when using essential oils. This is particularly important in the case of pregnant women, children under twelve years old and to allergy sufferers.

Before using any oil in any remedy, first do a skin test, as detailed below.

Everyone is individual and has a different way of reacting to different oils. Age, size and sex all make a difference too.

In addition, when choosing which oil to use – for many have the same properties – for preference choose one from a plant which grows in approximately the same geographical area as that in which you live. If you are British, try lavender as a calmant before you try frankincense, for instance. And don’t be surprised to see that many oils have apparently conflicting properties – i.e. stimulant and relaxant – depending on the proportions used. Lavender, for example, has stimulating properties when used in larger quantities, but in smaller amounts it is a relaxant. The concept can be likened to taking a drink of wine – one glass may act as a stimulant, whereas three or more might send you to sleep.

I do not advocate anyone to carry out continued use of essential oils, but to use them only when there is a problem requiring a remedy. Remember that they are a type of medicine and just as you would not take an aspirin every day unless medically prescribed, so you should not use essential oils for prolonged periods of time without a reason or without first checking with your doctor. Respect them and use them when they are genuinely needed and you will get the best results.

You can, however, keep aromatherapy in your daily life in other ways, by using the plants rather than the essential oils, whether in decoctions (see below), tisanes (herbal teas), cooking or other ideas suggested throughout this book.

Skin test

Put one drop of the oil on a cotton bud and use it to just touch the inside of the elbow, the back of the wrist or under the arm. Cover the area with a plaster and leave unwashed for 24 hours. If there is itching, redness or any other type of reaction, don’t use that oil on that person.


Before you start to use essential oils at home (to improve your skin or to treat illness, for example), you will need the following items:

a china bowl

a dropper for measuring out the oils

a steel or enamel saucepan

a few small square flannels or pieces of towelling

some small (about 30 ml or 1 fl oz) amber glass, screw-top bottles to store the prepared oils

a teaspoon, a tablespoon and an egg cup

a dropper for measuring the essential oils

Where to buy essential oils

Essential oils should be bought from a reputable source (on the high street or online) as the provenance and quality of the oil can completely change the remedy. You will also be able to easily source bottles and droppers online.

Which essential oils to buy

You should buy 100% pure essential oil, if possible organic. Make sure it’s not a blend of essential oils or diluted with carrier oil e.g. vegetable oil.


Measuring the oils

Essential oils are measured in drops (hence the dropper), but measurements of the carrier oil are less critical so I quote them in teaspoons, tablespoons and the less usual egg cup – most people have these at home. Most egg cups measure about 30 ml or 1 fl oz.


Few essential oils are used neat, but are mixed into a fixed plant oil base like almond, Soya or Wheatgerm. (Fixed oils do not evaporate quickly on exposure to the air like essential or volatile ones.) These base or carrier oils contain certain benefits themselves, not least their contents of iodine and vitamin E. They also act as a balancing and stabilizing agent. A carrier or base oil should be pure, and preferably cold pressed when it retains its essential vitamin content better. It should have little or no smell of its own, and it should be penetrative. The quantities of essential oils to base oil will vary a little from oil to oil, but unless otherwise stated you should use 2-3 drops essential oil to 5 ml (1 tsp) base oil for use on the body, and 1 drop essential oil to 5ml (1 tsp) base oil for the face.

Almond oil

The plant: The almond tree (Prunus amygdalus, Rosaceae) is a native of the eastern Mediterranean, but is now established in other warm countries. It was introduced to Britain during Roman times, and its nuts were a common ingredient in medieval cooking.

The oil: The fixed oils of almond are extracted from two types of almond tree, the bitter almond (P. amygdalus var. amara) and the sweet almond (P. amygdalus var. dulcis). Only the latter is used in therapy. The nuts contain about 50 – 60 per cent oil, which is also used in baking and confectionery.

The oil is a lovely clear pale yellow, more or less odourless with a slight nutty note. Olein is its principal constituent, with a tiny proportion of glyceride and linoleic acid. It has a definite action on the skin as a softening agent, being a good lubricant, nourishing and revitalizing. Shop-bought oils are often adulterated, so beware.

Its uses: An almond remedy is wonderful for dry, wrinkled hands, but is also very beneficial for eczema and skin irritations of any kind. Warm some almond oil gently in a bain-marie then dissolve in it the same amount of cocoa butter. Remove from the heat, mix until paste-like and apply to the hands. Put on some cotton gloves and allow the oil to penetrate for at least an hour (or overnight).

Castor oil

The plant: Castor oil comes from a tall, quick-growing, perennial woody shrub or small tree (Ricinus communis, Euphorbiaceae) native to India, but is now seen in many warm countries. It is often grown as an ornamental, but it is also of value as a windbreak and a shade tree. It bears seed profusely and it is these that are pressed for the oil. This was known to the Greeks and Romans as a purgative or laxative, which is still a major role of the oil today; lots of common laxatives contain a proportion of castor oil.

The oil: It has a very viscid consistency, is colourless, has a slight fragrance, and is disagreeable to taste. The major constituents are palmatic and other fatty acids, ricinoleic acid and glycerine.

Its uses: The Ancient Egyptians called the oil kiki, using it as an unguent for skin rashes, and in embalming. It is still useful for numerous skin complaints, ranging from eczema to dryness of the skin. For very dry eczema, mix 30 ml (2 tbsp) of castor oil with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of almond oil and 2 drops of wheatgerm oil, and apply gently to the affected part because the oil is so viscid, it is a good idea to mix it with another carrier oil to help its penetration.

When in India I drove past field upon field of the plant. My skin was so dry from the heat and dust that I asked the driver to stop so I could rub my hands and face with the leaves and berries of the plant. Indian women also do this to keep their skin young looking and supple.

Grapeseed oil

The oil: Grape seeds contain between 6 and 20 per cent oil. The oil is pale greeny yellow in colour and is very pure, high in polyunsaturates, and extremely light – it is almost as thin as water. This means that it is easily absorbed by the skin, which is very useful in aromatherapy because the essentials can penetrate very quickly.

Its uses: The seeds and leaves of grapes are rather astringent, so I tend to use the oil for conditions like acne.

Soya oil

The plant: This comes from the soy or Soya bean plant (Glycine hispida or soja, Leguminosae), an erect annual sometimes reaching 1- 1.75 m (4-6 ft) in height, which is native to China and Japan. Although used in the East for the last 4,000 years, it did not appear in Europe until the end of the seventeenth century, nor in Britain until the beginning of the twentieth century. It is high in polyunsaturates, and one of the most popular of cooking oils. The bean itself is one of the world’s major and most nourishing foodstuffs (it is the only plant source containing complete protein).

The oil: There is approximately 12 – 25 per cent oil in the beans, and this contains many acids (oleic, linoleic, stearic, palmitic, etc) and traces of chlorophyll. It is a very nourishing oil of a very pale colour with a tinge of yellow; it is a good carrier oil as it is quickly absorbed when applied to the skin. It must be of the best quality, though. I use it a lot in preparations for acne.

Its uses: The French value Soya oil for its medicinal properties: the linoleic acid content helps lower cholesterol levels. Take some every day in your salad dressings, on top of freshly cooked vegetables, or with rice dishes.

Wheatgerm oil

The plant: Wheatgerm, the germ of the wheat grain, is a highly nutritious food, rich in proteins (one of the few plant sources which provide near complete proteins), and vitamins Band E.

The oil: Wheatgerm oil contains a very high proportion of vitamin E, which is said to be the skin vitamin.

Its uses: Because of its high proportion of vitamin E, it is very effective in contributing to the treatment of skin problems when used as a carrier oil.

Another benefit of using wheatgerm oil is that as it is an antioxidant it stabilizes essential oils and makes them last longer. Add a drop or two of wheatgerm oil to any remedy.



That essential oils can pass through the skin is indisputable. After all, the skin eliminates, so it can just as easily absorb. Modern scientific research has shown that many more substances pass through the skin than was previously thought possible, and some of the best scientific units in the world are

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