Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Palliative care and cancer issues - quality of life vs length of life

Cancer is a heart breaking disease.  The sadness at losing a cherished grandparent, father or mother or young child to cancer  is very great.  The EU, Russia, China, Japan and USA face an aging population and cancer is therefore a more common cause of death in families.

Terminal cancer raises particular dilemmas. 

A group of 37 cancer experts has criticised a "culture of excess" which promises drugs to patients who have terminal cancer.

Health service spending on cancer medication has increased from £3 billion annually to £5 billion and the expert panel said it made doctors "over treat, over diagnose and over promise."

More than 300,000 people in Britain are diagnosed with cancer every year and the figure is predicted to increase to 400,000 by 2030.

The panel, headed by Professor Richard Sullivan of King's College London, wrote in an article published in the journal Lancet Oncology: "Special consideration must be given to costs of cancer care at the end of life. Many forms of cancer are currently incurable and patients will eventually die from their disease."

"If we could accurately predict when further disease-directed therapy would be futile, we clearly would want to spare the patient the toxicity and false hope associated with such treatment, as well as the expense."

"In fact studies suggest that a substantial portion of the total cost of cancer care is for care delivered in the last weeks or days of life, and that much of this care is futile and potentially inconsistent with patients' wishes."

'Many forms of cancer are currently incurable and patients will eventually die from their disease,' the experts wrote.

Responding to the article, Duleep Allirajah, policy manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said that palliative care costs are currently higher than necessary.

'But to call palliative care treatment 'futile' is extremely unsympathetic and undermines each patient's personal experience and desire to extend their lives,' he argued.

Mr Allirajah also called for more joined-up cancer care, particularly when a patient is discharged from hospital, which he said could free up ten per cent of cancer spending.ADNFCR-554-ID-800741121-ADNFCR

Cancer, a global challenge,  Kings College London

Cancer experts from around the world, led by Professor Richard Sullivan at King’s College London, have advised that ‘a radical shift in cancer policy is required’, as a report on the affordability of cancer care in high income countries is published today.  

The first ever Lancet OncologyCommission report is being presented to the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm, Sweden. The Commission brings together 37 experts from High Income Countries in a comprehensive analysis that points out where these countries have lost their way in managing cancer costs, and future challenges.

The Commission was led by Professor Richard Sullivan from the King’s Health Partners Integrated Cancer Centre, a collaboration between King’s College London and its partner NHS Foundation Trusts – Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital.

Cancer affects some 12 million new patients each year, causing 7.5 million deaths. With an ageing global population and an endless conveyor belt of expensive new drugs and technologies and increasing financial pressures, the cost of cancer care in high-income countries is becoming unsustainable and urgent solutions are needed, say the report authors.

Professor Arnie Purushotham, Director of King’s Health Partners Integrated Cancer Centre and a co-author of the report, says, ‘There is acknowledgment that the economic burden of health care in general, and high-quality cancer care in particular, will become unaffordable without genuine effort to address these issues. It is important to understand the drivers contributing to the burgeoning cost of cancer care and develop policy to address these factors.

While some issues are very specific, such as the huge development costs for new cancer medicines, other cost drivers are common across the spectrum of cancer care, such as over-use, rapid expansion of demand, and shorting life cycles of medical technologies: both drugs and imaging techniques. There has also been a tendency towards more defensive medical practice, a less informed regulatory system, and a declining degree of fairness to all patients with cancer.

The authors identify a whole range of immediate and medium term measures that need to be introduced to reduce the current cost base of delivering cancer care and manage the future cost curves of particularly expensive interventions such as cancer medicines. Radical action is needed to simplify and integrate patient treatment pathways, new models of care with lower cost bases need to be implemented and a whole new approach to expensive interventions – from mandatory cost effectiveness analysis, to the prohibition of off-label use and new economic models for reimbursement and incentivisation - must be driven through healthcare systems.

Educating the public, patients and policymakers about the key issues in delivering affordable cancer care is also essential, say the authors. 

Professor Richard Sullivan said: ‘We are at a crossroads for affordable cancer care, where our choices – or refusal to make choices – will affect the lives of millions of people.  Do we bury our heads in the sand, keep our fingers crossed, and hope that it turns out fine, or do we have difficult debates and make hard choices within a socially responsible, cost effective, and sustainable framework?  The consensus from all those involved is that policy makers, politicians, patients, and health care professionals need to address this issue now’.  

‘We believe that value and affordable cancer care can be introduced into the cancer policy lexicon without detracting from quality, and that the management tools, evidence, and methods are available to affect this transformation across all developed countries.

‘The global challenge to countries is how to deliver reasonably priced cancer care to all citizens – i.e. make cancer care affordable to individuals and society,' he concluded.

The full report can be accessed here:

Also at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm, Sweden


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Professional Research and Practice Ethical Code Principles and Rules - Nursing and Midwifery Council

Research ethics in the NHS

The rules that are observed in professional clinical practice.

Observance and obedience to these 61 rules has made British nurses and midwives and those who work in clinical setting with them respected and admired.


Dominique Baudoux


Revise - the uses of Hydrolats

Organic hydrolats

Hydrolats are the health-giving waters of steam distillation. These waters can be used in the bath, as fresheners after a busy day, as a spritzer for the face, as linen
sprays and for use in skin care. Hydrolats are gentle and effective. Generally calming and soothing, especially for the skin, hydrolats can be safely used with children,
animals, in combination with homeopathic remedies and for those with fragile health.

Angelica – an aid to restful sleep.
Basil -
Chamomile – calming and balancing.
One of the best all-round hydrolats.  Its gentle nature makes it ideal for use on young
babies and children.  Chamomile Roman’s astringent properties make it the best all-in-
one make-up remover, cleanser and toner.

Clary sage – emotionally supportive.
Cypress – circulatory and invigorating.
Eucalyptus – mild anti-oxidant.
Fennel – digestive and stimulating.
Frankincense – calming, uplifting and grounding.
Geranium – beneficial for all skin types.
Geranium Bourbon -
Hyssop – is detoxifying and cleansing.
Immortelle – skin tonic and rejuvenator.
Inula -
Juniper -
Laurel -
Lavender – a balancer for mind, body, spirit.
Lavender makes this hydrolat ideal for all skin types.  Its gentle nature also makes it
safe to use on children, calming them and temper tantrums.  Lavender hydrolat also
makes a refreshing room spray.

Lavender Spike -
Lime Blossom – promotes mental creativity.
Melissa – cleanser for all skin types.
Melissa can be used to lift despondency and despair.  It can be used on its own or in a
mix as a skin clarifier.Myrrh – in the bath for softer skin.
Neroli – tonic for delicate and sensitive skin.
Being astringent makes neroli the ideal treatment for delicate, sensitive and oily skins.  It
can be used as a toner.

Peppermint – cooling if used after shaving.
Pine -
Ravensara -
Rose – helps to remove mental blocks.
Added to the bath, rose hydrolat aids relaxation.  Its mildly antiseptic and cooling
properties make it useful for many applications.  In fact, if rose is used in conjunction
with the hydrolats of lavender and chamomile, you will be able to promote good general

Rosemary – circulatory stimulant.
Rosemary verbenone -
Sage – use as a toner for oily skin.
Sandalwood – beneficial for dry and mature skin.
Santoline -
Savory -
St Johns Wort -
Tea Tree – slightly anti-bacterial and cleansing.
Thyme -
Thyme Thymol -
Thyme – use as linen spray to freshen a room.
Vetiver -
Witch Hazel – for general skin care.

Use hydrolats as cleansers, toners, to make masks
and for facial spritzers.
Spray liberally around pets, cooking areas, bedrooms
and other areas of your environment.
Add up to 50mls to an adult bath and 20mls to a
child’s bath.
Hydrolats can also be used in sitz baths.
Soak a cloth in hydrolat and compress to the body
to soothe.

30196014622 Organic Basilplastic250
30296014639 Organic Chamomile Romanplastic250
30396014646 Organic Cistusplastic250
30496014653 Organic Cypressplastic250
30596014660 Organic Juniperplastic250
30696014677 Organic Geranium Bourbonplastic250
30796014684 Organic Geraniumplastic250
30896014691 Organic Helicrysumplastic250
30996014707 Organic Inulaplastic250
31096014714 Organic Laurelplastic250
31196014721 Organic Spike Lavenderplastic250
31296014738 Organic Lavender Fineplastic250
31396014745 Organic Lemon Balmplastic250
31496014752 Organic Peppermintplastic250
31596014769 Organic St Johns Wortplastic250
31696014776 Organic Myrtleplastic250
31796014783 Organic Neroliplastic250
31896014790 Organic Pineplastic250
31996014806 Organic Ravensaraplastic250
32096014813 Organic Rosemaryplastic250
32196014820 Organic Rosemary Verbenoneplastic250
32296014837 Organic Santolineplastic250
32396014844 Organic Rosewaterplastic250
32496014851 Organic Savoryplastic250
32596014868 Organic Sageplastic250
32696014875 Organic Clary Sageplastic250
32796014882 Organic Thymeplastic250
32896014899 Organic Thyme Thymolplastic250
32996014905 Organic Vetiverplastic250
33050254120028127011Chamomile Roman Hydrolat plastic250
3315025412002829Chamomile german hydrolatplastic250
33250254120028367008Lavender Hydrolat plastic250
33350254120028437007Melissa  Hydrolat plastic250
33450254120028507010Neroli Hydrolat plastic250
33550254120028677012Peppermint Hydrolat plastic250
33650254120028747009Rose Otto Hydrolat plastic250
33750254120028817013Rosemary Hydrolat plastic250
33850254120028987014Witchazel Hydrolat plastic250
3395025412002904Tea tree hydrolatplastic250


Essential oils - clinical properties - The Robert Tisserand Weekend Seminar Warwick May 2012

When Shirley Price and Robert Tisserand made aromatherapy a household word and took essential oils back into hospices and hospitals the cry was, yes interesting case studies but where is the research?  Researchers came together at Warwick University, UK in 1997 in a landmark event.  Now fifteen years on its time to do it again to review the research in the meantime. There is now so much worldwide research on the clinical uses of essential oils and massage from mood enhancement to cancer treatment that we need a guide to it.  On May 12,13 2012 ISPA will be co-sponsoring Aromatherapy Research and Synergy of Essential Oil Constiituents, a weekend seminar with Robert Tisserand.  Venue Warwick University, Radcliffe Building
 Details are on Bookings T:01455 615466.  Cost £180+VAT

The Robert Tisserand Weekend Seminar in Warwick 2012 is Co-sponsored by Shirley Price Aromatherapy.

Shirley Price Aromatherapy Ltd is owned by Ian Brealey and Dr Manjit Jaspal a medical practicioner.

Ian is managing Director and responsible essential oil buying, college events and the factory in Hinckley UK hosts the the famous aromatherapy school the Shirley Price International College of Aromatherapy. 6000 students have taken the accredited Shirley Price Aromatherapy Dipoma which is taught by tutors Jan Benham MIFPA and Sue Jenkins MIFPA, Academic lead and IFPA upgrade, Sara Gelzer MIFPA tutors the Distance learning course for health professionals.

Shirley Price Aromatherapy also supplies aromatherapy products. George Brealey is technical manager. A list of distributors and representatives in 40 countries worldwide can be found on www.ShirleyPrice The founder Shirley Price retired in 1998.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Shirley Price Aromatherapy, Everyday Guide

Everyday Aromatherapy
Using Essential oils safely and successfully
Shirley Price Aromatherapy 2011

Download links, THE SHIRLEY PRICE EVERYDAY GUIDE with pictures



Everyday Guide

Welcome to Shirley Price Aromatherapy.  We hope you will enjoy our Everyday Aromatherapy Guide.  In this little guide you will find, I hope, the answer to many of your questions regarding essential oils, and how to safely use them with success.
What is Professional Aromatherapy?
Professional Aromatherapy is the systematic use of essential oils in holistic treatments that seeks to improve physical and emotional well-being. Essential oils, extracted from plants are thought to possess distinctive therapeutic properties, which may be utilised to improve health and prevent disease.
These natural plant oils are applied in a variety of ways, for example:
• By massage blended in a carrier oil - the most used method
• Adding a few drops to warm bath water (ideally diluted first)
• Through inhalations (this is not advisable for asthmatics)
• Blended into creams/lotions and other plant bases for individual use
An essential oil is an aromatic, volatile substance extracted from a single botanical source by distillation or expression. Essential oils have been utilised in the home as fragrances, flavours and medicines for thousands of years and there are some 400 different oils extracted from plants all over the world.


What is aromatherapy?
About essential oils.  What are essential oils?  What can they be used for?  How can I use them at home?  Are essential oils safe?  Why Organic?
The Essential Oils
Resins and Absolutes
About Carriers
The Carriers
How does Aromatherapy Work
Helping Health Problems
An Aromatherapy Treatment
Useful sources & Information

Aromatherapy today

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote the health and well-being of the mind and body.  It remains of use in the home for common ailments and is the first line of defence against viral epidemic.
In the 20th Century Gattefosse coined the term to describe the use of essential oils for their therapeutic value and his book is still in print.  In fact essential oils have been used to promote health and well-being since ancient times. Their use dwindled when the civilised world learned how to synthesise medicines, which we then thought could take the place of the natural, more expensive article.  One thing you learn about essential oils is how much has been forgotten!  For example extensive trials of essential oils was made in France in the 1960s leading to their vaporisation in hospitals.  Nowadays we read of successful trials in hospitals in the UK in combating MRSA as though this is something new.
Since the 1960’s, we have learned that synthesised drugs and antiseptics are not all they were intended to be and that nature provides a solution that is often more suited to the task.
Gattefosse, upon burning his hand in a laboratory accident, plunged it into a nearby vat of lavender essential oil. He found that the hand healed very rapidly with surprisingly few scars. This led him to begin investigating scientifically the therapeutic value and uses of lavender and many other essential oils.  This work was continued and was led by Keller in Germany, Valnet in France and Marguerite Maury in London, Paris and Switzerland.

About Essential Oils

What are essential oils?  What can they be used for?  How can I use them at home?  Are essential oils safe?  Why organic? These are just some of the questions that occur.
Essential oils are extracted from plants by various processes; normally by steam distilling the plant matter extracting all the volatile constituents.  Some plants generate more essential oils than others.  Eucalyptus leaves contain 10% by weight of essential oils while 10,000 kg of Rose petals are required to generate just 1kg of Bulgarian Rose Otto.
Essential oils can be extracted from many types of plants and from different parts of the plant. One oil may come from the leaves, for example eucalyptus, and another from the roots, for example ginger, another from the flowers, the rose. Each has unique properties which can be utilised very effectively by the human body to aid health and prevent disease.
Most Essential oils have important antiseptic properties; many also fight fungal infections such as athlete's foot or candida, and others even combat viruses such as warts or colds. Plants which contain essential oils are among the most long lived on the planet.  Rootstock of Eucalyptus has been found to be 10,000 years old.  The properties of essential oils are many and varied; they can help many skin conditions and aid the renewal of cells, which is one of the ways in which frankincense helps to prevent scarring; they can be anti-spasmodic, which means they will help to prevent the spasms that cause sickness and vomiting. Some essential oils are known for their menstruation-regulating properties, others for detoxifying the system, thus being helpful in treating cellulite and other toxic conditions.
Of particular importance in this list of useful properties is the fact that all essential oils are normalising. An essential oil takes the body back to it’s ‘normal’ state; it never takes it past this point to cause an opposite condition.
True essential oils are complete in themselves - no part of them has been extracted and nothing has been added. Aromatherapists believe that this untouched wholeness is of paramount importance and that even elements present in tiny proportions play a crucial role. It is the ‘wholeness’ of the oil which gives it its normalising properties
Essential oil used in the food and perfume industries are usually ‘standardised’ by removing some parts of the oil and sometimes adding other ingredients (even synthetics) in order to achieve a uniform standard.
Such oils should never be used in aromatherapy since only the COMPLETE, TRUE oil, taken straight from the still, has full therapeutic value.

The Essential Oils

Some essential oils need care in use and should never be sold over the counter except by an aromatherapist or herbalist who can advise on their use. The oils in this guide are those generally reckoned to be safe in everyday use subject to the safety cautions and contraindications noted.  A patch test of a small quantity of diluted essential oil on the inner elbow is simply and easily done and essential oil labels list the haptens to which a rare allergic reaction can occur.  The therapeutic effect of essential oils oils was first explained by Shirley Price in Practical Aromatherapy first published in 1982 and in greater depth in the textbook Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, also available from
BASIL (Octimum basilicum)/Lamiatae 
Basil is found in many of the warm, temperate climates of the world. This annual herb grows up to 60cm in height, has dark leaves and whorls of pink flowers which give off a powerful aroma. The European sweet basil is produced mainly in France and Italy.
The essential oil, which is distilled from the whole plant, is virtually colourless and has a refreshing aroma reminiscent of aniseed.
Used in inhalation, baths and massage, basil is particularly effective for depression, nervous insomnia and mental strain. In baths and massage, basil can relieve cramps and digestive disorders emanating from nervous tension; it can also be helpful in regulating scanty periods.
Inhalation of basil essential oil stimulates the brain and is most beneficial during long periods of study. Helpful in emotions such as fear, despair and lethargy.
CAUTION: Care should be taken during early pregnancy as basil can be a powerful oil depending in variety of plant.
BERGAMOT (Citrus bergamia - per)/Rutaceae
Bergamots are bitter citrus fruits. The trees were first discovered on the Canary Islands by Christopher Columbus, who introduced them to Italy, which is still the chief area of production. The oil, obtained by expressing the fruit rinds, is a yellow-green colour and has a refreshing aroma.
Bergamot oil is extremely useful in the treatment of digestive problems such as colic, gastric spasms and sluggish digestion. Emotionally, bergamot calms agitation, lifts despondency and balances mood swings.
CAUTION: Because bergamot is a photosensitiser it should never be used on the skin before going into strong sunlight, since pigmentation can occur.
BLACK PEPPER (Piper nigrum)/Piperaceae
The pepper plant is a creeping vine which is found mainly in Indonesia, south east Asia, India and Brazil. The essential oil is distilled from unripe berries which have been picked and left to dry in the sun (where they turn black). It has a warm, spicy odour with a characteristic undertone.
A very important stimulant in the treatment of certain digestive disorders, such as painful dafaecation, constipation, loss of appetite, black pepper essential oil is also effective against colic, food poisoning and indigestion. Its analgesic qualities make is effective against toothache, and muscular complaints. It helps colds and can be used as a sexual tonic.
CEDARWOOD (Cedrus atlantica)/Pinacceae
The trees from which cederwood essential oil is extracted are found across the globe - depending on which particular species is used. Cedrus atlantica grows abundantly in Northern Africa and particularly in Morocca. The oil, which has a sweet, woody odour is obtained by steam distillation.
It has a variety of uses, especially in the treatment of skin-related complaints such as acne, dandruff, alopecia and over-production of oil from sebaceous glands. Respiratory problems like bronchitis, catarrh and coughs can all be helped by the used of cederwood essential oil in preparations. It is said to help prevent nightmares.
Caution: Although Cedrus atlantica contains a ketone, research does not show it to be toxic (as is cedar LEAF oil, derived from Thuja occidentalis). Nevertheless, it may be prudent to use it with care.
CHAMOMILE GERMAN (Chamomilla recutita)/Asteraceae
True chamomile, is a hardy, self-seeding annual herb indigenous to Europe and Western Asia. The plant more commonly referred to by the name ‘chamomile’ is Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).
The flower heads of Chamomilla recutita render a dark blue essential oil under steam distillation. It has a fatty, sweet smell and contains, among other things, an important component known as azulene.
German chamomile is principally anti-inflammatory. It is helpful in the treatment of digestive ailments such as indigestion and gastric ulcers, as well as being indicated for premenstrual syndrome on account of its hormonal properties. Acne, broken veins, inflammation and wounds can all be helped be the careful use of this oil and a compress will work wonders on irritated or broken skin.

CHAMOMILE MOROCCAN (Ormenis mixta)/Asteraceae
Often called ‘poor man’s chamomile’. This oil, extracted from wild plants, somewhat resembles Roman chamomile and is effective for many of the same conditions.
CHAMOMILE ROMAN (Chamaemelum nobile)/Asteraceae
Distilled from double headed flowers it has a light, refreshing aroma. Roman chamomile is both soothing and calming and, with its low toxicity, is very suitable to use on children and babies.
Good for sensitive, dry skin, its anti-inflammatory action soothes irritated skin, eczema, acne, nappy rash and burns. In compresses, baths, application or massage, it helps stomach disorders and restores appetites. Also beneficial for muscular cramps and the inflammation in rheumatism and arthritis. It helps relieve menstrual problems, premenstrual stress and menopausal symptoms.
Roman chamomile is beneficial to frustration, panic, grief and forgetfulness.
CLARY-SAGE (Salvia sclarea)/Labiatae
Salvia means health. Schlarea means clear. Clary is short for clear eye. This beautiful plant is to be found growing high up in the Alps. The oil, which has a strong, distinct aroma, is distilled from the whole of the impressive flowering stem which grows up to 1.5 metres in height. It is an excellent nerve tonic and powerful relaxant.
Clary is helpful for haemorrhoids and varicose veins when used in a carrier. Soothing and regenerative for the skin, it helps to combat cellular ageing and preserve moisture in dry, mature skin by compresses or application.
When used in inhalations, vaporisers, compresses, baths or massage clary sage essential oil has a calming effect, and can help reduce high blood pressure.
Uplifting for depression and excellent for regulating hormones it is consequently most useful for women’s problems such as premenstrual syndrome, irregular periods, infertility and associated irregularities.
Emotionally, clary sage soothes excitability, fear and grief. It lifts despair and helps to prevent nightmares.
CAUTION: Continuous inhalation may cause sleepiness and its use is recommended at the end of the day. Do not take alcohol after a treatment as the effects of the alcohol will be enhanced. NB This plant should never be confused with sage (Salvia officinalis) which has different properties.

CYPRESS (Cupressus sempervirens)/Cupressaceae
Cypress oil is distilled from the leaves, twigs and cones of the Cyprus tree and has a woody, clear and dry fragrance.
In application to the skin, it is astringent and soothing, helping to regulate production of sebum and reduce perspiration, including the feet. Effective in the treatment of varicose veins and haemorrhoids, it can help relieve menopausal spotting and can help staunch excessive blood losses, especially after childbirth.
Cypress essential oil is calming as well as being helpful to nervous debility, soothing attacks of diarrhoea when used in baths or application. Its antispasmodic properties are helpful against cramp.
Cypress is helpful against frustration, irritability and indecision. It is reputed to clear the mind of grief and it certainly induces sleep.
EUCALYPTUS - Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globules)/Myrtaceae
Extracted from the blue gum tree, originally a native of Australia and Tasmania, it is now grown in many sub-tropical climates including Spain, Portugal and China. Although occurring throughout the whole tree, the essential oil is mainly distilled from the leaves.
Eucalyptus globus is a strong, natural antiseptic and is effective against a wide range of bacterial infections. Its decongestant qualities make it ideal for relieving congestive headaches. Excellent for clearing the head, it is universally used for colds, sinusitis and bronchial problems in gargles, inhalations, vaporisers, baths and massage.
In baths, application or massage, relief can also be obtained in many circulatory disorders by cleansing, stimulating and strengthening the kidneys and it is warming to arthritic pain, for which relief can also be achieved by the use of a compress. It is a good insect repellent.
CAUTION: Due to the strength of its cineole content it should not be inhaled on its own by small children.
EUCALYPTUS - Gully Gum (Eucalyptus smithii)/Myrtaceae
Also a native of Australia, this variety of eucalyptus is much gentler than E.globulus, yet most beneficial in action. Some of its effects are similar to those of E.globulus, being analgesic to muscular pain and effective against coughs, colds, asthma and bronchitis because of its decongestant qualities. Unlike E.globulus, it can be used very safely on children.
FRANKINCENSE (Boswellia thurifera, B. carteri)/Burseraceae
This small tree has grown wild in the red sea area and north east Africa since Biblical times. The essential oil, which is sometimes called olibanum, is obtained by the distillation of the resin; its sweet, slightly spicy aroma has a calming effect conducive to concentration and meditation.
When used in baths or massage it helps dry skin and mature complexions and is extremely effective in the treatment of wounds and subsequent scars. It is helpful against coughs, laryngitis, asthma and bronchitis and is an immunostimulant, also relieving depression. A most useful oil emotionally, frankincense soothes anger, irritability and frustration, and relieves grief and confusion.
GERANIUM (Pelargonium graveolens)/Geranaceae
Geraniums are grown commercially in France, Egypt, Morocco, China and the Reunion Islands - the latter being known as geranium Bourbon. Distilled from the leaves the oil has a rich, sweet fragrance.
Geranium oil reduces inflammation in arthritis and is an excellent antiseptic for acne and dry eczema. Its astringent properties are effective in the control of herpes, mouth ulcers, diarrhoea and gastroenteritis, as well as varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
Circulation of the lymph is improved by the use of geranium oil, assisting in the elimination of waste products, therefore it also helps in the relief of fluid retention and cellulite.
Its antispasmodic action is helpful for cramp and its healing action on burns and wounds is well known.  It has been found to be of use in calming overaggressive sporting teenagers.
Used in inhalations, vaporisers, baths, application and massage it alleviates stress and anxiety, and emotionally, it lifts the spirits from despair and lethargy.
GINGER (Zingiber officinale)/Zingiberaceae
The ginger plant is indigenous to the West Indies and the essential oil is won by steam distilling the dried and crushed rhizomes. It has a clear, neutral colour and an aroma similar to that of the spice but without the ‘hotness’.
The main therapeutic use of ginger essential oil is with respect to the digestive tract and its attendant problems and conditions. It is stomachic, carminative, antiseptic and stimulating, and acts as a tonic in the treatment of fatigue and impotence.
Its analgesic and warming properties are also effective in cases of muscular pain, sciatica and rheumatism.
GRAPEFRUIT (Citrus paradise)/Rutaceae
Originating in tropical Asia and the West Indies, the grapefruit tree is now cultivated mainly in Northern and South America. The yellow oil is obtained by cold expression of the peel and has a sweet, citrus aroma.
Grapefruit is a perfectly safe oil due to its non-toxic and non-irritating properties. It is effective in caring for oily skin and acne and helpful in the relief of anxiety, stress, tension and associated headaches, due to its uplifting properties. Circulatory problems such as muscle fatigue, obesity, cellulite and water retention can be helped by regular use of this oil in baths or massages.
Grapefruit oils can be contaminated with pesticides and it is best to use organic oils.
JUNIPERBERRY (Juniperis communis)/Cupressaceae
The juniper is an evergreen tree grown throughout the Mediterranean. The oil is distilled from the ripe berries which are dried immediately after picking (juniperberry oil). Lesser quality oil is produced by adding berries used during the making of gin or by adding the twigs or leaves (juniper oil). The essential oil has a sweet fresh aroma, similar to cypress but sharper.
Juniper oil is neurotonic, helpful in overcoming debility and mental fatigue. It is a very beneficial oil for the urinary system, being a stimulant to the kidneys and therefore an excellent diuretic, helping the excretion of uric acid in gout and rheumatism. High blood pressure problems can also be alleviated, due in part to diuretic properties or the oil and in part its calming effect. Juniperberry oil is helpful for period pains and invaluable when breasts are swollen during menstruation.
Emotionally, it helps to reduce frustration, guilt and jealousy.
 CAUTION: Infrequent use at low concentration (2 drops in 20ml) is advised during the first five months of pregnancy and in cases of sever kidney disease, to ensure that the kidneys do not become over stimulated.
LAVANDER (Lavandula officinalis)/Labiate
This plant is a native of southern Europe and the Mediterranean countries, though it’s a hybrid relation, lavandin, is more extensively grown, yielding more oil per acre and being cheaper to produce. Much lavender available on the market is in fact adulterated lavandin, which has slightly different therapeutic properties.
True lavender oil, which is obtained by steam distillation of the flowering tops of the plant, is non-toxic and has a full flowery aroma. The aroma or lavandin is usually more camphoraceous.
Known for its soothing and uplifting properties, lavender alleviates stress and depression and is helpful for easing headaches and insomnia as well as lowering blood pressure. As an antiseptic, it is effective in the treatment of colds, flu, sinusitis and respiratory problems in general.
Used in masks, compresses, baths or application, lavender promotes healthy skin, heals wounds and is effective in the treatment of acne, eczema, dandruff, nappy rash and athlete’s foot. It soothes burns and insect bits and helps prevent scarring. Can be used safely on young children.
Used in baths, application or massage it gives relief from muscular aches and pains and rheumatism.
Essential oil of lavender has a calming and balancing effect, promotes menstrual regularity, helps pre-menstrual and menopausal symptoms and alleviates thrush.

The Shirley Price lavender thriving in Tuscany, Italy in 2011
LEMON (Citrus limon)/Rutacee
The lemon tree is a native of the East but is now cultivated extensively in Mediterranean countries and the Americas. The essential oil, extracted by cold expression of the peel, is pale yellow in colour.
One of the most useful essential oils, it is most effective in the treatment of digestive disorders as it regulates stomach acidity. Regular use of lemon in baths or massage helps to control acne, greasy skin and herpes. It is also effective in the treatment of verrucas, corns and warts.
Lemon oil is a strong, non-toxic antiseptic for colds, coughs, flu and sore throats when used in baths, gargles or massage. It can bring relief to those suffering with arthritis or rheumatism on account of its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to lower high blood pressure and stimulate poor circulation.  Emotionally, lemon oil relieves guilt and resentment.
CAUTION: May cause dermal irritation on very sensitive skins, especially if exposed to sunlight, as it is a weak photosensitiser.
MANDARIN (Citrus reticulate)/Rutaceae
Originating in China, this evergreen tree grows up to six metres high, bearing shiny, waxy leaves, fragrant flowers and fleshy fruit. Mandarin oil is obtained by cold expression of the peel; it is pale orange in colour with a very sweet, citrus aroma.
Mandarin has excellent calming properties, being particularly good for insomnia and excitability, when used in application, baths or massage. It is also a good digestive oil for stomach pains, indigestion and constipation and has a stimulating effect on the stomach and liver.
Due to its gentle action it is ideal for use on children and pregnant women. Fluid retention, obesity and fatigue can all benefit from the use of mandarin oil, and like lemon oil can relieve guilt and resentment.
MARJORAM, SPANISH (Thymus mastichina)/Labiatae
A variety of thyme and not in fact true marjoram, this plant yields an essential oil which has a sharper aroma then true marjoram oil and different properties.
Used in inhalations, vaporisers, compresses, baths, applications and massage, Spanish marjoram helps to alleviate bronchitis, asthma and respiratory problems in general, due to its anti-catarrhal properties.
CAUTION: Take care when buying marjoram oil to look at the botanical name, to ensure getting the one whose effects you need.
MARJORAM, SWEET (Origanum majorana)/Labiatae
A native of Europe and central Asia, this plant yields a sweet smelling essential oil under distillation of the leaves and flowering heads. The oil’s warm and soothing properties were well known to the ancient Egyptians, who used it for healing and overcoming grief.
Sweet marjoram is calming and comforting to the mind, helpful in the treatment of tension, anxiety, irritability and hysteria. It is effective in alleviating headaches, reducing insomnia and lowering blood pressure.
The warming, analgesic and antispasmodic properties of sweet marjoram are effective in reducing menstrual pains, and alleviating arthritis and rheumatism. It also regularises thyroid activity.
CAUTION: Origanum majorana contains different chemical components from Thymus mastichina and if the Latin name is not given when purchasing, it will almost certainly be Spanish marjoram (see above), whose effects are not the same as those of sweet marjoram.
MELISSA (Melissa officinalis)/Labiatae
Originating in southern Europe, but quite common in Britain, Melissa is a small perennial herb. The oil is distilled from the leaves before the plant flowers and has a fresh, sweet, lemon fragrance. Pure Melissa oil is rare and costly, consequently it is most frequently available in a mix, giving the effects attributed to the lemon-smelling oils from which the mix is made, not of true Melissa.
True Melissa eases digestive disorders such as indigestion and nausea, it is used is compresses or inhalation. It helps relieve anxiety, headaches, tension and insomnia; it also lowers high blood pressure and relieves palpitations.
An excellent oil for women, baths, application and massage will ease painful periods and PMS and by its hormonal action it regulates the menstrual cycle, which can assist conception. True Melissa can also relieve eczema and other skin problems by its anti-inflammatory action.
It is soothing and uplifting to the mind, only low concentrations being needed to reduce irritability or lift despair and lethargy.
MYRRH (Commiphora myrrha)/Burseraeae
Myrrh essential oil, obtained by steam distillation of the crude resin, is pale yellow and has a warm, musky balsamic aroma. Soothing, healing and anti-inflammatory, it helps mature complexions and numerous skin problems such as athlete’s foot, eczema, ringworm and nappy rash, to name but a few.
When used in inhalation, baths or massage, myrrh is effective for respiratory disorders, giving relief to asthma, bronchitis and colds. In gargles it soothes mouth ulcers and sore throats.
NEROLI (Citrus aurantium amara – flos)/Rutaeae
The bitter orange tree is grown mainly in Northern Africa and Spain. It bears small, white, star-shaped flowers at the leaf axils. Neroli is the name given to the essential oil of the bitter orange flowers, which are hand picked just as they are beginning to open. It is obtained by steam distillation and has a unique bitter/sweet odour with a spicy undertone (‘Orange blossom’ oil is an absolute, obtained in the same way as rose absolute).
Neroli is extremely helpful in the treatment of many types of skin problems such as varicose veins, broken capillaries and irritated patches. The essential oil has particular therapeutic benefit in nerve related disorders such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia and excitability.  Outside aromatherapy, neroli is used extensively in the manufacture of colognes and toilet waters.      
ORANGE BITTER (Citrus aurantium – per)/Rutaceae
Both the sweet orange tree and the taller, bitter orange tree originate in China. The former is grown extensively in America and also many Mediterranean countries.
The essential oil is obtained by cold expression of the ripe outer peel. The sweet oil has a fresh, fruity aroma while the bitter oil has a more delicate, dry and floral characteristics. Both oils are non-toxic.
Used in gargles, mouthwashes, compresses and massage, these oils are excellent digestive stimulants, improving the appetite, helping constipation, dyspepsia, flatulence and mouth ulcers.
Bronchitis, asthma and hay fever can be helped by inhalation, baths or application, as can dull and oily skins. Both are good oils to combat insomnia and relieve nervous tension be regular use in inhalations and baths and by massage on tense muscles.  Bitter orange oil is useful in relieving frustration, irritability and nightmares.
CAUTION: Neither orange oil should be used on very sensitive skins immediately before being exposed to strong sunlight, as they are weak photosensitisers.
PATCHOULI (Pogostemon patchouli)/Labiatae
Patchouli is a small, leafy shrub which grows mainly in the Far East – Indonesia, China – and on the island of Madagascar. The essential oil is obtained be steam distillation of the young leaves, which are first dried. It is a dark, viscous oil with a strong balsamic odour and spicy undertones.
Patchouli oil is particularly helpful as an immunostimulant, when it is a valuable tonic used in massage, inhalation and baths. It is also effective in the treatment of damaged skin, especially cracks, sores, wounds and scars.
It is also helpful against haemorrhoids and varicose veins and its anti-inflammatory action calms inflamed skin and eczema.
Emotionally, patchouli balances mood swings, reduces irritability and lifts despair and despondency. 
A ‘base note’ in perfumes, mixed with Almond oil it makes an attractive perfume.
PEPPERMINT (Mentha piperita)/Labiatae
A product of northern temperate climates, the best peppermint plants grown elsewhere in the world originated in Mitcham, England, and are known as Mitcham peppermint. The essential oil is distilled from the whole plant and its sharp, refreshing aroma is easily recognised.
Used in gargles, compresses or application, it is highly effective for treating sickness and nausea; it also relieves acidity, heartburn, diarrhoea, indigestion and flatulence. Respiratory problems such as coughs and colds, sinusitis, throat infection, asthma and bronchitis can be relieved effectively by the use of peppermint in inhalations, baths or application as can congestive headaches.
Its cooling and cleansing properties help soothe itchy skin and inflammation when well diluted, which makes it helpful in the treatment of varicose veins and haemorrhoids. Essential oil of peppermint used in baths, application or massage, encourages menstrual regularity; and during the menopause, relief can be obtained from hot flushes.
CAUTION: Because of its powerful aroma and effects, the recommended dilution must be kept to, especially during pregnancy (see paragraph 5, page 39). Keep eyes closed when inhaling (not recommended for small children). De-terpenated oil is often sold as whole peppermint oil; this is not suitable for aromatherapy.
PETITGRAIN (Citrus auantium amara – fol)/Rutaceae
Petitgrain is the name given to the essential oil won by steam distillation of the leaves of the bitter orange tree. Such trees are cultivated on a large scale in Italy, Paraguay, Brazil and Northern Africa. When the leaves are distilled with flowers, the oil is named ‘Petitgrain over flowers’, whose wonderful aroma can approach that of neroli oil. The benefits of this special oil are two-fold – see neroli.
Therapeutically, petitgrain is a particularly good relaxant, being calming to the nervous system. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it useful against acne and oedema and it is also antispasmodic.
Emotionally, it is indicated for panic, irritability and resentment and is helpful against forgetfulness.
PINE NEEDLE (Pinus sylvestris)/Pinaceae
Also known as Scots Pine, this hardy tree can be found growing all over Europe and Russia, especially in the colder upland regions such as Scandinavia and the Baltic States. The essential oil is distilled from the needles, twigs and cones. It has a fresh, resin-like odour and is pale yellow in colour.
Because of its inherent antiseptic qualities, pine needle essential oil is an excellent air antiseptic and can be used with good effect in cases of infection, particularly those of the respiratory tract such as bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis. It is also helpful against influenza.
Urinary tract infections like cystitis and renal infections can be relieved by the used of pine needle oil and it is also indicated for general debility and fatigue. Its anti-inflammatory action makes it a useful oil for arthritis, gout and rheumatism.
ROSE OTTO (Rosa damescena)/Rosaceae
Rose otto is obtained from the petals of the rose by steam distillation, requiring several kilos of petals to yield a few ml of oil. It is the essential oil of rose, also known as ‘attar of roses’, which should be used in aromatherapy, rather then the absolute, which is not true a true essential oil.
Therapeutically, rose otto is a safe all-rounder. Because of its antiseptic properties, it is effective in healing skin disorders such as cuts, wounds and other skin problems.
Rose otto is valuable against debility and depression. It is especially indicated in woman’s problems, including irregular periods, PMS, womb impurities and sterility.  Emotionally, rose otto is helpful against where anger, jealousy or guilt are affecting the health.
Because of its low toxicity and strong antiseptic qualities, rose otto is ideal to use on children. (see also rose absolute)
ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis)/Labiatae
A native of the Mediterranean region, this romantic herb yields its oil from the flowering tops under steam distillation.
Stimulating and decongesting, rosemary oil promotes blood circulation, particularly to the brain, so clearing the mind, relieving tension and giving a feeling of well being. Its antiseptic properties relieve coughs, colds and flu. These qualities make it beneficial to the skin and help to prevent dandruff and hair loss.  Its use in compresses, application or massage is particularly effective for indigestion, flatulence and constipation.
Rosemary can be effective in regulating the menstrual cycle; its hormonal effects are conducive to conception and helpful before the menopause. Its gentle analgesic properties relieve general aches and pains, sprains and arthritis when used in baths, application or massage.
CAUTION: Rosemary oils with a high camphor content are best not used regularly or at concentrations exceeding 2 drops in 20ml during the first five months of pregnancy or by people who suffer from high blood pressure.
SANDALWOOD (Santalum album)/Santalaceae
The sandalwood tree is a native of India; the name Santalum is of Latin origin and later used in Sanskrit, the ancient Hindu language which flourished in India well into the 19th century.
Sandalwood essential oil is distilled from the wood, mainly from the heartwood and roots but also from off cuts and chips, after the best wood is used for furniture making. Its sweet, woody aroma is most pleasant and therapeutic.  Being antiseptic, calming and soothing, it relieves sore throats, dry coughs and chronic bronchitis.
Used in compresses, application or massage, sandalwood is beneficial for dry, mature or wrinkled skin. It therefore helps in the treatment of dandruff and eczema, relieving many allergenic skin conditions.
Important in the treatment of genitor-urinary systems, essential oil of sandalwood helps in the treatment of infections, including cystitis.
Sandalwood is effective for digestive disorders such as heartburn and nausea, especially morning sickness. It is cardiotonic, assisting in circulatory problems such as haemorrhoids and varicose veins, which are soothed by compresses or application in a carrier (see page 35). It is also a sexual tonic.
An emotionally balancing oil, sandalwood calms agitation and panic, lifts despair and controls mood swings.
TEA TREE (Melaleuca alternifolia)/Myrtaceae
Originating in Australia, the tea tree has been used for its oil for centuries by the aborigines – the early settlers are reputed to have used he leaves to make ‘tea’. The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation.
The Tree is a powerful antiseptic, with the advantage of being non-toxic, and its aroma is an effective insect repellent.
When used in gargles, mouthwashes, inhalations or vaporisers, it is a most effective bactericide, alleviating intestinal infections and bronchitis. Tea tree also gives relief to mouth ulcers, calms diarrhoea and relieves gastroenteritis.
It is cooling and antifungal properties are effective against athlete’s foot and nail bed infections. Relieves boils and rashes, soothes sunburn and encourages healing of open wounds. Used in sitz baths, douches, baths or application, essential oil of tea tree helps to clear vaginal thrush.
Tea tree oil and Eucalyptus should not be used on pets as cat and dog livers are not adapted to eliminate the terpenes they contain and toxicosis can result
THYME, SWEET (Thymus vulgaris)/Labiatae
This herb, cultivated throughout Europe, is a small, creeping plant with delicate flowers and leaves which yield essential oil under steam distillation. Unlike red thyme, sweet thyme essential oil contains a high percentage of alcohols and is very pale in colour with a sweet aroma.
Sweet thyme is a good general stimulant, lifting depression, and is a powerful antiseptic with a long list of indications, among them asthma, rheumatism, insomnia, flatulence, hypotension, colds and flu and hair loss.
It is gentle in action, making it safe to use on children.
Sweet thyme is of great importance in balancing emotions, from anger to grief and jealousy; very powerful for coping with mood swings.
SPIKENARD (Nardostachys jatamansi)/Valerianacea
Closely related to valerian, this plant is often called ‘false’ valerian. It is one of the oils mentioned in the Bible, both in Old and New Testaments. The most important therapeutic use of spikenard essential oil is a sedative, (valerian was a blue print for vallium) and it can be used to treat a variety of nervous disorders.
Spikenard is antispasmodic against digestive problems, such as convulsions and intestinal colic. Decongesting to the circulation, it is helpful in reducing varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
VETIVER (Vetiveria zizanioides)/Poaceae
This perennial grass is native to tropical Asia. It is now cultivated in Indonesia, Brazil, Angola and the Far East. The clear, yellow essential oil is extracted from the dried root by steam distillation.
Vetiver has excellent antiseptic and tonic properties, being useful as an immunostimulant and in the treatment of acne and other skin infections. It is also helpful for irregular periods and is a tonic to both the liver and pancreas.
YLANG YLANG (Cananga odorata)/Annonaceae
Ylang ylang trees are natives of the Far East, Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. The essential oil, won by steam distillation of the yellow flowers, is a pale, watery colour with an aroma which is a perfume in itself. It is divided into several qualities for perfumery purposes; the best for aromatherapy is the complete oil, when available.
Ylang ylang essential oil is an effective sedative, indicated for high blood pressure, restoring equilibrium to hyperpnoea and tranquilizing to tachycardia. Because it is antiseptic, ylang ylang essential oil is helpful against intestinal infections, and also acne.
Interestingly, ylang ylang has been cited as an aphrodisiac capable of countering impotence and frigidity.
Emotionally, ylang ylang is helpful against irritability, despair and forgetfulness.
Resins and Absolutes
BENZOIN (Styrax benzoin or S. tonkinensis)/Styraceae
Benzoin resinoid is produced form a thick, red-brown resin which exudes from the wounded bark of trees native to Thailand (formerly Siam) and Sumatra; the best qualities have a soft, vanilla-like aroma.
Benzoin is primarily an antiseptic and a stimulant, but is also used as an expectorant, clearing the respiratory tract of surplus mucus and so improves breathing. Helpful against urinary infections like cystitis, benzoin also relieves nervous tension and stress. It is excellent, when used in a carrier lotion, at relieving chapped, cracked skin.
JASMIN ABSOLUTE (Jasminum grandiflorum)/Oleaceae
The jasmine bush is widely cultivated in Spain, Northern Africa, India and Southern France. Jasmin oil is not an essential oil, but an absolute, extracted from the small, white flowers by using a solvent. The genuine oil has a rich, sweet, floral odour with a delightful herbaceous undertone.
Jasmine is valuable in the treatment of nervous disorders such as apathy, depression and nerve debility as it is both sedative and uplifting. Use only high quality jasmin; poor qualities can affect sensitive skin due to the chemicals added during production.
ROSE ABSOLUTE (Rosa centifolia)/Rosaceae
Like jasmine absolute, rose absolute is not an essential oil, sine it is derived by solvent extraction. It is a deep yellowy orange colour and has a typical rose odour with sweet undertones.
Its therapeutic are similar to, although not as concentrated as, those of rose otto (page 26), but caution is needed on sensitive skin because of the way it is produced.

About Carriers

Anything that ‘carries’ an essential oil into the body is known in aromatherapy as a carrier. The carrier in inhalation is air; in the bath it is the water; in massage it is the vegetable oil. If essential oils are added to a lotion or cream for self-application, then each of these is acting as a carrier. Vegetable oils, macerated oil and white lotion are the most common carriers for application to the body.
Aromatherapy carrier oils, unlike those used in cooking, have not been heated, refined, bleached or re-coloured, all of which destroy the natural properties. These cold pressed, unrefined oils are best, as they retain all their natural, vital and beneficial properties which, although not as powerful as those of the essential oils, are still desirable in a treatment. A whole body massage will require about 10-15ml of carrier oil and only 4-6 drops of essential oil.
A non-greasy lotion is invaluable for self-application, where an oil may be unnecessarily greasy. A lotion is absorbed immediately, leaving grease-free, smooth skin.
It is vital that the carrier is of an equally high quality as the essential oils which you use, as it makes up at least 95% of the mix and can dramatically affect the quality of the blend.

The Carrier Oils

Sweet almond oil is one of the most useful carrier oils and is excellent for the protection of the skin, being emollient, nourishing and softening.
These oils are similar to each other and are rich in vitamins. Natural moisturisers, they are excellent for feeding the skin, and are immediately absorbed.
A rich oil, invaluable o add to a base vegetable oil at 10-25%. It has healing properties, and is rich in lecithin and vitamins A, B and D. Avocado oil is expressed from the dried fruits, which gives it its natural deep green colour. In cold weather, it may sometimes appear cloudy, indicating that the oil has not been refined and is therefore of good quality.
A highly beneficial oil, pressed from the seeds, evening primrose is useful for dry, scaly skin. Rich in vitamins E and F and in GLA (gamma linoleic acid), this excellent natural moisturiser has a regenerative effect, helping to maintain the natural softness and suppleness of youthful skin.
The oil has a lovely light texture leaving the skin satin smooth. It is a good base for bruises and skin problems.
Mostly available as a refined oil, grapeseed is very fine, light, odourless and colourless. It penetrates the skin, leaving a smooth sating finish.
A very rich oil, good for dry skin. It contains proteins, vitamins and minerals and is often added to other carrier oils (from 10-25%) because of the natural preservative powers due to its vitamin E content.
A synergistic blend of grapeseed, avocado and wheatgerm, which penetrates the skin easily. The added wheatgerm helps the keeping qualities whilst the avocado enriches the mix.
CALENDULA (Macerated in sunflower oil)
A vegetable oil, usually sunflower oil, is used to absorb the healing properties from flowers. The resulting oil has a very beneficial effect on the skin, relieving eczema and protecting against chapping and cracking.
HYPERICUM (Macerated in olive oil)
(Also known as St Johns Wort)
The flowering tops from the plant are macerated in olive oil, producing a highly beneficial deep red oil. The colour comes from the buds which stain the fingers red if pressed between them. Hypericum oil is excellent for use on the skin as it is soothing and antiseantiseptic, and healing to burns and bruises.
JOJOBA (Liquid wax)
Jojoba is obtained from the jojoba nut and is a very beneficial oil for all types of skin conditions, especially oily and problem skins. It lubricates and protects without blocking pores. Being a wax, it has an extremely long shelf life.
LIME BLOSSOM OIL (Macerated in sunflower oil)
The flowers of the lime blossom are used to make relaxing tea. The oil is also relaxing, aiding sleep. It is effective in fighting mature skin and wrinkles.
MELISSA (Macerated in sunflower oil)
The second cutting of Melissa is used to make this oil which is useful in the treatment of headaches and dry, mature skin. With the addition of the appropriate essential oils its benefits are increased, especially for ‘heavy legs’ and cellulite.
A unique product based entirely on natural vegetable products, this lotion has been especially formulated for aromatherapy as a perfect carrier for essential oils. Easily absorbed, this fine light lotion is ideal when a carrier oil is though to be too greasy or inconvenient. It is absorbed readily into the skin, leaving a completely non-greasy, smooth feeling. The lotion has excellent keeping qualities and can be enriched by the addition of up to 25% of calendula or another carrier oil thought to be beneficial.

How does aromatherapy work?

Aromatherapy works in two ways:
Essential oils vaporise readily and can therefore enter the body via the air through the nose and bronchial passages. Adding a few drops of essential oil to a tissue, a bowl of hot water, or to a warm bath, releases the vapour, which is then inhaled. During massage there is also a degree of inhalation as the oils vaporise due to body heat.
An aroma can have an immediate effect on the mind and the body. Tiny hair-like extensions of the brain at the top of the nose detect all aromas, which are rapidly interpreted by the brain. The faster the stimuli can reach the brain, the faster the effect will take place.  Just 20 molecules can stimulate the limbic brain.  Less is more!
Essential oils are absorbed through the skin directly to the bloodstream via carriers such as water (baths, compresses), vegetable oils, lotions and creams (application and massage). Compresses are the most effective way to absorb essential oils.
Traditionally in this country essential oils have been used hand-in-hand with massage, which utilises another important sense – that of touch. People who are not well, or are stressed, benefit simply by the touch of another human being. Old people and people suffering from diseases such as cancer can benefit enormously from the power of touch; in fact we all can. Touch in itself brings us closer to others and immediately helps us to de-stress, making an aromatherapy treatment a double benefit to a person’s health.
Although the effects of using a single essential oil are beneficial to the health, the synergistic effect of using 2-4 essential oils adds considerably to the improvement shown; it also ensures that an oil needing care in use is not over used, as it is proportion will automatically be substantially reduced.  Safety first.  To avoid irritation or toxicosis the total number of drops used should not exceed those given below. 

Helping Common Health Problems

Using two or three oils together usually increases the benefits received.
The vast majority of essential oils are uses in food, flavouring, perfumes and in the home first aid kit to treat common ailments using the esthetic and antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties of essential oils.  Research has confirmed using three essential oils together results in a synergy which makes the mix more effective.  Here are some recipes for home use
All pure essential oils are ready for use in the following ways:
Inhalation and vaporisation
Essential oils are a first line of defence against a viral epidemic, to repel insects, for coughs and congestion and for meditation.  It is particularly pleasing to create a festive mood by diffusing oils at Noel.  Families sometimes find it difficult to express their feelings and essential oils can help.
A few drops (6-8) on a paper tissue or in a basin of warm water (not asthmatics).
Room Freshener
Put 10-12 drops (with water) onto a small bowl in a warm place, i.e. radiator shelf or on a paper kitchen towel on the radiator itself. As an attractive alternative and for use in the summer months, use and efficient oil burner.

An anti infectious blend – Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Teatree

An insect repellent – Cedarwood, Citronella, Basil (1 drop)

For meditation – Frankincense, Cypress, Juniper

For coughs and congestion – Benzoin, Pine, Eucalyptus

Add 5-10 drops of oil to the water when the bath is full.  No more than 5 drops for children under 12.  1 drop of lavender for babies.  Always check the specific safety data in this guide or online before using a new oil.

A stimulating morning bath – Rosemary, Juniper, Peppermint

A relaxing evening bath – Chamomile, Lavender, Rose

A sensual bath – Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Jasmine

A bath for aches and pains – Lavender, Rosemary, Marjoram

Gargle or Mouthwash
Use 2-3 drops in half a cupful of warm water; stir well before each gargle.
Foot and Hand Baths
4-5 drops in half a cupful of warm water; steep for 10 minutes. Follow with application (below).
Massage or Skin Oil Application
15 drops in 50ml carrier oil like sweet almond oil or grapeseed or white lotion to be massaged into the affected area. (For single applications use 2-3 drops in one teaspoon carrier oil or white lotion.)

An oil for muscular tension – Marjoram, Rosemary, Blackpepper (1 drop),

An oil for cellulitis – Fennel, Geranium, Juniper

An oil for nervous anxiety – Lavender, Neroli, Clary Sage

A rejuvenating facial oil – Rose, Neroli, Frankincense

Massage can be applied to the whole body or to specific parts eg the shoulders for muscular tension resulting from poor posture or driving, the stomach for indigestion.
A light touch called the ‘M’ technique for hospital and hospice care has been developed by Jane Buckle involving 5 minutes touch to the hands and feet.


Pour just enough hot water (or cold, depending on the problem) into a bowl to be soaked up in the size of cotton compress chosen (experience and practice will soon make it easy to determine the quantity necessary) and add 4-8 drops of essential oil. Squeeze slightly, apply and cover with clingfilm, then a warm scarf (or ice pack). Leave for two hours.  A compress is of great use in clinical aromatherapy as 75% of the essential oil is absorbed by the skin compared to 4% absorbtion in a massage blend.
Neat Application
Neat application to the skin should be avoided but it is safe to use Lavender (just a drop) on wounds, bruises and scars.  Some people (about 1% of us) are sensitive to essential oils and should avoid them.  Check the oil label to which haptens you might be sensitive.  Avoid oils which can cause irritation and patch test for irritation by a putting a diluted drop on the inside of the elbow.  In the rare case that irritation occurs wash with warm water immediately.  For coldsores, burns and wounds use from fingertips once or twice only, followed by application (above) at regular intervals.  Take care not to over apply tea tree to fungal infections of the foot and toenails however tempting it may be.  Tea tree and Eucalyptus should never be applied to cats and dogs as their livers are not adapted to plant material.
1 teabag. 1½ pints boiling water. 2-3 drops essential oils, stir well. Remove teabag. Drink 1 cup 3 times daily and/or at bedtime.

Today the sense of smell or touch is so undervalued that those who encounter aromatherapy for the first time get a sense of great enthusiasm as they reconnect to their environment. In personal use aromatherapy can help
  1. Relieve stress
  2. Treat minor first aid cases like warts, burns and stings
  3. Treat and normalise different skin types like oily, eczema or acne skin
  4. Relieve the symptoms of hayfever and sinusitis
  5. As everyday cosmetics
  6. To help prevent and treat common ailments
  7. For sports injuries and to support exercise programs
  8. As a preventative measure to ward off infections and maintain health and vitality in body and mind
  9. To create a fragrant and hygienic environment
  10. A personal perfumes enabling you to create your own signature perfume or to match your mood
I use the word can because nothing is certain.  Essential oils vary from field to field and season to season and our bodies have individual reactions to their constituents.  This variation is the secret of their power and success but it means they are not medicine.
To gain the benefit of aromatherapy certain cautions should be borne in mind:
  1. Avoid Rosemary if you have high blood pressure as this stimulating oil raises blood pressure
  2. Avoid Citrus oils if you are sensitive to them.  Do not go out into sunlight or use a sunbed for 2 hours after applying citrus oil to the skin
  3. Do not use essential oils at home to treat medical or psychological problems which require medical attention or an appointment with an aromatherapist.
  4.  Undiluted essential oils should never be used neat on the skin (unless in an emergency for such things as burns, bruises, wounds etc.).
  5. Do not take essential oils internally unless under the supervision of a suitably medically qualified person.
  6. Do not use essential oils on young babies under one, although a baby massage with carrier oil or a drop in the bath of lavender is safe.
  7. Keep essential oils away from children and out of eyes.  If essential oil gets in the eyes flush with milk which will dissolve the oil.
  8. Check for contra-indications to any oils for specific conditions such as pregnancy, sun-bathing or any major health problem you may have, and if your choice is contra indicated; do not use essential oils on a regular basis or in a concentration of more than 2%.
  9. Store in dark bottles away from light and heat.  Discard after the manufacturers sell by date as the contents will have oxidised.
  10. Buy essential oils from a reputable supplier such as members of the Aromatherapy Trades Council and Soil Association.
NB: Most contra-indications are based on the over use of concentrated oils on a regular basis on the skin or by ingestion. When used as recommended in most aromatherapy books (i.e. in a controlled manner) the amounts used do not constitute a hazard. Aspirins, carrots and vitamins, if consumed in large quantities, are also contra-indicated for good health!


Mix your own perfume in a little bottle and put 6 drops:
a)      onto a small cotton wool ball attached to your underclothes,
b)      in a teaspoonful of carrier lotion to apply to the skin.  Jojoba or Evening Primrose oil or Argan make ideal carriers for your favourite perfume mix.  Dab the mix on the wrists, neck and behind the ears

Refreshing scents – Geranium, Bergamot, Juniper, Palmarosa

Relaxing scents – Lavender, Cedarwood, Neroli, Rose

Aphrodisiac scents – Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Patchouli

Anaphrodisiac scent – Sweet marjoram

An Aromatherapy Treatment

In a typical aromatherapy session, the aromatherapist will ask questions about previous medical history, general health, nutrition and exercise as well as a person’s lifestyle. This will help the practitioner decide which essential oils are safe and the most appropriate for the individual. The ultimate experience of the combined effects of smell and touch is the professional aromatherapy treatment, which is unsurpassed in the field of complementary medicine for relieving stress.
What more could you ask of a health giving treatment than one which releases the most wonderful aromas, at the same time relaxing and healing the body!  The aromatherapist will select two or more essential oils to help you emotional and physical state as well as your symptoms, and will offer appropriate advice for home treatment.  After selecting and blending appropriate essential oils, the aromatherapist may apply the oils in combination with massage or suggest other methods if massage is unsuitable. A specialised massage technique which relieves tension, drains lymph fluid and improves circulation, will help to rejuvenate the body, removing aches and pains and generally promoting balanced, good health. Most aromatherapists then carry out a facial treatment to help general congestion and problems such as acne, blackheads, or excessive dryness.
Regular 4-6 weekly treatments (together with self-help home treatment using oils mixed specially for you by you or your aromatherapist) will keep your mind relaxed and your body healthy and in good condition.Aromatherapy treatments are effective against stress, depression, arthritis, asthma, period problems, cellulite and many more conditions.
Localised and chronic conditions like sinusitis, bronchitis, leg cramps etc., can be alleviated by local massage from an aromatherapist, and/or advised home treatment using specially selected oils. Minor problems respond well to aromatherapy used at home together with a reliable book. HOWEVER, if you have an acute or serious problem, SEE YOUR DOCTOR.
Aromatherapy is thought to produce both psychological and physiological effects and is mostly used for stress and stress related conditions. Aromatherapy is used in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals and hospices.
Choosing a practitioner
It is important to choose a qualified practitioner who has undertaken all the necessary training to understand the theory and practice of aromatherapy.

Useful sources and information

There are a great many useful books on aromatherapy of interest to both students of aromatherapy and practitioners.  This is my bookshelf at home with the books I use day to day.  Books can be readily obtained at  Many students of the Shirley Price aromatherapy diploma are authors, practicioners, tutors and researchers in their own right.  It is particularly delightful when alumni return to the Shirley Price International College of Aromatherapy as tutors of the Shirley Price Aromatherapy Diploma.
Two important books for students are The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (Battaglia 2003) and Clinical Aromatherapy (Buckle 2003)
Practical Aromatherapy by Shirley Price
This book is ideal for the beginner as it explains all aspects of aromatherapy including massage techniques, showing how to blend pure essential oils to suit different purposes and how to proceed with the basic steps of massage. It is an extremely useful, easy to read reference for self-help aromatherapy in the home.
Aromatherapy for Common Ailments by Shirley Price
This beautifully illustrated book is a pleasure to use. It contains detailed properties and uses of twelve best known essential oils with particular emphasis on how to treat the most common minor and chronic ailments at home.
Aromatherapy Workbook by Shirley Price
This excellent book extends the knowledge gained from the most basic aromatherapy guides. It includes information on plant families and explains what effect the natural chemical constituents have on the body and mind. Safety in use is also discussed.
Aromatherapy for Health Professionals by Shirley Price and Len Price
This textbook of aromatherapy is aimed specifically at the health professional working in the community or hospital. It covers both theoretical and practical aspects of aromatherapy

ISPA, the International Society for Professional Aromatherapy maintains a register of over 6000 holders of the Shirley Price Aromatherapy Diploma who work in complementary therapy, beauty spas and sports. ISPA is dedicated to aromatherapy research, authorship, education and cultural exchange worldwide. International Seminars are open to all qualified aromatherapists and students. ISPA is not aligned to any particular national register or body of active and insured practicioners. ISPA's international activities are supported by Shirley Price Aromatherapy Ltd and its qualified distributors in 40 countries worldwide.
  When Shirley Price and Robert Tisserand made aromatherapy a household word and took essential oils back into hospices and hospitals the cry was, yes interesting case studies but where is the research?  Researchers came together at Warwick University, UK in 1997 in a landmark event.  Now fifteen years on its time to do it again to review the research in the meantime and showcase the work done by Jane Buckle and her colleagues in particular.  There is now so much worldwide research on the clinical uses of essential oils and massage from mood enhancement to cancer treatment that we need a guide to it.  On May 12,13 2012 ISPA will be co-sponsoring Aromatherapy Research and Synergy of Essential Oil Constiituents, a weekend seminar with Robert Tisserand.  Venue Ardencote Hotel, Warwick, UK Details are on Bookings T:01455 615466.  Cost £180+VAT
The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), which is supported by the Department of Health and the Aromatherapy Council, can help when choosing a practitioner. We ensure that all aromatherapists on our register have trained to the national standards of practice in aromatherapy and the Aromatherapy Council Core Curriculum. The CNHC has established a voluntary register for complementary healthcare practitioners who all meet the required levels of competence and practice.
Further information and registered practitioners can be found on the CNHC website
Federation of Holistic Therapists
The Federation of Holistic Therapists is the largest and leading professional association for therapists in the UK and Ireland.  With thousands of members offering a braod range of specialisms –from sports and remedial therapies to complementary healthcare and holistic beauty treatments
Aromatherapy Council
The Aromatherapy Council has evolved to become the Lead Body for the UK aromatherapy profession and the ‘Voice of Aromatherapy’ and supports the work of the UK regulator for complementary therapies, the CNHC.  It is responsible for reviewing and updating the Aromatherapy Core Curriculum which, along with the National Occupational Standard for Aromatherapy form the standard for aromatherapy regulation with the CNHC.
Members of the Aromatherapy Council
Aromatherapy and Allied Practicioners Association – AAPA
Association of Physical and Natural Therapists – APNT
British Register of Complementary Practicioners – BRCP
Complementary Therapists Association - CthA
International Federation of Aromatherapists – IFA
International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists – IFPA
International Holistic Aromatherapy Foundation – IHAF

Shirley Price Aromatherapy has had a 37 year association with IFPA.

International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists
82 Ashby Road
LE10 1SN
T: 01455 637987
Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Products
Aromatherapy Trades Council
PO Box 219
Market Rasen
T: 01673 844672

Shirley Price Aromatherapy Ltd
The Old Factory
8 Hawley Road
T: 01455 615466  F: 01455 615054

Shirley Price International College of Aromatherapy
Rosie Brandrick, Secretary
8 Hawley Road
T: 01455 615466

Other training providers can be found on

Shirley Price trained Aromatherapy tutors and authors
USA                                                                            Switzerland                       
South Asia                                          UK & Canada
Eire                              Germany           Scotland (Sue Jenkins trained with Patricia Davis)