Book Review: Essential Living by Andrea Butje

Like many of you, I love books about aromatherapy and natural healing. So, Andrea Butje of the Aromahead Institute, made my day when she was kind enough to forward me a copy of her new book, "Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health & Home." An excuse to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and a brand new collection of recipes! And as I've been recovering from a nasty bout of the flu this week, it couldn't have come at a better time. This is a lovely book; I can recommend it wholeheartedly, especially for those new or fairly new to working with essential oils. It's extremely practical which means you can pick it up, browse through it and feel inspired to pop up and follow one of the recipes in the book. Andrea, an aromatherapy educator, starts off with a brief introduction to aromatherapy and moves along to the basic principles of blending, caring for your oils and starting your collection. This is a particularly nice feature of this book. It's so easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of possibilities in aromatherapy. By listing a basic beginning set of essential oils, carrier oils and tools, she makes starting SO much easier. And her advice on beginning to create your own blends in so sensible and easy that it makes the process (which can be daunting!) seem fun and doable. From here, the book is divided up into chapters by type of recipe. She includes recipes for making sprays, cleansers (even grout cleaners!) for the kitchen and bath, recipes for beauty and the skin, and recipes for healing. Included are bath salt recipes, massage oil blends, diffuser blends, steam inhalations and more. She also includes emotional healing blends (I'd particularly like to try the 'Energizing Diffuser Blend' right now!), a chapter on using essential oils with children (yes, with more recipes). What else? Blends for the office, for the outdoors, for pest control, and travel. Although the book is only 88 pages long, it packs in a LOT of information. This isn't a reference on the properties of essential oils, but a very practical and inspiring collection of recipes and tips on making your own blends. Highly recommended!

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