Valerie Gennari Cooksley is one of my favorite aromatherapy and natural health care authors. I have used her book “Aromatherapy: A Lifetime Guide to Healing With Essential Oils” as my main aromatherapy reference book for many years. It’s the most thorough manual I’ve found and she explains what can be a complicated subject in an easy to understand way. She is a certified aromatherapist and registered nurse. So, she tends to focus on how aromatherapy can help us heal our bodies.
The book has simple aromatherapy recipes for common ailments as well as recipes for skin care and bath rituals. She stresses that the book is a guide to using aromatherapy to complement conventional medicine, not replace it. I like this balanced approach because for common health concerns, home remedies can offer effective relief and/or soothe symptoms. More serious issues should always be taken to a doctor. Most of the book focuses on aromatherapy remedies for the digestive system, respiratory system, circulatory system, muscles and joints, and eye, ears, nose, and throat issues. There are also remedies for children, women’s issues, skin care, bath and spa treatments, and “psycho-aromatherapy” blends to aid with mood and memory.
In the introduction, she says that she hopes “you will find it [the book] so practical and easy to use, it will be found in your kitchen, bathroom, and/or bedroom, stained and scented with essential oils and worn and tattered from frequent and enthusiastic use.” This has truly been the case for me because the essential oil reference guide and the blending how-to section have been invaluable to me.