Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple: God's Love Manifest in Molecules

Overview

This solidly scientific book is anchored in scripture and easy to understand. It will give you an appreciation of both the scientific and spiritual bases of healing by prayer and anointing with oils.
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Overview

This solidly scientific book is anchored in scripture and easy to understand. It will give you an appreciation of both the scientific and spiritual bases of healing by prayer and anointing with oils.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780934426992
  • Publisher: N A P S A C Reproductions
  • Publication date: 4/28/2005
  • Pages: 725
  • Sales rank: 302,780
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 2.04 (d)

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  • Posted April 1, 2010

    Too many inaccuracies

    David Stewart has degrees in mathematics, physics, and geophysics, but apparently not chemistry, and this book is replete with errors. There are innumerable mis-spellings of the names of chemicals. Both saponins and tetraterpenes are listed as essential oil constituents, but neither type of chemical is found in essential oils, and there are simple chemical reasons for this. Terpinen-4-ol is an alcohol, not a phenol, a blunder that most aromatherapists would spot, and bergamotene is a terpene, not a furanocoumarin. Stewart has clearly copied mistakes from other sources, without realizing they were mistakes. l-Limonene is quite often given instead of d-limonene, and methyleugenol has curiously disappeared as an essential oil constituent altogether - it's not mentioned in any of the oils it is actually found in. Furanocoumarins are frequently cited that may indeed be present in the plant but are not found in the essential oil.

    The author has made a valiant effort to list the components of 113 essential oils, but the method he uses - combining data from various books - is highly risky. The end result is said to represent a "typical" essential oil, but is rather hit-and-miss, and in many cases does not represent any existing essential oil at all. Some of the cited constituent data are highly atypical and some of the total percentages add up to more than 100%. Not exactly good science.

    Stewart is highly critical of what he calls the "British School" of aromatherapy, because it espouses the idea that some essential oils can be dangerous, and because, according to Stewart, it relies "on scientific research on animals". However, he does take on board the idea that some furanocoumarins are phototoxic. He perhaps does not realize that phototoxicity in essential oils is almost entirely based on RIFM research using pigs. He also criticizes the British for "usually applying only certain compounds isolated from essential oils rather than the whole oil." It is difficult to fathom from where he plucked this outrageous notion. The French, on the other hand, can do no wrong, and are loudly praised. However, much of the "French" information about essential oil constituents that Stewart cites is based on animal research.

    There is a massive amount of information in this book, but there is not a single scientific reference to back up any of it. The book perpetuates the myth that any dangers of essential oils (apart from phototoxicity) only apply to what he calls "perfume grade" oils, which apparently British aromatherapists like to use. I'm not sure then, who buys all the independently certified organic essential oils sold in Britain.

    Good effort, mediocre result.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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