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Home Page > Aromatherapy Books > The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils


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The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils
Author: E. Joy Bowles
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Academic
Copyright: 2004 (3rd Edition)
ISBN: 1-74114-051X
Number of Pages: 236
Dimensions: 5 5/8"w x 9"h x 5/8"d

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The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils is a practical and enlightening resource that introduces the reader to the science and chemistry of essential oils. Written in easy-to-understand language, The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils should be considered as a resource for students and practitioners who want a deeper understanding of the chemistry and constituents behind the essential oils commonly used in holistic aromatherapy. This book will also appeal to aromatherapy enthusiasts who have no background in chemistry. Offered as a paperback, the dimensions of the book make it more convenient to handle than traditional hardcover textbooks.

E. Joy Bowles works in Australia and this work was published there (See the About the Author section below). Some topics and statistics are presented with an Australian audience in mind (i.e. statistics offered within the A brief overview of the essential oil industry section of the book).

Book Description As It Appears on the Back of the Publication:

The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils offers a practical approach to understanding the chemical functional groups and pharmacological actions of essential oils.

in this extensively revised and updated third edition of her popular book, E. Joy Bowles takes you, step by step, through the fundamental chemistry of aromatherapy and explains the powerful effects essential oils have on the body at a molecular level.

The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils includes:

  • Useful chemical diagrams and easy-to-follow explainations
  • Essential oil extraction methods and techniques for quality control
  • Reference charts of the effects of essential oils on pharmacological targets and the major components of 89 essential oils

About the Author as Described on the Back of the Text:

E. Joy Bowles BSc Hon, has taught the chemistry of essential oils to aromatherapists in Australia and America since 1991. In 2001 Joy developed an on-line course for The Australasian College of Herbal Studies in Oregon, USA. She has also taught at the highly regarded Nature Care College in Sydney and run workshops for the International Federation of Aromatherapists. She co-founded the Aromatherapy Research Group (TARG) in 1997. Joy has a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Education at Griffith University. She has recently been awarded a full scholarship to complete a PhD at Southern Cross University, NSW, where she will conduct research into aromatherapy for aged care.

Contents of The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils:
(The book's Table of Contents is more comprehensive than the below main-category summary.)

  • List of Illustrations
  • List of Tables
  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • 1. What is Chemstry?
    • Atomic theory of elements
    • Types of atoms found in essential oils
    • Bonding
    • Symbols, formulae and chemical drawings
    • Further reading
  • 2. Plants and Essential Oils
    • Plant classification
    • Plant anatomy
    • Plant physiology
    • How plants make essential oil molecules
    • Variation in essential oil composition
    • A brief overview of the essential oil industry
    • Further reading
  • 3. Terpenes
    • Physical characteristics of terpenoid molecules
    • Molecular structure and information
    • Monoterpenes
    • Sesquiterpenes
    • Further reading
  • 4. Functional groups
    • Monoterpenols
    • Sesquiterpenols
    • Phenols
    • Aldehydes
    • Ketones
    • Acids and esters
    • Phenyl methyl ethers
    • Cyclic ethers or oxides
    • Lactones
    • Summary of hazardous and therapeutic properties of functional groups
    • Further reading
  • 5. The pharmacology of essential oils
    • Pharmacodynamics
    • Pharmacokinetics
    • Pharmacokinetic pathway of essential oils
    • Interactions of essential oils with pharmaceutical drugs
    • Pharmacological targets of essential oil constituents
    • Enzyme effects
    • Interactions with DNA and developmental processes
    • Cell membrane ion channel effects
    • Receptor interactions
    • Psychopharmacology
    • Summary of health conditions and applicable pharmacodynamic effects of essential oil molecules
    • Further reading
  • 6. Quality control
    • Quality control of essential oils
  • 7. Isomers and naming
    • Geometric isomers
    • Enantiomers
    • Chirality
    • Systematic chemical nomenclature
    • Further reading
  • 8. Molecular structures
    • Common monoterpenes
    • Common sesquiterpenes
    • Common monoterpenols
    • Common sesquiterpenols
    • Common phenols
    • Common aldehydes
    • Common ketones
    • Common esters
    • Common ethers
    • Common cyclic ethers and oxides
    • Common lactones
    • Common coumarins
    • Common furocoumarins
  • Appendix: Ready reference list of essential oils
  • Notes
  • Index

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