Book reviews, Holistic Health Care, Self Care

Essential Oils for Mindfulness and Meditation by Heather Dawn Godfrey, PGCE, BSc


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Like many people, I got into essential oils a few years ago and I am still learning about them.  But I have experienced their power.  I have been having a bad day, in a bad mood and diffused Eden’s Garden Sunshine Spice and found that my mood improved and it turned my day around.  I have diffused Thieves or Fighting Five  when I felt a cold coming on and woke up completely fine the next morning.  I have used DiGize from Young Living (I will only ingest Young Living oils) when I had an upset stomach and it went away quickly.  My husband doesn’t like to use medicines, but he has allowed me to rub Thieves and oregano oil on his feet when sick and diffuse eucalyptus and balsam fir and found he felt much better.  So, we have become believers in essential oils.  I have thrown away my Yankee Candles and replaces them with diffusers and we diffuse whatever oils we think we need or that appeal to us.

I attempt to have a meditation practice.  Lately I have not been that great about it, but when I saw this book, I thought it might inspire me to starting practicing meditation again and it did!

I loved the chapter on Mindfulness.  I found it very informative and helpful in understanding what mindfulness is and how it helps us in our daily lives.  I also found the chapter on how our bodies absorb and utilize the essential oils to be fascinating.  I used some of the relaxation techniques.  I did, however, find the chapters on nutrition and food to be out of place in a meditation and mindfulness book.  I would have liked to see more practice techniques, maybe a section on practice techniques and essential oil blends for anxiety, for peace, for calming, for jet lag, etc.  I thought the presentation was too text-heavy and would have been better with more graphics and illustrations.

I found the chart about where essential oils are stored in the plant to be fascinating–this is information that I have not seen in any of the other essential oils books I have looked at or own.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Inner Traditions Healing Arts Press for my copy to review in exchange for my honest opinion.



5 star reviews, Health, Holistic Health Care

Complete Wellness: Enjoy Long-Lasting Health and Well-Being


5/5 stars


by Susan Curtis, Pat Thomas, Julie Wood, Fran Johnson and Fiona Waring

I have always been interested in holistic health care.  I don’t like taking a lot of medicine and I always feel that if I can take care of something at home, I would rather do that.  I am fascinated by old home remedies and how many maladies were treated at home using herbs and tinctures.  Many of the women in my family feel the same way; my husband’s stepmother is an herbalist as was her grandmother whom she apprenticed under; my husband’s mom was a hippie who always had a ton of books (many of which I inherited) and always kept a cabinet stocked with dried herbs, tinctures and home remedies.  My mom, who was trained as a nurse, has always found natural healing fascinating and gave me one of her favorite books, Prescription for Nutritional Healing over twenty years ago, when I was a newlywed!

We go to the doctor for annual physicals and if there is something really wrong that we don’t think we can take care of at home.  I have seen a naturopath for my allergies – – and I was not just given an antihistamine, but was cured from my allergies!  After having an ulcer for many years, I cured it at home by drinking cabbage juice once a day for two weeks straight–it was putrid and I did projectile vomit once, but it did work.  How do I know it worked?  Because drinking orange juice or having anything acidic used to feel like someone was stabbing me in the gut.  Now I can drink huge glasses of orange juice, eat salsa and spicy foods.

My Review:

This is actually THE BOOK that I have been looking for for years!  It lists conditions and which herbs, essential oils AND FOODS can help.

I love that this book incorporates food as a part of a holistic health plan.  What we eat is so important and should, in my opinion, be considered part of a holistic health plan.  Food is medicine.  We can prevent so many conditions just by eating the right foods or avoiding certain things like a lot of salt, sugar or processed foods.

I love the very simple page on How Herbs Heal.  The different types of herbs Mucilaginous, Adaptogens, Carminative, etc. are laid out and very simply explained.  Mucilaginous herbs help with inflammation; adaptogens help the body deal with stress; carminative help with gastrointestinal issues.  Essential oils are also explained in terms of type – antimicrobial, antispasmodic, toning, etc.

There are detailed explanations on making tinctures, macerated oils, decoction.

There were holistic suggestions of eating disorders, such as the herbs oat straw, chamomile and ashwagandha; the essential oils rose, bergamot and ylang ylang; fermented foods, fibre, milk and bananas.  I have never seen eating disorders and specific instructions for anorexia and bulimia in a book of this kind.  Yet my personal experience with having an eating disorder is that by following a whole food, plant based diet, and eliminating processed foods, I don’t have the feeling that I overdid it and need to purge.  I believe it is something in the processed foods that made me feel that way.

I am putting this on my Christmas list!!  I have other books like this, but none that add food as an element of healing and I think that is a critical element.  Our bodies require certain nutrients and our modern diet is often lacking some of those nutrients, thus we end up with issues but by knowing what ailments respond to which nutrient we can heal ourselves without ingesting a lot of supplements (I view supplements similarly to medicine–only if absolutely necessary).  The information on food is not something I have seen in books before, therefore I am giving this 5 stars.

From the Publisher:

Enjoy long-lasting holistic health and prepare natural health remedies for common ailments with essential oils, herbal remedies, and pure foods.

Complete Wellness delivers a head-to-toe guide to healing for every part of your body. Targeted instructions allow you to tap into the restorative powers of herbs and plants and their therapeutic essential oils and use tried-and-true, centuries-old herbal remedies to treat a host of common ailments.

In addition to healing remedies, the book explores the key building blocks for optimizing health and well-being in each part of the body, pointing you to the top herbs, nutrients, and essential oils each area needs not only to stay well, but to reach the very peak of wellness–whether to boost circulation, enjoy glowing skin, balance gut flora, or maximize energy levels. Guidance is given on incorporating ingredients into everyday regimens, helping you to stay in optimal health.

Follow step-by-step demonstrations on how to blend your own teas and tinctures; concoct all-natural-ingredient creams; create therapeutic aromatherapy oil blends; discover delicious recipes for wellness; and master a variety of other practical techniques and tips for lifelong well-being. Make the most of nature’s resources with Complete Wellness.


Book reviews, Chakras, New Age

The Ultimate Guide to Chakras by Athena Perrakis

3/5 stars


My Review:

I know some people might not believe in chakras and find it all a bunch of malarkey.  I was always intrigued by the idea.  Then, last year, a friend and I did a Chakra Yoga Challenge with Journey Junkie.  After the second day, she called me crying and we sat there and both realized we were emotionally a mess.  We needed self-care bad and we had been warned that a lot of emotions could come up when activating this chakra.  We both experienced it.  We were raw.  We had to take care of ourselves.  Over the next few days, as we activated the other chakras and aligned them, we felt better than we ever had.

I also had the opportunity to take an Energy Healing workshop that was amazing!  If you ever have the opportunity to take one and you are at all inclined — just do it, don’t hesitate!  We learned about our chakras in that workshop and we worked through healing them and aligning them.  We learned about positive and negative energy and people, thoughts and actions that can zap that energy.

All of this is to say that I have some experience with chakra and there was nothing new or exciting in this book.  I didn’t care for the way it was laid out.  It felt like a textbook, very wordy with a lot of words on each page, not a lot of diagrams or drawings to keep your interest as is the current trend in non-fiction. The exercises were good and well-thought out and easy to follow and I did appreciate that the author included which gemstones, essential oils and herbs went with each chakra and how to use them.  I also appreciated the mantra for each chakra.  The introduction of tarot I found to be almost off-topic, tarot can be it’s own book.

From the Publisher:

With The Ultimate Guide to Chakras, tune in to your chakras, the power centers connecting your physical body and the world of energy.

Your chakras are the power centers that translate between the seen world of the physical body and the unseen world of energy. First discussed in ancient Hindu texts and studied for thousands of years in numerous spiritual traditions, including acupuncture, meditation, and yoga, chakras hold the key to our well-being. By tapping into the power of our chakras, we can live healthier, balanced, and more abundant lives.

Athena Perrakis, leading metaphysical teacher and creator of the world’s largest online metaphysical resource website,, addresses the nine major chakras we can tap into to balance, heal, and manifest. This guide explains how and why different crystals, essential oils, and sacred plants help to support each chakra.

Each chapter of The Ultimate Guide to Chakras includes magical exercises for accessing the energy of each chakra, including meditations, journal exercises, and working with goddesses and spirit guides. Readers will even learn how to create a dedicated chakra altar. Lavishly photographed and illustrated, this guide promises to be an essential volume for beginners and experienced energy workers alike.