The Plant Language Reader, a Short Summary

The reader is not a textbook requiring arduous study. It is a review of established aromatherapy concepts from a 21st century perspective. Importantly, however, it accepts the established idea of explaining the properties of essential oils as a consequence of their chemical components, but then moves beyond this paradigm and introduces ideas of contemporary Biology which explain those qualities which chemistry and pharmacology fail to recognize.

For links to sample pages please scroll down all the way

The Reader, Long Content

Chapter 1) Modern Aromatherapy

A critical review of aromatherapy in the last 30 years, resolving controversies about inflated hazards, undiluted oils, ingesting and other unfounded scares. The chapter addresses important fundamental questions:

What is an Essential Oil
The Safety Issue
Why authentic essential oils are safer

Chapter 2) Authenticity and Efficacy

This chapter discusses the difference between authentic and adulterated essential oils. Especially it explores those layers of activity which are not found in industrial or brokered essential oils.

Chapter 3) How to Apply Essential Oils

Chapter 3 introduces a commonsense approach to the ongoing discussion of how essential oils are used properly. It discusses the relative value and efficacy of topical, internal and inhalation application.

Chapter 4) From Many Origins

This chapter analyzes how influences from different cultural, medical or scientific perspectives all make valuable contributions to the tapestry of ideas that make up aromatherapy
*The early interest in essential oils arose when Rene Maurice Gattefossé wrote about their antibacterial properties.
*French Style Aromatherapy provided scientific credibility by linking the molecular structure of oil components with their therapeutic properties.
*Applying essential oils according to the ideas of Traditional Chinese Medicine gives valuable new impulses to Aromatherapy.
*Cellular and evolutionary biology find scientific proof for many, so far disputed properties of essential oils:

– Stimulation of detoxification by inducing liver detoxification enzymes,
– Inhibition of cholesterol synthesis
– Repairing cell membranes
– Interacting with receptor proteins
– Inhibiting inflammation mediators

*California Style Aromatherapy
In this manifestation of aromatherapy interested lay users often have taken to trying to implement research results in their own day to day use of essential oils by just trying it out. Examples are the developing of experience about the efficacy of Vitex EO for PMS or that of Niaouli to prevent radiation burns or a variety of oils to prevent sundamage.

Chapter 5) Treatment Strategies

The different influences into aromatherapy listed in Chapter 4 lead to different applications based not on one but multiple paradigms.
Improved immune response (according to data researched by French style aromatherapy)
Effective treatments of viral conditions (research turned into practical aromatherapy)
Brochitis treatments (French style aromatherapy),
Candida and cystitis treatments (from french style and California aromatherapy),
Improved Eczema and Psoriasis treatments (arising from combining western and eastern approaches)
Skin regeneration (French/California),
Allergy relief (French/TCM)

Chapter 6) Aromatherapy and Cancer

Debilitating side effects of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments can be eased with essential oils, improving patient survival rates in the process. This chapter features the revolutionary research of Dr. Anne-Marie Giraud-Robert as well as the groundbreaking work of Dr. Pam Taylor on how aromatherapy can be used safely and effectively parallel to conventional cancer treatments. For instance using essential oils to reduce chemotherapy induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV). It also addresses how using essential oils according to the TCM perspective can be useful for cancer patients.

Chapter 7) Autoimmune Conditions

A Chinese medical perspective. Jeffrey Yuen offers a unified concept to understand, ease or resolve auto immune disease.

Chapter 8) Why Essential Oils Work

Before introducing the new biological perspective in Chapter 9, this chapter gives a brief summary over the results of classic, pharmacological research. It presents the important discoveries made  by
– Paul Belaiche (antibacterial effects)
– Hildebert Wagner (sedative and spasmolytic effects)
– Rolf Deininger (antiviral effects)

and also new research on essential oils for
– osteoporosis
– progesterone and estrogen imbalance
– induction and inhibition of Phase I and Phase II

A section is devoted to understanding the influence of essential oils on liver detoxification enzymes.

Chapter 9) Looking to Nature

Chapter 9 explores essential oil properties beyond the old paradigm of pharmacology and the exclusive focus on active ingredients.  In this chapter the concepts of organicism and evolution are integrated into the concepts of aromatherapy. As plants need to defend against many different attackers, they developed, through the processes of biological evolution, so-called Secondary Metabolites (SM). Secondary Metabolites are a specific class of components in the plant, such as essential oils but also components such as nicotin or caffein, which create changes in the body of an animal or a human. They do this by modifying molecular targets in the cells of the animal or human. From the biological perspective we adopt another novel concept, namely the unrivaled benefits of non-specific effects. In the past we were conditioned to consider the most specific drugs to be most valuable. From biology, however, we learn that to be effective against many different challengers broad activity is required. This was best achieved by essential oils and similar components which have a wide spectrum of activity and are hence effective not only against one specific microorganism or virus but non-selectively a wide variety of disease causing agents.

Consequently a single essential oils does not just have one, but many diverse medicinal effects. Cellular biology tells us that these diverse effects arise from the oil components interaction not with one but multiple targets (for instance membrane, receptors and liver enzymes). The very non-selective qualities of essential oils that have pharmacologists shake their heads in disbelief, are finally recognized as the decisive, evolution engineered advantages of natural multi-component mixtures over single target mono drugs.

Summary topics in chapter 9:

Beyond active ingredients
A quantum leap: organicism
Secondary Metabolites and defensive strategies Molecular targets of secondary metabolites:
– Receptor- and enzyme proteins
– Cell membrane

Evolutionary advantage of multi component multi target essential oils over single target drugs.
Essential oils are effective against bacteria, yeast and viruses at the same time.
Areas of therapeutic SM efficacy
– antimicrobial
– cancer
– Inflammation: Reactive Oxygen Species
– Inflammation: Signal Transduction
– Inflammation Cascade: Cyclo oxygenase, Cytokines, NF-kappa
– Gene expression

Chapter 10) From Evolutionary Biology to Aromatherapy

Biological activity in essential oils arises from their ability to modify molecular targets such as membranes or receptors in attacking micro organisms and viruses. In aromatherapy we utilize this ability to our benefit by using the oils to defend against these same micro organisms. But since evolution never is a one way street, humans also had an evolutionary response to essential oils, they developed enzymes which were capable of removing these plant Secondary Metabolites from our organism: so-called Cytochromes or Liver detoxification enzymes. Many of the non-specific benefits of essential oils are a result of the triggering of Liver Detoxification Enzymes.

Summary topics chapter 10:

Clinical benefits from liver detoxification enzyme induction
Removing carcinogens
Inhibiting tumor growth
Benefits we do not even know
Essential oil life style promoting the full potential of health


Pharmacology cannot show essential oil efficacy
Metaphysics of information
Limiting aromatherapy with science
Science claims the act of creation
The role of sensory impact

Reader Sample Pages

By clicking on the links below you can view some sample pages from the Reader

Aromatherapy and TCM

Using EO for cancer patients according to Dr. Giraud-Robert

The Science behind antitumor effects of EO

Classic research on anti-viral properties of EO

Why natural multicomponent mixtures are different

The evolution of Phase I liver detoxification enzymes