"Throw away the crutch of knowledge and use the Knowing..." Thomas Elpel.

The Power of Plant Oils is a forum for learning about the therapeutic use of essential oils.
This 13 module course is a means of acquiring the knowledge and experience so you can KNOW the properties
and uses of the plants and their oils.

Please read this blog from the bottom up and check out previous posts to the right under Blog Archives.

Outline and Purpose of This Course

The Power of Plant Oils


To prepare the student to take and pass the certification examination offered by Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy and to take and pass the aromatherapy examination offered by The Aromatherapy Registration Council.

To provide an in-depth understanding of essential oil science and the art and science of Holistic Aromatherapy.

To provide a multi-dimensional experience of a variety of genuine, authentic, pure essential oils and to contrast them with lesser quality, synthetic, and/or adulterated “essential oils”.

To offer the student the knowledge and confidence to use high quality essential oils therapeutically for themselves, their families and friends, and the general public.

Course outline:

Module I – Introduction to Essential Oils

This module includes basic information about aromatherapy; how and why plants produce essential oils; the history of essential oils; history and practice of distillation; environmental concerns; storage of essential oils, and organoleptic testing.

 Module II - Materia Medica

In this module, we will cover the format used in the essential oil monographs; terminology; the importance of using correct botanical names; countries of origin; The American Botanical Council; the biology of essential oils. There will be in-class testing of eo samples.

Module IIi – Quality, Purity, Synthetic vs. Pure and Natural Oils and Chemotypes

This module covers essential oil quality concerns; synergy; terms; quenching; extended and synthetic oils; organic standards; chemotypes; and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. There will be in-class testing of eo samples.

Module IV – Essential Oil Safety

This module will cover conventionally accepted views of eo safety including skin patch testing.

Module V – Blending

This module covers the orchestra of essential oils; a recap of the importance of synergy; perfumery – the history and attributes of aromas; the language of scent; formulating a blend; how to make infused oils; base oils; and perfumery and eros. There will be in-class testing of eo samples.

Module VI – Chemistry and Mapping

This module will be very full and is divided into two parts. Part A  will cover basic essential oil chemistry, including the properties of common constituents; and functional groups. Part A will involve in-class testing of eo samples. Part B will include a brief review of Part A and finish the remaining chemistry components. We will also discuss Dr. Schnaubelt’s system of Structure-Action diagrams.

Module VII – Smell and Olfaction

This module includes the anatomy and physiology of olfaction; more on perfumery; and the effects of essential oils and Bach Flower Remedies on emotions.

Module VII – Skin

In this module, we will discuss the anatomy and physiology of the skin; base oils; skin care; recipes for skin ailments, and the basics of soap making. We will also review the concepts of phototoxicity and photosensitization.

Module IX – Liver, Kidneys, and Lymphatic System

This module covers the anatomy and physiology of these organs; conditions and holistic protocols particular to these organs; and cleansing and elimination therapies.

Module X – Massage and Body Work

Included in this module are the basic concepts of massage, with a demonstration of strokes; Raindrop Technique; Reflexology and Vita Flex; using eo’s with body work; when not to massage; draping and privacy; and the muscular system. We’ll also cover some massage blends.

Module XI – Research and Practice

This module addresses research in eo use; consulting and legalities; how to conduct intakes and aromatherapy sessions; record keeping requirements; what is a healing crisis and what should you do about it; not treating disease.

Module XII – Practical/Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils

This module will review application methods and cover the following: how to work with infections, respiratory complaints, gynecological conditions, wound healing, and detoxification along with formulae to address these concerns. We will also cover some non-therapeutic uses of essential oils. There will be a short wrap-up of the class and time for questions.


A graduation dinner to honor your achievement in completing this rigorous year of study. Family and friends would be welcome to join us – just remember that the cost for this dinner is not included in the fee for the class.