Dr E. Joy Bowles

Will the Real Aromatherapy Please Stand Up?

Aromatherapy is an unusual modality, in that its active components, the essential oils, can be used in so many different ways. Few other pharmaceuticals can be inhaled, dermally applied, ingested in capsules and applied as suppositories. I will explore the different ways of using essential oils for the psyche, skin and medicine with reference to my book “Dr Joy’s Aromatherapy,” focusing on what we know about the evidence-base for each modality, and safety issues we should consider. As many people use essential oils at home, without training, and without reference to a professional aromatherapist, this presentation will provide a useful overview of using essential oils effectively and safely.

Dr E. Joy Bowles is best known for her contribution to the understanding of essential oil chemistry in the aromatherapy community. With her Organic Chemistry background, she developed the first course in essential oil chemistry in Australia in 1991. The third edition of her book “The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils” (2003) is still used as a text in many aromatherapy courses around the world.

In 2007 she gained her PhD on the effect of essential oils on cognitive function in dementia, and then took a break for motherhood. In 2017 she re-entered the aromatherapy world as an online aromatherapy science educator. You can see Dr Bowles in the Netflix docu-series “(Un)Well” speaking as an essential oil science author and educator in Episode 1: Essential Oils. She lectures for the Tisserand Institute, and also has her own platform where she hosts the iconic Aromatherapy Journal Club, teaching people how to read and critically evaluate aromatherapy research.

Not a therapist of any sort, but a PhD with Bachelor of Science in Organic Chemistry and Cell Biology.

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