Aromatherapy Thymes

History says that Cleopatra seduced both Mark Antony and Julius Caesar with herbal perfumes, including lavender, jasmine, and rose. Never a girl to take half-measures, Cleopatra anointed her body with lavender oil, which drove the Romans wild. She even scented her barges with it, so Antony would catch a whiff of his lover before actually seeing her. According to "Rome," the HBO series, Antony, a hunka hunka burning love, is exiled to Egypt by the newest Caesar, think Doogie Howser with an S&M fetish. There, he falls for The Divine Miss C. It's a shame the launch issue of Aromatherapy Thymes didn't put Cleo on the cover. Nothing trumpets the success of aromatherapy like doing the horizontal shuffle with beefcake.

There are many lavender tips here, though none of the sensual variety. Instead, lavender is recommended for several woes, including insomnia, anxiety and migraines. For the first, AT suggests adding three to five drops of oil on your pillow. If you're worried or stressed, inhale and apply to the temple. My sedative of choice is Australian shiraz; grapes, like eucalyptus, are totally natural.

However, if you want to explore the art and science of aromatherapy, you've come to the right place. The definition: a branch of botanical medicine using aromatic plant compounds to treat various conditions. There are two applications: smelling and topical. While the wonders of essential oils, like tea tree, geranium, lemon and rosemary, are touted as antiviral and antibiotics, do your homework. Geranium, which has been used to heal cuts since Greek times, is also found in facial treatments to slow the aging process. Alert Price Club. This is the ultimate bulk buy.

Caveat: the publisher says information is not to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Fair enough. But can we drop the "thymes" in the title? It's a tad precious, like Anderson Cooper crying on camera. The advice, courtesy of many holistic health veterans, sounds interesting and genuinely helpful, and the magazine is terrific at explaining aromatherapy's history and usage. Does it work? I hope so. I'd prefer celebs addicted to geranium rather than diet pills. For openers, it would be far less terrifying to witness in the weekly tabloids, which have created a whole new photo specialty: deformed stars.

Also, given the eco-pressure we've all been under since Al Gore won an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize, the mag's focus is decidedly holistic. The departments -- "Aromatherapy," "Whole Health Living" and "Food & Entertaining" -- push a healthier lifestyle. Articles tout eco-friendly clothes -- organic cotton, hemp and eco-fleece -- and recycled fabrics. Hemp is durable and warmer than cotton. Woody Harrelson sounded goofy when he promoted it, but it's a viable option.

AT also supplies a "Where to Shop" list. The ads, like the stories, reflect a respect for Mother Earth. The one for asks: "Vegan shoes? Humane veal?" Please. The veal, I mean. I'm not wearing carrot shoes. No one looks good in orange.

But I was taken aback by this line: "Many blame their health problems on a gene, a virus, toxins in the workplace, stress, everything but their own choices. Doing so shows a lack of understanding self, nature ..." Excuse me? This is the New Age equivalent of blaming the victim. Discounting toxins, stress and genetics isn't naïve, it's dangerous. Author Deborah Barr thinks health is just a matter of aligning our mental, physical and spiritual elements. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid! We're all savvy to the importance of diet and exercise, but environmental pollutants, never mind family pathologies, are real.

How about adopting the eclectic approach? We utilize nature's gifts, get regular check-ups, hit the gym. Smell is a powerful experience. But unlike one writer, who longs to replicate "the sweet, musky smell after a desert rain," I'd like one that produces the smell of success. It would boost the mind and spirit, and with a little luck, swell my wallet with nature's loveliest shade: green.


Published by: Willoughby Publishing

Frequency: Quarterly

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