Advisory Team

Marketing Terms – Guest Post, Martin Watt

In the middle 1990’s, the new trade organisations in the UK, the EOTA and Aromatherapy Trade Council (ATC), organised two meetings with an adviser to the Medicines Control Agency. The MCA had started to flex their muscles over medicinal claims which were banned way back in 1969, but which many aromatherapy outlets were ignoring. At this meeting, participants were given a list of terms that it was agreed we could use in trade literature relating to essential oils. It was made clear at that meeting that no words could be used which related to the physical medicinal uses of essential oils, unless the condition referred to was classified as a ‘normal life event’ such as morning sickness, birth, menstruation, menopause, etc. Many members of the Aromatherapy organisations attended that meeting. Most of them have more or less complied with these guidelines.

Permitted words:


Additional terms:


Relating to colds and catarrh: IDEAL DURING COLDS SEASON

This was a list of some of the permitted terms allowed in the UK in the past, but may not be the same in the USA.

Martin Watt


FOOTNOTE: One of the benefits of Membership in the AEOTA, will be guidance documents, verified by the FDA, regarding acceptable cosmetic marketing terms for essential oils. You have questions, we will have answers…

Sylla Sheppard-Hanger

sylla-sheppardSylla Sheppard-Hanger is the Founder/Director of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy in Tampa, Florida. She brings twenty years of experience and personal research into the practice of Aromatherapy and the power of essential oils. Her fascination with this subject has led her to study with the most knowledgeable people in the field of aromatic and medicinal plants, essential oil research, herbology. In 1993, she completed the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Program, Purdue University, Indiana, and continued to complete the International Training in Essential Oils: Advanced Studies – Parts 1 & 2 (1996-7). She was a founding member of the American Aromatherapy Association (1988) and served two terms on the Board of Directors. Sylla has been an active past participant in the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), and is the Former Chair of the Safety Committee. She actively participates in setting up national standards in education for aromatherapy.

After the September 11th tragedy, Sylla volunteered with the Carolina Emergency Relief Massage Team whose four deployments helped over 3500 people through chair massage and aromatherapy donations collected thru Sylla’s efforts that they were able to use and give away to relief workers. During this time she formed the United Aromatherapy Effort, Inc (UAE) a non-profit charity whose mission is collection and dissemination of donated aromatherapy products to those affected during critical incidents and emergency work. The UAE also supplied Floridians after hurricanes in 2004, and the team worked in Biloxi, MS after Hurricanes Katrina/Rita 2005. At prestent the UAE, Inc. supplies NATO soldiers in Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan.

A licensed Cosmetologist/Esthetician (since 1969) she is also a Natural Health Care Practitioner/Licensed Massage Therapist (since 1979). Sylla has taught aromatherapy (from introductory through advanced studies) since 1988. She has developed comprehensive educational programs which are presented throughout the USA and the Institute is a Continuing Education Provider (Boards of Massage) for the state of Florida. She is the author of The Aromatherapy Practitioner Correspondence Course and The Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual, a complete reference book of over 350 aromatic plant extracts, with phytochemical, clinical and botanical indexes. She was editor and publisher for Tony Burfield’s Natural Aromatic Materials-Odours and Origins (2000). Most recently she began publishing a series of books: the SBS Series, beginning with the Aromatic Spa Book (2007) and the Aromatic Mind Book (2008). Since 1996, Sylla has been involved with Dr.Trevor Stokes of the University of South Florida in an on-going research project titled Psychosocial Aromatherapy Research Project (PARP) using aroma in children with autism and other disorders. Besides writing aromatherapy articles for magazines and journals, Sylla also consults for private-label aromatherapy companies, and others needing help. She volunteers her time and aromatic counseling skills with to local organizations in order to give back to her community. She recently became a Structural Energetic Therapy (SET) Practitioner (for acute and chronic pain); she continues to maintain a private Aromatherapy practice (as a licensed massage therapist and cosmetologist) and now offering Oxygen facials in Tampa, Florida, where she resides with her husband, and two cats.

Martin Watt

Martin Watt - excerpts from his website:

MartinWattFollowing herbal training, I specialised in aromatherapy and essential oils. The trade in essential oils and their chemistry was learnt while working for an essential oils importer and analyst. During that time, many trade contacts were established, and a good inside knowledge of the essential oils and aromatherapy trade.

Years have been devoted to investigating knowledge about plant medicines buried in various reference libraries. Finding scientific literature on the uses and safety issues of essential oils has been a major preoccupation. This was used to produce trade reference manuals and training materials.

I was the first in the aromatherapy trade to investigate in any depth the great importance of skin reactions to essential oils and to publish that information. Earlier aromatherapy authors treated the subject superficially, or tended to concentrate on toxicity issues. My publication ‘Plant aromatics’ was on the market for 18 years until 2010, and sold copies around the word.

My particular interest has always been in finding scientific research that supports ancient healing knowledge, or rejecting traditional knowledge when this is proven inaccurate. That rejection of unsound knowledge has often bought me into clashes with those teaching it as fact which has been common within the aromatherapy world.

All the above equipped me with an ability to judge the value or relevance of information (sorting the wheat from the chaff). Something rarely found in aromatherapy education.

I was advisor on essential oils and aromatherapy to the Institute of Complementary Medicine – UK.

I am an advisor on Education to the International Aromatherapists and Tutors Association in Canada.

In the past I taught aromatherapy classes in the USA, Canada and Korea, as well as trained visitors on private tuition courses.

Several challenging articles of mine have been published in a number of aromatherapy publications and on the Internet.

Compiled referenced research data suitable for medical professionals. Gave advice on treating leg ulcers, bed sores and infected cellulitis to a hospital in Scotland. This included the use of various essential oils and techniques for treating these problems.

Provided assistance and advice to a few aromatherapy authors and vetted training course materials.

Advised companies on product development, and on issues of legislation regarding the sale of preparations containing botanical extracts.

Co-authored the book Frankincense and Myrrh with Wanda Sellar. Now available in a kindle format. Search online for it.

Martin refuses to use social media platforms and therefore can only give advice via the owner of this site, or direct via his own site.

For his complete biography, please visit

Jeanne Rose

Biography of Jeanne Rose, Grande Dame of Aromatherapy and American Herbalism
JeanneRoseJeanne Rose, a California native daughter, is the leading pioneer in the revival of herbal and natural remedies and aromatherapy to maintain good health.  She is also an international authority on the therapeutic uses of herbs, and a well-known teacher of aromatherapy since 1972.
In her work, Jeanne Rose relates herbal & aromatic applications to questions concerning health, hygiene, beauty, women’s care, pet care, as well as the environmental uses of plants, tradition and history, and the uses of essential oils to heal both the mind and the body. She has lectured extensively year upon year “All Things Herbal and Aromatic.” Her aromatic garden is world-famous and has appeared in Herb Companion, Country Gardening, and the Japanese publication Herb. Country Gardens, Spiritual Gardens and others.
She is the author of twenty-five herbal and aromatherapy books, a three-volume Herbal Studies Course™ & Aromatherapy Studies Course-Practitioner Level by Distance-Learning. These courses are accepted by the CA Board of Registered Nurses, and accepted for CEU’s. She holds a Lifetime Credential with the California Board of Community Colleges in Botanical Science; Consumer and Family Education; Marine Sciences and Zoological Sciences. Ms. Rose has a rich background in plant and essential oil use. Recently published is the 2nd edition of her early works, as well as Herbs & Aromatherapy for the Reproductive System and recent books on Distillation, hydrosols, herbal and aromatic therapies for personal health.
With a degree in zoology, graduate studies in herbal and pesticide research, a graduate degree in marine biology, and through her ongoing private and public research, Jeanne is an ‘academic enthusiast’, refining her work on the medicinal uses of herbs and therapeutic values of essential oils through relentless research. She has a world-class personal library containing most of the important volumes in herbal studies and aromatherapy. This 1500-volume library has recently been donated to the Lloyd Library in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jeanne Rose has appeared on television and radio, and has been the national spokesperson for Bath & BodyWorks Aromatherapy. She was aromatic consultant for The Donatello Hotel in San Francisco, and regularly designs original aromatics for her clients.  Humorous and folksy in her writings and has inspired many by her teaching. Books by Jeanne Rose include: Herbs & Things, The Herbal Body Book; Kitchen Cosmetics; Ask Jeanne Rose, The Herbal Guide to Food, The Modern Herbal, The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations, Herbs and Aromatherapy for the Reproductive System, and The Herbal Studies Course TM; The Aromatherapy Studies Course; 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols; World of Aromatherapy; Distillation, How To; and others.
She is the past President of the National Herbalist Association, President Emeritus of NAHA, and is the current Executive Director of The Aromatic Plant Project The mission of the APP is to support local and organic production of aromatic plants; to provide resources for growers and distillers; to ensure high quality aromatherapy products and to educate consumers as to the appropriate and beneficial uses of these aromatic products.
MISSION STATEMENT: Cultivating today for a fragrant tomorrow.
219 Carl Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
PH: 415/564-6785

Kristin Barber

KristinKristin Barber – I have a background in Behavioral Psychology, Graduate of Goddard College in VT with post Graduate work in the same field, emphasis on single case experimental design. I become introduced to Aromatherapy through my work as a Program Director for Intermediate Care Facilities for Adults with severe Developmental Disabilities. During this time, I also worked as a Consultant Behavioral Analyst for several private non-profit agencies. Essential oils were being considered for use in the Day Program where I worked and I took an interest and began reading. I introduced them within this setting, using data analysis to measure outcomes. Some of my behavioral plans, which were reviewed by local Peer Review Committees, involved the use of essential oils.

I initially took a 30 hour introductory course, until such time as NAHA established standards for a curriculum for schools. After they did, I enrolled and graduated from the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, which took me about a year to complete. I began a small home based business selling blends and providing a limited amount of private consultations. My area of applications focused mostly on pain management, psychological and energetic effects of the oils. My wholesale suppliers were Prima Fleur and Elizabeth Van Buren.

My adventures included some of the following:

  • Presented and sold products at East West Pain Center in Hamden, CT.
  • Guest speaker at Southbury Training School on use of Aromatherapy with dementia
  • Presenter at two La Lech League conferences, one workshop with Mid-wives
  • Contributed to newspaper article on using eo’s for “Winter Blues?
  • Presented on the safe use of EO’s at Local Health Food Store “Edge of the Woods? in New Haven, CT and sold products through a number of small stores and outlets
  • Local Garden Club and vendor events

My business lasted for a total of 5 years and I did this while working full time in my profession.

I was an on-line participant with the IDMA group. My final straw came while being asked for a third time to present at a La Leche League conference; I learned that the practice of Raindrop Therapy was going to be demonstrated on a pregnant woman by an obstetrician. When I spoke up about my concerns, it was mutually decided that I would not attend.

I met Janice-Gagnon (co-author of the RDT White Paper) on the IDMA chat forum. We decided to write a detailed research paper on RDT. I was a member of NAHA and I contacted Jade Shutes (her first tenure as President) to ask if we could be an ad-hoc Sub-Committee and draft a position for NAHA. According to Robert’s Rules it was to be voted on by NAHA for acceptance or not. She agreed we could write this. I had also contacted Dr. Barrett of Quackwatch as he was originally going to cover this RDT topic. I offered to send him a copy when completed. This was subsequently included in the Gary Young expose and was in communication with the author, Dr. Eva Briggs with my concerns.

Young’s invention, Raindrop Therapy, (RDT) is recommended at the clinic and by thousands of YLEO distributors.

In RDT, essential oils are dropped in potentially unsafe concentrations onto a subject’s feet and back. An excellent paper by K. Barber and J. Gagnon-Warr, White Paper on Young Living Oil’s Raindrop Technique describes in great detail why this technique is potentially unsafe and does not represent the best use of essential oils.

Jade Shutes, also tried to appoint, David Stewart (a huge proponent of RDT and still to this day) to the Sub-Committee. But after several e-mail correspondences, it became clear to me that he was not objective and could not provide any empirical based evidence regarding his supportive position of this practice. He then dropped out of this effort and went on to publish a series of subjective antidotal experiences of people who had experienced RDT.

After Janice and I finished the White Paper on RDT, it was peer reviewed by several including Martin Watt and Gabriel Mojay. It was then given to Jade Shutes for presentation at the a Directors meeting, to take place at the next NAHA Conference. She refused, to present it, even though I cited Robert’s Rules of Order on the matter. I then sent it directly to every Director of NAHA at the time (about 2001). Janice and I decided that we were not going to let it wither on the vine, so we put it out as copyright free and sent it to several websites in the AT International Community. It then had a life of its own. I was in brief contact with Janice several years later, and she said that it was eventually recognized and NAHA did adopt a one page position on this practice. (This has since been removed from their website, during Jade Shutes’ recent tenure as President of NAHA, and the Safety Committee was disbanded by her as well).

I was extremely discouraged after the paper was written and decided to put my business on a shelf. It was just about breaking even. I decided to walk away and just consider this whole experience a life lesson. My additional studies with recognized Mentors during and after that time included, Therapeutic Touch, Reiki level one, studies in Psychic Energy, initiation into Tibetan Shamanism, and certification and practice as a Laughter Yoga Leader.

My professional career includes work in the field of Disability Rights. I have served on Commissions and was appointed as Executive Board to the CT Council on Independent Living. I also worked for the City of New Haven for close to ten years, as a grant writer, public relations, and Services Coordinator for constituents with disabilities, across disabilities, across lifespan. I was responsible for initiating use of wheelchair accessible taxi cabs that run on natural gas in CT.

Currently, I work as a part time Consultant “Corporate Program Director? providing systems change and Quality Assurance to an agency that serves adults with Developmental Disabilities in Residential and Day Programs in CT. I am semi-retired. I also unintentionally started a band, singing and playing rhythm guitar, in a four piece Classic/Modern Rock and Roll band. (A throw back to my musical roots, as my father was a Ph.D. who taught music theory at Yale University. Music was a part of our family life.)

My re-involvement with Aromatherapy came about (early 2013) when I started participating in social media. It was then I discovered that the RDT paper was not only alive and well, but that the AT field had, in my opinion, gone even beyond my wildest nightmare. I became familiar with the practices and claims that were being promoted by the Young Living Company and now the doTerra, branch off. I joined the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy FB page. Sylla Sheppard-Hanger was asking for a volunteer to compile injury reports. I volunteer and later drafted the first injury report, and participated in efforts to get reporting more widely adopted within existing AT organizations. I minimally participated in the Aromatherapy United effort, as I did come “late to the party?.

At this point, I am an advocate for safe use of essential oils and would like to contribute in any way that is helpful to furthering the advancement of Aromatherapy in the USA. I am not a Stakeholder however. This is both a pro and a con. It puts me in a unique position of not having any conflicting interests, assets to protect or organizational loyalties to defend. I regard myself as being a calm-headed, empirical minded, envelope pushing, individual who often uses humor to point out the absurd or accept that which is beyond control. I will offer an honest opinion and ideas if I think it will be worthwhile. If not, I will listen and observe the process unfolding. I contributed to the fund raising campaign as I am in support of its goals. I will help when appropriate. The only website I currently maintain is for “Knot A and my FB page reflects this interest as well. Sometimes, I quote song lyrics, but I would like to summarize and encourage this group with a quote by Theodore Roosevelt. It comes from a preface to a journal in which I was published for my efforts at deinstitutionalization for persons with chronic schizophrenia, Special Issue on Sociopolitics, Oxford Press, “Analysis and Intervention in Developmental Disabilities?, 1983.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.?

PS. I realize the first paragraph of the RDT White Paper needs revision, as Jeanne Rose correctly pointed out. (Wished I had known you back when, Jeanne). However, yesterday when surfing, I found that the publication in 1983 has made it to ERIC. 

— Kristin Barber, 10/11/14

Mynou de Mey

mynou copyMynou de Mey (The American Institute for Aromatherapy & Herbal Studies) has a Master’s Degree in Medicinal Herbology, an International Certification in Aromatherapy, and is a Certified Educator in the field of Aromatherapy. Her extensive training in Aromatherapy and Herbology has greatly contributed to her excellent professional profile. Director of the American Institute for Aromatherapy and Herbal Studies, Mynou offers both correspondence and live certificate courses. She teaches Aromatherapy worldwide, has appeared on television, and contributes to news articles for health-oriented publications.

Mynou has served as Vice-President of NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy), an association concerned with the education and ethics of aromatherapy in the United States, and previously served on the Educational Committee and the Ethics Committee. Mynou is a co-founder, and actively serving as a Board Director for ARC (Aromatherapy Registration Council,) a non-profit organization involved in promoting education in the field of Aromatherapy.

Mynou was selected by the US-AID program in Washington, to be sent to Russia to teach Cosmetologists and Doctors about the practice of aromatherapy and the business of aromatherapy in the American context. There, she introduced to those professionals many essential oils that were unknown or/and unavailable to them.

Mynou worked as a consultant for a well-known National Football League, making blends specifically designed for athletes, their success, self-confidence, and the locker room!

She served as a consultant for some known Cosmetic product designers and reviewed the accuracy of their marketing lingo, medical claims, and safety use.

She is proud to have many students in the US and in Japan, who, under her guidance, have started their own Aromatherapy business, or teachings. She has had several celebrities learning with her and continues to seek students that want to spread the word about Aromatherapy responsibly.

Today, she still  teaches Aromatherapy, but is also involved in many different projects and other businesses: making mosaics, and owning a cultural store called Gopooja (Praying to the Sacred Cow).  Her favorite saying is, “May all your steps be scented.?