If you can’t tell, I’m on a quest to uncover the story of aromatherapy by talking with the people that have been doing this work the longest. There are so many people that were big players in the early days of aromatherapy in the United States, whose names are not recognizable by many aromatherapists today. I don’t want us to forget them.

One of those people is Laraine Pounds (formerly, Laraine Kyle). Laraine was an early pioneer in bringing aromatherapy and other holistic therapies to her nursing practice—at a time when integrative therapy was discouraged within nursing. She was also a key player in the formation of both of our national aromatherapy organizations.

Laraine is also one of my mom’s long-term colleagues and friends, and we are honored to include her in the Inner Sanctum. She is preparing to bring her last group of students through her certificate program this fall, then she will be on to a well-deserved retirement.

In this interview, find out:

  • How Laraine navigated bringing an integrative approach to nursing when it was not as accepted as it is now
  • What it was like to learn from Shirley Price and Patricia Davis (names you should know!)
  • What it was like to witness Daniel Penoel perform a “human embalming”


Have you encountered similar challenges while bringing aromatherapy to another licensed profession? What words of wisdom from Laraine are sticking with you?

Leave us a comment and let us know what was most inspiring to you!


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