The Lavender Estrogen Myth: Dispelling Misconceptions

Dinesh Patel
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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lavender estrogen myth

For over a decade, concerns have circulated about the potential link between lavender and tea tree essential oils and prepubertal Gynecomastia.

A condition characterized by breast tissue growth in boys and other hormonal disorders in children. 

These claims have garnered attention and sparked alarm, despite a lack of concrete scientific evidence to support them. 

However, a study published in the International Journal of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in October 2021 dispelled these unfounded fears.

In this article we will look at the truth behind the “lavender Estrogen myth.”

The origins of concern

The roots of the concern can be traced back to isolated case reports that emerged in 2007, where a small sample size of three boys was examined. 

It detailed the instances of prepubertal Gynecomastia associated with lavender-containing fragrances.

Fact:
Prepubertal Gynecomastia is the development of enlarged breast tissue in boys who have not reached puberty yet. Gynecomastia is the benign (non-cancerous) enlargement of male breast tissue, usually caused by an imbalance of hormones.

However compelling as these cases may seem, they lacked the scientific rigor necessary to draw concrete conclusions.

The pioneering study

The research examined the purported link between essential oils and Endocrine disruption in children. 

The study encompassing over 550 children, aimed to provide evidence-based clarity.

The study aimed to identify whether lavender and tea tree essential oils could disrupt the endocrine system. 

Establishing the truth: the study’s approach

The researchers carried out a study to learn the truthSource: fizkes_from_Getty_Images
Establishing the truth

The researchers carried out a study to learn the truth. 

They talked to parents in the United States with kids aged 2 to 15. 

This is the age range when kids might be at risk of hormone-related issues. They wanted to see if using products with these oils caused any harm.

How the study worked

The researchers asked parents about their kids and the products they used. 

They wanted to know if the kids used lotions or shampoos with lavender or tea tree oil. 

Besides, they collected information about the kids’ ages and where they lived. 

What they found

The researchers looked at information from 556 kids.

They found out that 412 kids were exposed to these oils through the products they used. 

They found two cases where puberty started early, one case where it started late, four cases of low thyroid activity, and one case of not enough growth hormone. 

But they didn’t find any cases of boys having enlarged breasts before puberty, diabetes, or overactive thyroid. 

But the important part is that the kids who used these oils didn’t have more hormone problems than other kids.

Checking different hormone problems

The researchers also checked for problems through two sided Fischer’s exact test like early puberty or abnormal growth and compared the kids who used the oils with those who didn’t.

Warning:
Early puberty onset leads to physical and emotional challenges. Kids might feel self-conscious, face social pressure, and encounter health risks. These health risks include short height, obesity and metabolic issues, and reproductive health concerns.

They found that the rates of these problems were about the same in both groups.

Looking at different amounts

the oils didn't cause more hormone problemsSource: Alexander's_Images
Different oils

They even looked at how often kids used the oils. Some kids used the oils often, while others used them less often. 

But even when they compared these groups, they found that the oils didn’t cause more hormone problems.

Putting the rumors to rest

This study shows no real connection between using lavender or tea tree oils and having hormone problems. 

The claims that these oils cause big issues for kids do not have conclusive scientific evidence.

Conclusion

After years of speculation, a study has shed light on the supposed link between lavender and hormone-related issues in children. 

Through a meticulous examination, the study has dispelled long-standing fears and provided valuable insights into the truth behind the “lavender Estrogen myth.”

The isolated case reports 2007 hinted at a potential connection between lavender-containing fragrances and unusual breast growth in boys. 

However, the lack of solid scientific evidence left room for doubts. 

The study addressed these concerns, conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine whether essential oils posed a threat to children’s hormone systems.

The  findings were crystal clear – no substantial evidence suggests that using lavender or tea tree essential oils leads to hormone problems in children.

Recommended Article
Read Essential Oils for PCOS: Natural Remedies for Hormonal Balance to know which essential oils can regulate the hormone levels in the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does lavender have Estrogen in it?

Lavender does contain certain compounds, such as Linalool and Linalyl Acetate, that can mimic Estrogen in laboratory settings. However, the levels of these compounds in lavender essential oil are generally considered too low to have a significant hormonal effect on the body.

Can lavender cause breast development?

There is limited scientific evidence to suggest that lavender could potentially cause breast development in prepubertal boys, a condition known as prepubertal Gynecomastia. However, most research studies and experts agree that the risk is extremely low and that such cases are rare.

Does lavender raise Estrogen levels in men?

Lavender’s impact on Estrogen levels in men is a topic of debate. Some studies have suggested a minor effect on hormone levels, but more comprehensive research is needed to establish a clear connection between lavender exposure and Estrogen levels in men.

Does lavender delay puberty?

As for lavender’s impact on puberty, no substantial evidence supports claims that lavender can delay puberty. The concerns about lavender’s effects on hormones, particularly in children, have been largely debunked by scientific research, as mentioned in the information provided earlier.

Citations:
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