A new study claims there is evidnece that essential oils used in soaps and shampoos may put boys at risk of a rare condition.
A potentially groundbreaking new study claims that there may be a link to taking essential oils and abnormal breast growth observed in young boys. The study suggests that lavender and tea tree oils in particular appear to disrupt the hormones in the body, and researchers pinpointed eight chemicals that appear to be responsible.
Gynaecomastia is a rare condition that scientists had not been able to explain, although it had been suggested that essential oils might be to blame. This new study indicates that the oils work to boost estrogen in the body and block testosterone. However, the effects are not uniform across everyone who takes it, the authors note.
These essential oils are derived from plants and have become popular in the organic movement as a fundamental ingredient in soaps, lotions, and shampoos. They are even used as cleaning products or as medical treatments by some.
“Our society deems essential oils as safe,” said study lead investigator J. Tyler Ramsey, a postbaccalaureate research fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health. “However, they possess a diverse amount of chemicals and should be used with caution because some of these chemicals are potential endocrine disruptors.”