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Lavender and tea tree oils are messing up your hormones
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edenfield
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Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:56 pm      Reply with quote
Scented oils used in shampoo can give boys enlarged breasts
By JEFF DONN
Associated Press Writer
January 31, 2007

BOSTON (AP) — Lavender and tea tree oils found in some shampoos, soaps and lotions can temporarily leave boys with enlarged breasts in rare cases, apparently by disrupting their hormonal balance, a preliminary study suggests.

While advising parents to consider the possible risk, several hormone experts emphasized that the problem appears to happen infrequently and clears up when the oils are no longer used. None of those interviewed called for a ban on sales.

The study reported on the condition, gynecomastia, in three boys ages 4, 7 and 10. They all went back to normal when they stopped using skin lotions, hair gel, shampoo or soap with the natural oils.
It’s unclear how often this problem might crop up in other young children.

These plant oils, sometimes called “essential oils,” are added to many health-care products, usually for their scent. The oils are sometimes found in other household products or sold in purer forms. Tea tree oil is sometimes used in shampoos for head lice.
The suspected effect in this study is blamed on some chemical within the oils that the body processes like estrogen, the female hormone that promotes breast growth.

The findings were being reported Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The federally funded study came out of the University of Colorado and the environmental health branch of the National Institutes of Health. The findings were first released last year at a science meeting.

The three boys were brought to their doctors with overdeveloped breasts that looked like those of girls in early puberty. They were sore in one case. For each boy, doctors could tie the problem only to their use over several months of the natural-oil products.

The researchers suspected that the oils might be upsetting the boys’ hormonal balance. So they did a series of laboratory tests to check how these oils work within human cells. The oils appeared to mimic estrogen and block the male hormone androgen.

On product labels, the oils sometimes are listed by their scientific names: Lavandula angustifolia (lavender oil) and Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil). Such products do not require government approval to be sold unless they make specific health claims.

Marijuana and soy products also have been linked to gynecomastia.

Dr. Clifford Bloch, a hormone specialist in Greenwood Village, Colo., who treated the three boys, recommended that parents “be cautious” with such products, especially for prolonged use. “I would not give these products to my children,” he said in an interview.

Bloch said he also suspects the oil played a role in a handful of young girls he saw for a similar condition, including a 17-month-old whose parents were washing her bottles with a lavender-scented soap.

Others sounded less worried. “It takes very little estrogen to cause gynecomastia in a young child,” said Dr. Richard Auchus, a University of Texas hormone expert who knew of the study findings. “If they’re getting it for a brief period of time, that really shouldn’t cause long-term problems.”

Also, the research did not pinpoint any specific estrogen-like compounds in the oils or look for them in a range of products. Chemist Steven Dentali, at the industry group American Herbal Products Association, said that warning people to avoid such oils “is premature without the additional basic research needed to bolster the case that the issue here is both real and significant.”

Gynecomastia is very common in boys during the hormonal changes of puberty. But it also occurs as a rare condition in younger boys, men, and girls before puberty.

Bloch, the study doctor, said it’s unknown if such oils could hurt women with estrogen-fed breast tumors.
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On the Net:
The New England Journal of Medicine: http://content.nejm.org/
luckylouie
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:26 am      Reply with quote
Does anyone remember the Joe Jackson song "Everything gives you cancer"?

Personally I'm so tired of worrying about every little thing. I'd hate to be a parent - not only would you worry about yourself but your kids too. There are so many other products used that have estrogenic effects, including xeno estrogens leaching into bottled water from the plastic bottles that you can't protect yourself or your kids from everything.

There is conflicting information about nearly everything from soy foods to propylene glycol to chocolate. Just follow a healthy diet and use natural products when possible for cleaing the house and yourself. If you do that a little tea tree oil in some zit cream is not going to turn your teenage boy into Dolly Parton.
rosebud
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:32 am      Reply with quote
Well if it means I might grow bigger breasts than I'm upping my usage!! Laughing

I think that a male would have to use a hell of a lot for essential Oils the have the mentioned effects.

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Oakview
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:27 am      Reply with quote
These oils have been used for a long time and are not new on the market. Interesting that they are just now making this association? I suppose anything is possible.
chellsta
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:44 pm      Reply with quote
rosebud wrote:
Well if it means I might grow bigger breasts than I'm upping my usage!! Laughing .



Laughing Bad Grin Shock

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Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:03 pm      Reply with quote
luckylouie, there's no cure, there's no answer.... Cool

My husband told me about this at dinner last night, and I doubted the info. Looks like a good source, but maybe these were exceptions to general rule.

Everything in moderation....including moderation. Wink
skincareaddicted
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:04 pm      Reply with quote
the effects are only on growing children then?

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Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:06 pm      Reply with quote
rosebud wrote:
Well if it means I might grow bigger breasts than I'm upping my usage!! Laughing


Laughing

*Rubbing on the oil as I write*
faythem1997
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:19 pm      Reply with quote
Sighing... Darn. I was hoping this was my ticket to enlargement. My hubby told me the same thing, and I told him that I noticed there was no mention in this report of useage amount or frequency to give this effect in boys. How excessive are these parents? Do they have OCD--which I am not laughing, have it also--and wash their kidos 20 times a day with the stuff?

BTW, if any of you discover that lavender and tea tree DOES help with size, let me know!
wildflower
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:31 pm      Reply with quote
LOL Laughing I couldn't help but laugh at these supposed "findings". Of course I just had to put in my 2 cents on this one. The two oils they mentioned are doubtfully the culprits. I can think of many other essential oils that mimic estrogen and influence hormonal changes (some which can cause real harm to pregnant women as well as babies and small children) but lavender and tea tree defintiely aren't ones I would consider. I've been using essential oils (all kinds) for years and trust me, they've had no effect on my breast size (unfortuantley lol). I'd like to know what types of oils they were actually testing and if they were true pure esential oils or if they were essential oils spiked with synthetic ingredients and chemicals as is often the case in bath and body products today. With the rise in popularity of Aromatherapy in the past decade, there are so many products on the market claiming to use essential oils while they are in fact using synthetic fragrance oils or specific chemicals found in the composition of pure essential oils which have been singled out. You can find products from scented plug-ins to dish soap claiming to be "aromatherapy" products when in fact they are only "aroma" products (most quite stinky in my opinion and hardly therapeutic). Just makes me mad to hear ridiculous cases such as this when there is so much real scientic evidnece as well as historic fact and documentation of proper plant oil use throughout history, which unfortuantely, the general public just doesn't know about. As with all "studies", reader beware - get the full story first and use your own education and knowledge before forming an opinion.

Now where did I put my lavender oil? I've got a hot date tonight and I really don't feel like using my push up bra. LOL Bad Grin

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Wild Cat
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:42 pm      Reply with quote
rosebud wrote:
Well if it means I might grow bigger breasts than I'm upping my usage!! Laughing

I think that a male would have to use a hell of a lot for essential Oils the have the mentioned effects.


Haha rosebud,
I think I will start using lavender and Ylang Ylang Oil and hope for bigger boobs! Embarassed

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