North Carolina, Aug 18 (SF) .- Prolonged use of lavender oil could be associated with abnormal breast growth in young girls, known as prepubertal gynecomastia, according to a study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the United States.
The researchers found that breast growth resolved after discontinuing fragrance products containing lavender in four preteen children.
They also determined that certain components of essential oils mimic estrogens and block testosterone, indicating that they could be a source for breast growth observed in these cases.
“The public should be aware of these findings and consider all the evidence before deciding when to use essential oils. It is also important for doctors to know that lavender and tea tree oils contain chemicals that alter the endocrine system. and that should be taken into account in the evaluation of premature breast development in boys and girls, as well as in the inflammation of breast tissue in adult men, “explains the research leader, J. Tyler Ramsey.
“The work, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism of the Endocrine Society, points out that it seems that essential oil products have the potential to “cause premature breast growth in young children”, so “it might be better to stop using them in children,” he recommends.
Lavender and tea tree oil are among the so-called essential oils, which have been popularized as alternatives for medical treatment, personal hygiene and cleaning products, and aromatherapy. Several consumer products contain lavender and tea tree oil, including some soaps, lotions, shampoos, hair products, cologne and laundry detergents.