Wednesday, January 31, 2007

All That's Natural and Smells Nice

Today, I read about a report in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed that Lavender and Tea Tree Oil when used in shampoos and the like, can cause breast growth in adolescent boys. This suggests that these essential oils have estrogenic compounds in them. Although the article does not sound an alarm, I would not want my son using a product containing these oils. More importantly, I would caution all women who have estrogen-dependent tumors to avoid these oils just as they would soy.

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.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I came across your thoughts on "Writing and Mothering" by accident while searching for something totally different. After reading through most of your postings (first out of curiosity and then simply for enjoyment), I wanted to write and let you know gratifying it is to read such a literate and thoughtful collection.

I plan to visit again so please continue.

Gary Litaker