Essential oils have been used in different ways since the very start. They have been used in cleaning products, aromatherapy, for hair care and as lotions. However, the question arises with respect to their safety.
In the past, some research has associated essential oils with hormone disturbances. Some research specifically linked essential oils to abnormal breast growth in young boys (prepubertal gynecomastia). In the current time, a new study concludes that a few compounds present in essential oils, especially tea tree oil and lavender, may have hormone-disrupting properties.
According to a 2007 report in the New England Journal of Medicine, a case study was conducted on three young boys of age 10 or below. The boys were identified to have large breasts for unknown reasons. It was later learnt that the boys were regular users of lavender and tea tree oils. When the boys quit the usage of the oils, the issue went away in all the three cases within a few months. Later on, when the researchers examined the effect of the oils on human cells, it was found out that hormone behaviour in the cells was intervened by the oils.
According to a new study conducted bythe National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and presented at ENDO 2018 (the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago), some sort of hormone-disrupting activity appeared after eight compounds found in tea tree and lavender oil were applied to human cancer cells.However, it is exceedingly important to note that the study was conducted in human cells. Much more research is required to find out how these oils fully impact humans and whether they have any concrete health implications.
According to J. Tyler Ramsey, a post-baccalaureate research fellow at NIEHS, it is very important for the public to be aware of the study findings that talk about the health complications posed by the endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) found in the essential oils.According to studies, the effects of aromatherapy on pain and anxiety have been indecisive. However, essential oils are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are commonly used anddeemed safe.
According to Dr. Brent Bauer, director of the Department of Internal Medicine’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic, when essential oils are used as directed, they are shown to be safe. However, they may still pose side effects for the sin in the form of allergic reactions and skin irritability. Also, further research is required to fully understand the effects of the oils on breast-feeding or pregnant women as well as children in general.