Essential oils are all the rage right now. Use them to help alleviate depression, stimulate the senses especially when in the workplace, or as an aid to sleeping. Some studies have confirmed that aromatherapy could be effective for depression. For example, using lavender is said to help release tension, as does chamomile in calming an overactive mind. Rose oil known to be effective in slowing down the heart rate, on top of being fragrant.
The claim that lavender and tea tree essential oils can disrupt hormones have been the stuff of debates among natural health blogs in the last few years. Back in 2007, the National Institutes of Health published a study stating that lavender and tea tree oil could possible cause prepubertial gynecomastia. It is the condition of having enlarged breast tissue among prepubescent males.
Now, the Endocrine Society is publishing the study results of the claim that these essential oils do interfere with hormones.
Scientists from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences analyzed eight chemicals present in both oils. It was found that all the substances manifested estrogenic or anti-androgenic properties, which leads to gynecomastia. Moreover these are reportedly found in 65 other essential oils.
While essential oils may indeed be therapeutic, it’s best to use them sparingly. In cases of serious mental or physical disorders, it is recommended to consult with professional.