T Nation

Tea Tree Oil & Lavender Are Estrogenic


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Parents of pre-pubescent boys may want to check the ingredients of their young sons? personal care items. Researchers have found that skin and hair care products containing tea tree oils and lavender have an estrogen-like effect that appears to cause enlarged breasts, a condition called gynecomastia.

Tea tree oil, which comes from Australia and the islands of the south Pacific, is believed to be antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. It is used in soaps and lotions as an antibacterial, and to combat various skin conditions like acne and eczema, and is often used by health-care professionals as an antiseptic for burns, cuts, and insect bites. Lavender, found in all types of personal care products, is also used as an antiseptic as well as for its soothing properties and fragrance.

But when the substances were tested on human breast cancer cells, they seemed to imitate the actions of female hormones (estrogen) and overwhelm and suppress male hormones (androgens).

?There?s definitely an association between exposure to lavender oil and tea tree oil and gynecomastia,? said Derek Henley, lead author of a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.

Dr. Clifford Bloch, a pediatric endocrinologist and co-author of the study, first became curious when he had five young male patients with gynecomastia. When he investigated, he discovered that all had used products containing tea tree oil and/or lavender. After stopping their use, the condition disappeared in all five boys.


Do you think product manufactures will ever start to take the issue of xenoestrogens seriously?

Maybe somebody declared war on masculinity and we weren't told about it?


I think thats a laod of cap because

1 I use olive oil soap,and I also use tee tree and I don't have a problem with estrogen

2 tee tree oil and natural health care products were invented because many people believed that a lot of the shampoo and soaps on the market ,which are synthetic,have chemicals called xenoestrogens.
And have shown to act like estrogen in the body in some studies.

Personally,I believe they're just trying to put down the natural industry because their soaps and chemical filled hair products act like estrogens to the human body.
Read the REV-V supplement thread too.
Even air freshners contain it.
I use natural olive oil soap and toothpaste made from herbs and mint plants.
I don't have any male boobs.

A family member of mine had breast cancer,and through all the research(believe it or not,we actually had a good doctor) the team that were working with her to beat cancer found that some medication she took when she was younger,along with a lot milk and meat with synthetic estrogen,and the soaps,shampoos,even toothpaste that contain xenoestrogens,along with a poor diet,is what caused her tumors to spread and grow.


no one said the xeno estrogens found in food and products were good, but that does not mean that we can't stay away from estrogenic phyto products like certain soy products or what is mentioned above.

Just because one person does not exhibit negative affects from certain products, does not mean that most others wont. remember that dosages and specific metabolism play a role. Personally i'm staying away having known a certain family member who got slight gynecomastia because of the consumption of soy protein o few years ago. laters pk


Yes.It depends.
Some people can handle higher amounts,but in the end everyone has a limit.
Soy products should be avoided unless fermented.


The herb subject doesn't really concern me much but what does concern me is the soy subject. My son since birth is lactose intolerant and we have had him drinking soy milk for almost 3 years now. He will not drink any other type of milk cause of the taste. How can I switch him to a lactose free milk? Or should I not be concerned with this? I only want what's best for my son and want him to develop properly and with all the latest research done on soy I'm a little concerned.


Try telling him that if he can?t adopt a replacement for soy milk there is a chance he wont get to grow tall, and manly like his dad. Any time my parents told me something would make me tall I bought into it!

Or you could tell him that his endocrine system is in danger and he may not be able to have fun with tha laydeez when he grows up! OOOOHhhhh YEaahhhh. :wink:


That would work if he wasn't 3 years old! My main concern is like I said, his development, physical and mental.


I would rather give my 3 year old boy chocolate milk than soy milk...


Hmm, interesting study considering I've been using tea tree oil and lavender oil products for years. Tea tree oil especially has great antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties as the study mentioned. So for the benefits of those three I think I'll continue to use it, besides, I don't have tits, so until I start to grow them, I think I'll still use tea tree oil and lavender oil.

And WantAbs, have you had him try rice milk? I don't think I'm lactose intolerant but I've noticed a positive correlation in the past with dairy intake and the frequency and duration of colds and sore throats. As a result, I use rice milk for cereal, in oatmeal, protein shakes, etc. If you have your son try it and he doesn't like it, I'd suggest adding a small percentage of it to his soy milk everytime he has some and overtime gradually increase it until its all rice milk. Hes 3, probably won't notice the difference if you do it over the course of a few months. And besides, the containers rice milk come in at the store look exactly like soy milk - only difference is the "Rice Dream" and "Soy Dream" on the label.


Switch him. He's hungry enough he WILL drink lactose free milk.


Yeah,soy is bad because of the estrogen.
Just switch him to cheap ,lactose free milk that comes from cows that are given synthetic estrogen.
Coconut milk is your best bet.


Hey, i am from Australia and was an active user of tea tree oil when i was 13. Although, i am only 17 now, then i had moderate case of acne and was beggining to put on weight. I noticed that i started developing male boobs (before i began to put on major weight), however i could not be sure if it was predisposed by tea tree oil. In subsequent years i began hitting the gym and began to lean out and build muscle, though i lost a large propotion of fat around the pectorial area, i still have a fair bit of fat. Then again, i still could lose a fair few pounds.

If tea tree oil was the stimulant, i am very suprised, because alot of people seem to use the product. However, i don't tend to believe it was the stimulant nor are other skin and hair care product. If they were, wouldn't you think health association or governments would do something about it, i mean i hope they would lol.


Product cause cancer = government intervention

Product causes breasts = government couldn't care less.

Possibly this is a true side effect.

Those using tea tree oil and no breast effect, maybe you used inferior quality/degraded product, maybe it had heat treatment etc.. who knows.

Maybe some people predisposed.

Maybe tea tree company should investigate and promote the product to women.

there is a lot of weird products down in Aus... I like Emu oil, good for joints. really fixed my knee. made from real emu, your skin absorbs those lovely fatty acids.