Over the years I get asked if lavender oil is estrogenic? The belief that it is considered estrogenic and causes hormonal issues stems primarily from a limited number of studies and anecdotal evidence, which have been broadly generalized. The concern is that certain compounds found in lavender oil could mimic estrogen in the body or otherwise disrupt normal hormone function. It is simply not true.
The primary study that sparked widespread concern was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007. The researchers reported three cases where young boys developed breast tissue, a condition known as prepubertal gynecomastia, after using products containing lavender and tea tree oils. They also conducted in vitro (test tube) tests showing that the oils appeared to promote estrogen-regulated genes and inhibit androgen-regulated genes, suggesting an estrogenic effect and anti-androgenic activity.
However, as mentioned in this week’s Quicky there are several critical points to consider when interpreting these findings.
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