Essential oils are often marketed as a way to soothe your mind, rejuvenate your skin or alleviate pain. But according to researchers, these products have some unwanted side effects — at least for young boys.
New research by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) shows how some essential oils — specifically lavender and tea tree — could disrupt hormones and lead to abnormal breast growth in pre-pubescent boys.
The findings were presented on Saturday by scientists Jeffrey Tyler Ramsey and Dr. Kenneth Korach at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Chicago.
What did they find?
Ramsey and Korach studied eight chemicals found in both lavender and tea tree oil that are also found in at least 65 other essential oils. They tested these chemicals on human cells in the laboratory to see how they affected estrogen and testosterone receptors.