Does Lavender oil cause early puberty in children?

This week I was contacted by a wonderful MYLifestyler asking if I knew anything about the link between lavender oil and early puberty?

This question which was a wonderful question had been sparked by a short episode on channel 10 The Project which aired Tuesday night.

The episode claiming lavander oil was the cause of hormone disruption, I felt that it lacked the information. Instead this episode may of created a lot of fear, unanswered questions and irrational decisions.

Believe it or not I actually get asked this question a lot and researched this topic along time ago!

First let’s discuss the study!

The study that most people are referring to was a study conducted in 2007(link 1, Link 2). It was a Topical study on products containing both lavender and tea tree oils on Boys.

It consisted of three healthy boys aged 4, 7, and 10 years old. They all had used lavender scented soap and skin lotions, or shampoo or styling products that contained tea tree oil and lavender oil as ingredients.

All three boys were diagnosed with prepubertal gynecomastia however after several months after the suspected products had been discontinued, the gynecomastia had subsided or resolved.

The problem that I have with this study is this:-

  • Was this a regulated study?

  • What other chemicals were found in these products? Phthalates, Parabens etc.

  • What type of essential oil was used? E.g. does it contain filler? Is it 100% pure and organic?

  • What dilution ratio was used with these products?

  • How often were these products applied?

  • How are the products packaged? Is it BPA free packaging?

Now let’s talk about the little girl who also suffered these symptoms in the episode of The Project. Firstly I am very happy that her family have found a solution and I also commend them for bringing this information to the attention of doctors and scientist alike.

But again I think there needs to be some questions answered before it is announced to the world that these oils which have been used 1000’s of years should be avoided as they may mimic estrogens.

Questions like:-

  • What were the products being used?

  • Did they contain other chemicals linked to endocrine disruption?

  • How often were these products being used?

  • What type of essential oil was used? E.g. does it contain filler? Is it 100% pure and organic?

I believe this study which was an Uterotrophic assay of percutaneous Lavender oil in immature female rats is helpful in shining some light; it measured “the effect of a test substance on the uterus of immature or estrogen-deprived female rats over three days. Any estrogenic action causes a rapid and measurable increase in uterine weight. The assay has been in use since the 1930s, was adopted by the OECD in 2007, and is now regarded at the benchmark animal assay for estrogenic effects.” This was sourced from Robert Tisserand one of the worlds leading experts in aromatherapy.

The results of this study showed that even in 6000 and 30000 times greater concentrations than the estimated exposure from multiple cosmetic products containing lavender oil, there was NO changes in Uterus of the rats.

So with the above results from the well documented controlled study I will let you compare against the 2007 results from what I can see is as being poorly constructed and lacking control to make your own well INFORMED decision!

I also encourage other people who are also suffering from this to speak up so that appropriate studies can take place. So we can get some clear answers on this! So that we can stop things like this happening to more children! If everyone just assumes that these reactions are from the oils without any actual scientific evidence it could cause the real problem to go unnoticed.

Correct testing should also take into consideration all other ingredients including essential oil quality and the product packaging etc

I also think it is very important to add that everything needs to be used in moderation. 100% pure essential oils are strong and potent they have a dilution ratio that should be strictly followed. Essential oils and personal care products should also be used in moderation! Is there any need to be using cleansers, soaps, moisturiser, talc, massage oils, multiple times a day or even everyday on children?

Now for my next point!!!!

Why do the media need to find a good story and turn it into a scare factor? There is not enough credited information to be launching a scare factor into the use of these oils. Why not instead focus on things that millions of people apply to their skin every day that has known links to endocrine disruption?

Let’s focus on

Parabens (methyl, butyl, propyl, isobutyl, ethyl)

  • Used in moisturisers, shampoo, makeup, fragrance and many more.

  • Parabens may mimic estrogens, interfere male reproduction functions etc.

DBP (dibutyl phthalate, fragrance, PVC, Diethyl phthalate or DEP, parfum)

  • Used in nail products, hair spray, fragrances, deodorant, hair mouse, hair gel, hand and body lotions even medicine.

  • DBP may also cause endocrine disruptor. It may also cause developmental defects/changes in testes, prostate and reduces sperm count, impair fertility, etc.

Siloxanes (Dimethicone, cyclomethicone, cyclotetrasiloxane, D4, D5, PDMS plydimethylsiloxane)

  • Used in moisturiser, makeup, hair products, deodorant, lubricants, medical implants.

  • Siloxane may also be an endocrine disruptor and may affect fertility etc.

Now for my favourite:-


  • Used in antibacterial products, toothpaste, soaps, hand sanitisers, deodorants, cleansers, mouthwash, laundry powders, tissues, antiseptics for wounds, antibacterial cleaners, garbage bags, clothing etc.

  • Triclosan may cause endocrine disruption and worst of all may be an antibiotic resistance and immune system assault.

Impure essential oils

  • Some may contain fillers

  • incorrectly distracted

  • Plant itself may have been compromised by being sprayed with chemicals.

These ingredients are in products everywhere.

Our skin absorbs up to 60% of what we apply to it topically. Think about it from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep how many chemicals you and your family are applying to their skin.

It is said that the average woman applies up to 515 chemicals to her skin a day!! That is 309 chemicals a day absorbing into your blood stream!!!

Children wash their hands a million times a day, apply hand sanitisers, oral care, hair care, shower time, bubble bath it all goes into their bodies.

If this is something you are concerned about look at researching all ingredients in your products as well as essential oils. There is a great resource called EWG.

When researching the ingredients in products it will only state which essential oil is used not how pure it is so this is something you need to question with the manufacturer.

Or why not try making your own products it is actually cost effective and time efficient.

If using essential oils in your home it is important to find a company that has 100% pure organic essential oils.

I live chemical free as much as possible & I make all my own personal care and cleaning products or if need be I purchase them from reputable companies that are chemical free and organic.

I do not have any problems with using lavender and tea tree oil. I have an 8 year old son and a 5 year old daughter that are exposed to both of these oils and have not shown any signs of early puberty or enlarged breast tissue. Again I think moderation, purity and lack of other chemicals is a key role in this.

If you would like more information on where and how to start your chemical free journey click here. I would love to offer you support with a non-judgmental attitude.

I hope all this information was helpful and remember....

What YOU can, is enough

Myleigh xo

P.S For support on removing chemicals from your life, DIY MYrecipes, workshops & MYclinics etc. please contact me.

Myleigh xo

***Always patch test before use.

***These statements have not been evaluated by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and The Clean Living Clinics product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

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