By Kaileigh Carew
Edited for online by Claire Boughey
A study has linked the use of essential oils with the development of male gynecomastia, a condition developed due to abnormally high levels of estrogen.
Research previously drew connections between essential oils such as lavender and tea tree oil in 2007, and this recent study done by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the United States has now strengthened these claims.
Salvatore Battaglia, owner of the multi-million dollar business ‘Perfect Potion’, disagrees with the findings and said the study was flawed.
“They are not true at all yeah… Most of the recent publications have been based on an early report… published in the New England Journal of Medicine back in 2007,” he said.
“That particular study did not thoroughly investigate the other ingredients.
“They didn’t say what preservatives were in the product because there is some studies saying that some of the parabens that have been used in commercial products can also have a hormone disruptor effect so that original study did not investigate those particular claims.”
Some essential oil users do recognise the potential danger of hormone disruptors, but say it is not an issue if quality products are used correctly.
True Medicine Naturopath, Dagmar Ganser, said there is a small amount of hormone disruptors which can be linked with certain lavender and tea tree oils, although they are almost non-existent
“The amount and the degree of hormone disruption in essential oils would be so minute and minimal and that I would urge people to read the study and see the quantities and the qualities and the type of oils that were actually tested,” she said.
“I think that the power of essential oils lies in their proper use and also the use of pure essential oils.
“Ones that haven’t been processed incorrectly and had other chemicals added to them. When used correctly they can be very helpful and beneficial.”
Mr Battaglia said the only way someone could have a bad experience with essential oils was if they ingested the product.
“No they wouldn’t have any hormone disruption but what they would possibly find is if you use large copious amount of lavender and it would have to be ingested which you just wouldn’t do because you would be suffering from nausea and so on,” he said.
Despite the potential impacts of essential oils on males outlined in the study, the use of non-diluted oils has been found to be beneficial for women.
“It’s seen in fertility work where ladies have found that their periods have not resumed after being on the pill,” she said.
“Essential oils worked amazingly faster and helped them conceive a healthy child.”
She said the fertility issues were completely resolved using only essential oils.
Dr Ganser also said the chemicals which are in substances used on a daily basis are more harmful to humans than any naturally extracted essential oil.
“Herbicides and pesticides have much stronger hormone disruptors than any essential oil could ever have,” she said.