I wrote a rather popular article on essential oils and eczema a while back. Maybe you’ve read it. It gets over 1,000 views a day, and it’s one of the top performing articles on my site. And I’ve gotten overwhelmingly good feedback…that is until yesterday. Yesterday, someone left a comment to the effect that lavender essential oil was a hormone disruptor.
But it’s not. And you know what? I actually have the science to prove that little statement. We’ll go over the nitty gritty in a minute…but before we do, let me be clear:
When I talk about essential oils anywhere on my site, I am referring only to Young Living Essential Oils, which I personally use and can vouch for. I do not have experience using other brands, and I would never trust a drug store essential oil, for reasons I’ve previously discussed (if you’d like to read my rant about grocery store oils, go here.), not the least of which is the fact that oils aren’t regulated. Young Living puts their essential oils through extensive internal AND external tests (read more about their seed to seal guarantee here). With all of that, I expect that you’re an adult and able to do your own research. I’ve done mine, and you should too. We’re good, right? Okay. Moving on.
Okay! Let’s get down to why I’m on my soapbox today, shall we? I cannot tell you the number of times that I’ve heard that certain essential oils (lavender and melaleuca or tea tree are common) cause hormone disruption. This is a false claim. Period.
Don’t believe me?
Dr. Robert Tisserand has stated that lavender essential oil does not mimic estrogen in the body. He points out that all studies showing this correlation used fragrance, which is inherently different from pure essential oils.
This study states that the lavender found in common beauty products caused hormone disruption in 3 young boys is what’s causing such a fuss.
Let’s think about this.
- The study was conducted on a very, very small group with no control. Actually just 3 people. 3 children. So it’s more anecdotal evidence at best. Not an actual study.
- The products mentioned in the study were never fully disclosed-and no complete list of ingredients can be found.
- Likely, the products contained something that could in fact be linked to estrogenic reactions…like parabens and phthalates, as both phthalates and parabens have been shown to have an estrogenicity presence.
- Lavender scent is not the same thing as lavender essential oil. Remember, you can have less than 5% actual oil an claim that oil is for “aromatic” use…which means that it can be used in the big brand beauty products. This is not, I repeat not, the same thing as Lavender Essential Oil.
What Real Research Says
This study conducted in 2013 found that the lavender had no estrogenic effect even in concentrations 6,000 to 30,000 times greater than estimated exposure from multiple cosmetic products containing actual lavender oil.
Oh, and actual Harvard scientists stated that “traditional use and clinical trials have not suggested estrogenic effects of tea tree or lavender oil, though estrogenic effects have been reported for other essential oils and plants.” (source)
Those two studies are considered the standard in lavender and estrogenic research…and that 3 person “study”? It doesn’t stand up. Not even a little bit.
So tell me…
Are you still concerned that lavender is a hormone disruptor?