Exposure to lavender oil may cause abnormal breast growth in young girls. Parents should make sure their kids are not in contact with lavender essential oils. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Previous research has associated breast growth in boys with lavender-containing fragrances. This study, "Lavender Products Associated With Premature Thelarche and Prepubertal Gynecomastia: Case Reports and EDC Activities," is the first to report abnormal breast growth in young girls.
The researchers found that breast growth in young girls and boys resolved after discontinuing lavender-containing fragranced products. They also determined that certain components of essential oils mimic estrogen and block testosterone, indicating that essential oils could be a source for the breast growth observed in these cases.
"It's also important that physicians are aware that lavender and tea tree oils contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals and should be considered in the evaluation of premature breast development in young girls and boys, and the swelling of breast tissue in adult men."
"It appears that essential oil products have the potential to cause premature breast growth in young girls and boys, so it may be best to discontinue using them on children," Ramsey said.