Lavender Oil May Lead to Abnormal Breast Growth in Young Girls

Abnormal breast growth in young girls is linked to lavender oil exposure, according to a recent study published in the Endocrine Society’s 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 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.”

“The public should be aware of these findings and consider all evidence before deciding when to use essential oils,” says study lead investigator J. Tyler Ramsey, a second year medical student at Campbell University and postbaccalaureate research fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

“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,” Ramsey says.

“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 says.

You may also like

  • BPA Exposure Leads to Abnormal Estrous Cycle and Folliculogenesis, Mouse Study Finds

    Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), even at environmentally low doses, disrupts the preovulatory luteinizing hormone (LH) surge and leads to abnormal estrous cycle and folliculogenesis, according to a study recently published in Endocrinology. This disruption is reversible following adult exposure, but it persists into adulthood after neonatal exposure. Researchers led by David Lopez-Rodriguez, MSc, at the neuroendocrinology…

  • Endocrine Society Educates Congress About the Science of PFAS Exposure

    On Wednesday, November 6, the Endocrine Society hosted a congressional briefing to share the latest science with policy makers on how research conducted and funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is helping us understand and address the health effects of exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. The…