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Research Rebuttal: Gynecomastia & Essential Oils

Posted: March 5, 2007

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Answer: The reports on the existence of phytoestrogens, which can positively react with estrogen receptors are manifold, the most commonly known being the studies on soy and its isolates; however, whether this estrogenic activity translates in vivo in a positive or negative way in humans has not been irrevocably concluded.

Question 9: Could (-)-linalool, (-)-linalyl acetate and (+)-terpinen-4-ol possess estrogenic activity according to the test methodology used?

Answer: Yes. It is quite possible that the activities of the oils were weakly estrogen receptor-dependent according to the tests used. This implies that the major constituents may also possess weak estrogenic activity. Unfortunately, the authors treated the oils as single components rather than complex mixtures of chiral and non-chiral constituents.

Question 10: Should the study affect the use of lavender oil or tea tree oil in perfumery, cosmetic or personal care products?

Answer: No, as the conclusions from the study are not substantive based on the tests performed.