Essential oil use has increased much in the past decade. Essential oils are safe when used properly and a natural way to support health and lower exposure to synthetic chemicals. Many health care practitioners advocate the use of essential oils alongside conventional or holistic healthcare methods. However, since essential oils are natural substances that contains a multitude of compounds, aren't prescribed, and haven't been tested on the scale of pharmaceutical drugs, it may be tough to discern exactly how they might affect an individual and the best way to use them along with any contraindications.
Recently I had a client ask if lavender can increase estrogen levels? A health care practitioner had suggested her exposure to lavender may be increasing her estrogen levels. But is there evidence to support this presumption? As a professional member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists and Alliance of International Aromatherapists we work to serve our clients safely and stay abreast of knowledge and research concerning essential oils and how to use them safely.
High estrogen is linked to breast and ovarian cancers, risk of blood clots and stroke, and thyroid disfunction. In men it may lead to infertility, erectile dysfunction, and stimulate breast tissue growth. And of course anyone with estrogen dependent cancer would want to avoid anything that might stimulate estrogen. If there is a link between lavender essential oil and estrogen levels increasing we certainly need to be concerned. But what does the research suggest?
While there are a few studies that indicate that aromatic compounds from lavender and tea tree can bind to estrogen receptors when you look at the body of research done on the subject, lavender and tea tree do not appear to contain compounds that mimic estrogen or have estrogenic actions. And interestingly, studies that find a link to aromatic compounds binding to estrogen receptors may possibly have more to do with the effects of plastics used that the aromatic or natural compounds.
As a certified aromatheapist and formulator for clients with estrogen dependent cancer and menopause related issues I certainly need to stay on top of research that indicates any essential oils would influence estrogen or hormone levels as I need to keep my clients safe. But as I scour research, and check in with certified aromatherapists, I do not find evidence to indicate that exposure to a moderate level of lavender essential oil would cause an increase in estrogen levels.
To my knowledge the only clinical application of lavender essential oil is to treat anxiety.
To read more about lavender essential oil and estrogen I suggest the following resources:
If you have questions about lavender, estrogen, or essential oil safety please contact me. Another local certified clinical aromatherapist is Shannon Mayberry located at An Optimal You 29995 Technology Dr. Suite #203 Murrieta, CA 92563 Phone: 951-265-8504 Email: Sharon@rockroseapothecary.com
She recently wrote an article in Aromaculture dealing with Essential oil use for pregnancy and labor and her utmost concern is client safety as is mine.
Aromatic blessings my friends,