I`ve been using a little bit of tea tree oil mixed with jojoba oil on my skin every night for a couple weeks. It has helped a lot on my skin problems! But I recently read this article http://voices.yahoo.com/the-little-known-dangers-tea-tree-oil-2818721.html?cat=68, it says among others that they suspect that tea tree oil could make boys grow breasts, wtf?? Any other that have heard about side effects of using tea tree oil? I have only good experiences with using it. No side effects. Do you think I should I stop using it?
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I'm just gonna say that any "informative" article that starts off with the dangers of INGESTING tea tree oil has already lost any and all possible credibility. Seriously, there is nothing in that article that employs knowledge of utilizing tea tree oil in any correct or usual manner.
I'd also imagine that if tea tree oil had a major history or chemistry as a hormone disruptor, it would have dozens of threads here at Paleohacks and everywhere else on the internet. It has extremely mild Antiandrogenic properties, along with lavender essential oil, but has only been proven in the lab with breast cancer cells. No other studies of tea tree oil have suggested that hormone disruption is a side effect.
Also worth noting, the boy whose breasts grew was exposed to the tea tree/lavender combo through a hair gel, and that is the ONLY case that has ever been reported. I really find it hard to swallow that is was solely the oils that caused his breasts to grow and not the industrial chemicals, petroleum, alcohols, parabens, sulfates, etc. that had anything to do with it.
I'd steer clear of it if I were you:
"The three otherwise healthy Caucasian boys, ages four, seven and 10 years, had normal hormonal levels when they were diagnosed with gynecomastia by Clifford Bloch, M.D., in Colorado. All had either used lavender-scented soap and skin lotions, or shampoos or styling products that contained tea tree oil and lavender oil as ingredients. In each case, several months after the suspected products were discontinued, the gynecomastia had subsided or resolved.
After Bloch discussed the cases with Korach, the NIEHS researchers conducted experiments using human cells to determine if the oils mimic the effects of estrogen, the female hormone that stimulates breast tissue growth, or inhibited the effects of androgen, the hormone known to control masculine characteristics and inhibit the growth of breast tissue. The researchers tested the ability of the oils to modulate or inhibit gene expression.
“The results of our laboratory studies confirm that pure lavender and tea tree oils can mimic the actions of estrogens and inhibit the effects of androgens,” said Korach. “This combinatorial activity makes them somewhat unique as endocrine disruptors.”
I just wanted to throw out there that there are many essential oils that are gentler than tea tree and that accomplish the same things. Tea tree is just cheap and abundant - it's not particularly special. You might want to check into that and just circumvent the issue. My favorite EO retailer has a lot of good info - naturesgift.com.