Publish 2 November 2021
Popularity of Essential Oils
People use essential oils for alternative medicine. They are highly concentrated liquids made from the leaves, stems, petals, and other parts of plants. You dilute or diffuse them prior to use. Essential oils for aromatherapy fill the air with pleasant scents.
An individual might spray sheets and blankets with the mist of essential oils. These essences are in soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and skincare products. Perhaps people gravitate to essential oils because the perceived value is in the name. They are essential, right?
Common Essential Oils 
|Citrus||Boost energy or use for cleaning||Lemon, citronella|
|Floral||Relax or reduce anxiety||Jasmine, lavender, rose|
|Herbaceous||Calming effect||Chamomile, eucalyptus, tea tree|
|Camphoraceous||Clear congestion||Camphor, eucalyptus, laurel leaf|
|Minty||Energizing effect||Spearmint, wintergreen, peppermint|
|Spicy||Increase energy and focus||Basil, cinnamon, ginger|
Tea tree oil contains chemicals that may kill bacteria and fungus. It can also reduce allergic skin reactions. This has moved manufacturers to make many claims without the support of scientific evidence. It is used for acne, eyelash mite infestation, toenail fungus, and athlete’s foot. People use it to fight dandruff, lice, bad breath, and other conditions. 
Tea Tree Oil Cautions
Tea tree oil is a natural botanical ingredient that is easier to pronounce than other chemicals within shampoos. Lavender oil is another innocent sounding ingredient. But even natural ingredients can have side effects. J. Tyler Ramsey, from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), warns that essential oils “possess a diverse amount of chemicals and should be used with caution because some of these chemicals are potential endocrine disruptors.” [3,4]
Tea tree oils have estrogenic (estrogen-like) properties and anti-androgenic (testosterone inhibiting-like) activities. A growing amount of transient male gynecomastia (“moobs”) cases coincide with topical exposure to lavender and tea tree. Fortunately, it appears that affects reverse after discontinuance of these two products. 
Essential Oil Cautions
It’s possible that you may experience rashes, headaches, and other allergic reactions when using essential oils.  There are many to investigate but neutral parties have no financial incentive to fund studies. Don’t be gullible. Just because you can pronounce an ingredient doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
Make sure you dilute the oil as instructed. Use diffusers only in a well-ventilated space. You might prefer to use aroma sticks or other aromatherapy accessories. Do not ingest the oils, which can cause vomiting or other toxic reactions.  Continue to smell good. But also smell healthy.
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- Essential oils: Are they safe to use? kaiserpermanente.org Retrieved 2 Nov 2021
- Tea Tree Oil. webbed.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-113/tea-tree-oil Retrieved 2 Nov 2021
- Chemicals in lavender and tea tree oil appear to be hormone disruptors. endocrine.org/news-and-advocacy/news-room/2018/chemicals-in-lavender-and-tea-tree-oil-appear-to-be-hormone-disruptors Retrieved 2 Nov 2021
- Henley DV, Lipson N, Korach KS, Bloch CA. Prepubertal gynecomastia linked to lavender and tea tree oils. N Engl J Med. 2007 Feb 1;356(5):479-85. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa064725. PMID: 17267908.
- Main photo of common Tea-tree, or Manuka, Leptospermum scoparium. Hastings Tasmania Australia, January 2012 by John Tann, CreativeCommons license.
- Bathing female photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels.
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