AromatherapyLavenderTea Tree Oil

Gynecomastia associated with excessive use of lavender oil and tea tree oil

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a report of 3 boys aged 4, 7, and 10 who were diagnosed with gynecomastia, which the authors attributed to the use of the oils when it resolved after they stopped using them.

Thanks to a reader who brings us up to date.

How could prepubertal gynecomastia have happened?

They used it almost every way possible, including as a lotion, soap, shampoo, balm, or styling gel.

They were not taking other drugs that are known to be associated with gynecomastia.

Some perspective

  • A PubMed literature search came up with no other reports like this.
  • However, in 2005 essential oils were linked to 7,282 reports to poison control centers.

A fair amount of research is ongoing with lavender oil. Now, there’s an indication (as if it were needed) that using it in moderation is prudent.

2/1/07 22:14 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.