Lavender mascara?

Adding lavender oil to your mascara has become a thing, on the basis that it will make your eyelashes longer and thicker, and also that it will deter eyelash mites. About half of us have tiny eyelash mites, but they don’t affect at least 95% of those who have them. They do not make your eyelashes thinner or shorter, though an infestation can make eyelashes fall out. Some argue that eyelash mites perform a useful function, by eating dead cells and debris. If the mites do indeed proliferate, the condition is known as demodicosis. This […]

By |2018-04-24T20:25:46+00:00February 2nd, 2015|Myth-busting, News, Safety|5 Comments

Bergamot Oil – Toxic To Children?

I was recently contacted by an essential oil business (Plant Therapy) which had several customers ask about the safety of bergamot oil, as they had heard it could be lethal and cause convulsions in children. The sources of this warning appear to be and, as both websites have profiles on bergamot oil that include this:

“Do not use bergamot oil in children. There have been serious side effects, including convulsion and death, in children who have taken large amounts of bergamot oil.” These are no doubt widely-read websites. The WebMD information is

By |2018-04-24T20:25:46+00:00January 1st, 2015|Myth-busting, Safety|8 Comments

Essential oils and gut flora

In a blog post dated July 13th 2014, Madhupa Maypop quoted Paul Bergner, saying: “The scent of an essential oil can kill gut flora just like antibiotics do, according to Paul Bergner, director of the clinical studies program at the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies. He told me that breathing the oils puts them into the blood stream very quickly and can be a major disturber of intestinal health and contributor to poor immune functioning.” However this quote has now been removed from the post, since Paul Bergner has denied that he ever said this. Paul contacted me […]

By |2018-04-24T20:25:46+00:00July 14th, 2014|Aromatherapy / Research, Myth-busting|22 Comments

Essential oils and eye safety

There has been much social media discussion recently (February 2012) about the wisdom or otherwise of putting essential oils into your eyes to treat eye problems. This arose from two webpages, here and here. One of these, the Brothers Media website, which hosts an article originally featured at, states: “More and more people are choosing to use alternative medicines to treat minor illnesses rather than taking a prescription. Putting essential oils in or near the eyes isn’t something that is widely known about, but there are several that can aid in the treatment of […]

By |2018-04-24T20:25:59+00:00February 23rd, 2013|Myth-busting, Safety|40 Comments

Lavender oil is not estrogenic

Lavender oil does not mimic estrogen nor does it enhance the body’s own estrogens. It is therefore not a ‘hormone disruptor’, cannot cause breast growth in young boys (or girls of any age), and is safe to use by anyone at risk for estrogen-dependent cancer. The lack of estrogenic action is the conclusion of a new report, which used a novel form of ‘uterotrophic’ assay.

This measures the effect of a test substance on the uterus of immature or estrogen-deprived female rats over three days. Any estrogenic action causes a rapid and measurable increase in uterine weight.

By |2018-04-24T20:26:00+00:00February 7th, 2013|Myth-busting, Safety|15 Comments

Tea tree & cloth diapers

Mr. Tisserand,

I am a Real Diaper Circle Leader with the Real Diaper Association (a not-for-profit organization). I lead the Ventura County chapter here locally where I donate my time to teach cloth diapering 101 classes as well as support the local cloth diapering community with monthly meetings which are all free to the public. The cloth diapering community has run into a bit of controversy regarding the use of Tea Tree Oil to kill microbes including bacteria commonly found in feces, yeast, viruses shed in feces and in rare cases, mold (usually related to improper storage).

Many moms have been recommending […]

By |2018-04-24T20:26:02+00:00August 10th, 2012|Myth-busting, Q & A|11 Comments

Heavy metal lips

I just discovered a facebook page called “There’s lead in your lipstick”. Maybe I should start one called “There’s even more lead in your drinking water”. Heavy metal poisoning should not be taken lightly, it’s a serious issue, but the lead in lipstick fiasco no longer has any traction. Trace levels of lead are ubiquitous in our environment – in the soil, the plants that grow in it, the water that passes through it. We should be vigilant. But when you realize that you ingest more lead by drinking water every day, than you would if you consumed a whole […]

By |2018-04-24T20:26:03+00:00February 10th, 2012|Myth-busting, Safety|5 Comments

Lavender oil – skin savior or skin irritant?

Dit artikel is ook beschikbaar in het Nederlands!

A question came up recently on TheBeautyBrains forum: Lavender oil in cosmetics – does it cause skin cell death, and is that a problem? This was in response to the description of “lavender extract and oil” on Paula Begoun’s Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary. Paula is known for her belief that fragrances, natural or synthetic, have no place in cosmetic products. Here are some random examples from her website: “Cedarwood oil: there is evidence that cedarwood oil is allergenic and can cause […]

Lavender oil and pregnancy

Pregnancy oil (iStock)A Google search for “Avoid high doses of lavender oil during pregnancy because it is a uterine stimulant” produces 1,110,000 hits, though none of these will tell you how much constitutes a “high dose”. (Yes, I checked every single one.) Other Google search results about lavender in pregnancy include:

Lavender oil uterine stimulant” – 31,900 hits.

Lavender oil emmenagogue” – 31,200 hits.

Lavender should be avoided first trimester” – 241,000 hits.

Clearly there is some concern about the safety of lavender oil during pregnancy, although there are also a number […]

By |2018-04-24T20:26:08+00:00July 22nd, 2011|Myth-busting, Safety|40 Comments

The “oxygenation” myth

It is commonly believed in some aromatherapy circles that a major therapeutic benefit of essential oils derives from the fact that they are rich in oxygen; that they efficiently carry this oxygen to the body’s cells and tissues, and thus dramatically enhance our health. Jim Lynn, for example, writes the following paragraphs under the title “Essential Oils and Oxygen“:

If there is any one BIG reason for you to use essential oils everyday, it can be summed up in one word…OXYGEN! Essential oils are loaded (concentrated) with it, at least 50 times more oxygen than what the plants give off from […]

By |2018-04-24T20:26:13+00:00November 27th, 2010|Myth-busting|25 Comments
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