The Lowdown on Lavender

8:51 PM

In our quest for the perfect sleep cycle, we have purchased lavender everything.  Lavender shampoo.  Lavender lotion.  Lavender bubble bath.  Lavender washcloths.  If I could have dyed Jane and Emma's hair lavender, I would have.

So I was beside myself when a good friend of mine (let's call her Carol) emailed me to tell me that her pediatrician had STRONGLY warned against using anything with lavender in it.  Apparently, lavender brings on early puberty.  I rushed to the medicine cabinet and ripped out anything purple and stowed it away, pending a full investigation.  That was 2 months (aka many sleepless nights) ago.

Last night I finally got around to doing some research.  Turns out, Carol's pediatrician was half right.  According to WebMD, products containing tea tree or lavender oils may cause a condition called "gynecomastia" in boys.  The article defines gynecomastia as "overdevelopment of the male breast".  I can hear what you're thinking.  "Whaaaa the fuuuuuh????"  My thoughts exactly.

So I delved further, and I found this post on BabyCenter (which, if you remember, is one of my FAVE mommy sites).  I followed the comments, and they lead me to the SAFbaby website, which gave various case studies and testimonials from experts.  Blah blah blah.

Basically, here's what I've discovered:  The lavender and early-puberty link is INCONCLUSIVE in girls.  There is no evidence to suggest that lavender sends our little ladies hurtling towards puberty at a faster rate.  Furthermore, there are conflicting ideologies when it comes to the causes of the development of "breast buds" in little boys.

So where do we go from here?  IMHO, you find the products that make YOU feel the most comfortable for YOUR family, and invest in those.  Because there are no such things as "safe things" in baby world.  I mean it.  Just read the tags!

Hope this sheds some light on a foggy subject!  Have a GREAT Thanksgiving everyone!



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