There are days that I seriously wonder what's going to be deemed "bad for you" next. Now, mind you I am as weary of anything I buy in the store these days as most anyone else these days, but I am also tired of the internet being full of stories of how this or that product is poisoning my family.
What brought on this post today? Well, sit back and let me tell you.
Part 1 - I am a Melaleuca Mom. I proudly have switched my home from store bought and home made cleaners and personal care products to those which I can get through my Melaleuca store. Never (seriously NEVER) has our health been better than what we have been experiencing in the three years since this transition. My hormone imbalance is managed, our allergies are in check, the eczema is gone, the psoriasis is gone, the run-ins with sinus infections and viruses are rare, it is such a blessing for us. Shopping with Melaleuca also introduced me to melaleuca alternifolia oil, also known as tea tree oil. This has been our go-to treatment for cuts, burns, canker sores and so much more. I carry it in my purse because, as a mom, a first aid need can happen at any moment.
Part 2 - I am a Young Living Mom. Just recently I have introduced my family to the complete world of essential oils. Peace & Calming and Lavender to help with relaxation and sleeping, Peppermint to help with the occasional stuffy nose, upset stomach and snoring and Valor to help with inner balance.
Now the problem. I came home from school today and received a text from a friend concerned about tea tree oil and lavender oil use being linked to premature puberty in children. I was quickly horrified at the thought of that because my five children are regularly exposed to one if not both of these oils on any given day. After "bing searching" this is what I came up with:
One Point of View
I also called both Melaleuca and Young Living's customer service lines to see what they could tell me about this information that I was turning up. Neither company had any experience, concern or cause to believe that the true essential tea tree and lavender oils would cause these issues. In fact both asked me for more information (yes,I will be emailing these links to them) about what these concerns were.
In reading as many message boards, articles and posts as I could find I would definitely agree with what the safemama.com post above says. Here's my thoughts. Nowhere in the "study" or any other story where a child has been affected did it point to a specific product. Here's what I mean by that. In all cases they affected person has been using a shampoo, lotion, gel or other product that caused the problem. Is it Aveeno, Johnson&Johnson's, Melaleuca's, Young Living's or yet another one? Are there any other ingredients in common like parabens or other chemical compound that is a "filler" in so many shampoos, lotions, gels and such. Yes it concerns me that the obvious link in these cases is tea tree or lavender oil but what I want confirmed is the pureness of the oil in these cases. Is it true, high quality essential oil as an ingredient in the shampoo or it is a chemically modified version to add "some" of the benefits of lavender to the shampoo without adding the high cost of it. For example J&J Bedtime Bath has lavender in it, but is it true essential oil? Think about this one. The label on the "Restless Nights" bubble bath I bought this winter describes "Essential oils of Lavender, Chamomile and Passion Flower to soothe and comfort your body." The ingredients list these "flower extracts" as well as several hard to pronounce words like polyquaternum-10 and methylisothiazolinone. Now you see my issue with the "study"? I feel for these children and the parents that are facing these side effects but what bothers me is I'm not quite sure that they are truly questioning what deserves to be questioned in these cases. Is it the essential oil or one of these unknown but constantly consumed "extras" in the ingredient list causing these health problems. Possibly a combination of both in all reality. If lavender is so unsafe and such a threat to our health then it should absolutely not be in baby bath, no questions asked. If tea tree oil is a threat to our health then having it accessible in shampoos that children could use should be clearly and obviously marked.
Seriously what will the doctors say is harmful to our health next? If essential oils like lavender and tea tree are not safe for common use then what is? Please, people, please be aware of what you are consuming. Know that our world is full of things that have potential to make us sick. Yes, even, good things like essential oils need to be used wisely and with a mind to keep an eye out for reactions. Too much of a good thing shouldn't be a bad thing but I am sure there are times that it can be. Know this, I LOVE dark chocolate but to sit down and eat a whole bag of mini dark chocolate candy bars would likely be a very bad thing.
Passionate much? Well, yeah, because I just spent three hours poring over the internet and making phone calls and that's the least you deserve. Your family and my family deserves to be healthy and the only way any of us can ensure that is to be fully aware of what we are consuming in every aspect of our life.