Day 12: Lavender

It’s never easy ‘going against’ someone else’s theories or claims, especially when it comes to essential oils; yet, if I’m going to live into my mission, then I need to speak up about the things I’ve discovered which don’t always align with what other people are saying or promoting ….

That being said, lavender, for all intents and purposes, needs to be used with caution. I addressed this in pretty good detail in the video and decided to use this post to illustrate my points. If you have yet to see the video, allow me to say that my statements included:

  1. lavender is estrogenic which means it acts like estrogen in the body, aggravating the stress response and setting ‘us’ up for future health issues

  2. certain lavenders i.e. Lavender Spanish and Spike Lavender mentioned below, contain neurotoxic chemicals which means anyone prone to seizures needs to avoid them altogether

Whoa … how could or why would I suggest such things; lavender is known for its calming properties?! Well, yes, but let’s take a look at the constituents found in the True Lavender (English Lavender) varieties. However, don’t worry, I’m not going to pick each one apart. I only have a few that I want to highlight in this post which you’ll find after you get to the Ukrainian grown lavender:

  • Australian

Linalool 39.1% (25–38%)

Linalyl acetate 36.2% (25–45%)

(Z)-b-Ocimene 4.3% (3–9%)

Terpinen-4-ol 3.0% (1.5–6%)

3-Octanone 2.9% (2–5%)

b-Caryophyllene 2.6%

Lavandulyl acetate 2.5% (>1.0%)

3-Octanyl acetate 1.8%

  • Bulgarian

Linalyl acetate 46.6% (30–42%)

Linalool 27.1% (22–34%)

(Z)-b-Ocimene 5.5% (3–9%)

Lavandulyl acetate 4.7% (2–5%)

Terpinen-4-ol 4.6% (2–5%)

b-Caryophyllene 4.1%

(E)-b-Farnesene 2.4%

(E)-b-Ocimene 2.2% (2–5%)

3-Octanyl acetate 1.1%

  • French

Linalool 44.4% (30–45%)

Linalyl acetate 41.6% (33–46%)

Lavandulyl acetate 3.7% (<1.3%)

b-Caryophyllene 1.8%

Terpinen-4-ol 1.5% (<1.5%)

Borneol 1.0%

a-Terpineol 0.7% (<1.5%)

(Z)-b-Ocimene 0.3% (<2.5%)

3-Octanone 0.2% (1–2.5%)

(E)-b-Ocimene 0.1% (<2%)

  • Moldovan

Linalyl acetate 38.6% (29–44%)

Linalool 34.0% (20–35%)

(Z)-b-Ocimene 5.5% (3–8%)

b-Caryophyllene 3.9%

Lavandulyl acetate 2.5% (1–3.5%

Terpinen-4-ol 2.0% (1.2–5%)

1,8-Cineole 1.6% (<2.5%)

(E)-b-Farnesene 1.6%

(E)-b-Ocimene 1.3% (2–5%)

a-Terpineol 1.1% (0.5–2%)

3-Octanyl acetate 1.1%

  • Ukrainian

Linalyl acetate 43.3% (29–44%)

Linalool 27.5% (20–35%)

b-Caryophyllene 5.9%

(Z)-b-Ocimene 4.2% (3–8%)

(E)-b-Ocimene 2.4% (2–5%)

Lavandulyl acetate 2.1% (1–3.5%

Terpinen-4-ol 2.1% (1.2–5%)

(E)-b-Farnesene 2.0%

1,8-Cineole 1.5%

3-Octanyl acetate 1.1%

Borneol 1.0%

a-Terpineol 0.6% (0.5–2%)

The constituents I’m focusing on to start with include: 1,8 cineole, terpinen-4-ol, a-terpineol, linalool, linalyl acetate all of which are found in lavender as well as other oils; in addition to limonene, alpha-terpinene and gamma-terpinene which are found in a quite a few of the other essential oils.

The significance to any of these is they’re currently under extensive investigation after reports started coming out in early 2018 that these appear to be endocrine disrupting chemicals with some having estrogenic effects while others are more anti-androgenic … meaning they reduce testosterone levels.

The concern clearly extends beyond lavender since quite a few oils have at least one of these constituents if not more; however, lavender not only has at least 4 of them, it’s exceptionally high in at least 2 of them. What’s more, estrogenic chemicals are not detectable in blood tests … they do, however, act like primary signaling molecules. And while the immediate intention with using lavender is for its calming and soothing benefits .. those are just the short term effects. My purpose for pointing out the estrogenic / anti-androgenic effects is to emphasize the importance to knowing that there are long term effects worth considering.

An interesting study was done with linalool and everywhere ‘you’ look, there is supporting evidence that addresses the sedative effects of this constituent. While that may be the case, we must remember that when we use lavender, we’re getting more than linalool; we’re getting a cocktail of constituents and chemicals interact with one another. So, calming as an independent chemical is possible; yet, when combined with other chemicals, the ultimate effect is often times much different.

I also want to emphasize that although some ‘big name’ people in the field of Aromatherapy have claimed that neither lavender or tea tree are estrogenic; however, those statements were introduced long before 2018. At the same time, I am not saying that using lavender or any essential oil for that matter is a bad idea. On the contrary, essential oils are … chemical cocktails … and because we live in a world that communicates with chemicals, how we use essential oils must be reconsidered:

  1. less is more … too much is really too much! Why? Because a lot of the very same chemicals found in essential oils are being reproduced in labs in order to be added to foods, household products, drinks, personal care products and medications which means we are over exposed as it is. Lavender happens to be one of the most popular scents in commercial products which is why I mention neurotoxins and seizures and will address when we get to the second set of lavenders. That said, in some respects, it doesn’t matter whether a company uses true lavender or one of the ones below … we’re exposed to too much of it and cutting back on our use of commercial products is advisable.

  2. for stability … when we understand the various chemical effects the oils can potentially have, we start to pay attention to both short and long term effects. The more we do this, the more stability we provide the body as we stop using the same oils all the time and begin switching things up a bit.

The next set of lavender oils are a different quality and aren’t nearly as expensive to produce, making them the perfect substitute in many household and personal care products. The danger is the camphor as too much is neurotoxic.

  • Lavender (Spanish) a.k.a. French Lavender

Camphor 16.4–56.2%

(þ)-Fenchone 14.9–49.1%

1,8-Cineole 3.6–14.5%

a-Pinene 3.4–4.5%

Camphene 2.8–5.5%

Myrtenyl acetate 2.0–4.3%

Bornyl acetate 1.8–3.1%

Linalool 0.8–2.2%

Myrtenol 0.6–2.4%

d-3-Carene tr–1.9%

(þ)-Limonene 1.0–1.4%

Ledol 0.5–1.2%

  • Spike Lavender

Linalool 27.2–43.1%

1,8-Cineole 28.0–34.9%

Camphor 10.8–23.2%

Borneol 0.9–3.6%

b-Pinene 0.8–2.6%

(E)-a-Bisabolene 0.5–2.3%

a-Pinene 0.6–1.9%

b-Caryophyllene 0.5–1.9%

a-Terpineol 0.8–1.6%

Germacrene D 0.3–1.0%

I think it’s important to point out that I’m not suggesting essential oils are our problem; not at all. The problem is there are far too many chemicals being consumed on a daily basis around the world, and the current beliefs and practices with essential oils is actually aggravating our health issues; hence, the reason people think they don’t work or believe they’re only good for bath and body. Quite frankly I don’t blame them which is why I posted an essay on Controlling Uncontrollable Stress in my ultimate guide. My intention is to shed some light on what the heck stress really is and how so many chemicals are fueling our health issues.

What’s more, because it was determined that one of the properties of several plant constituents is their ability to increase tissue permeability … I feel there’s an even greater need to get this message out. You see, they are replicating these chemicals and adding them to products for this specific purpose. Between these chemicals and the inclusion of other forms of nanotechnology, our bodies are overwhelmed with information, much like we experience with the internet …. information overload and often times confusion over what to believe. This is the very same reaction the body is having with all of the chemicals being introduced on a minute by minute basis and with the added effect of permeability … holy crap!

With that, I will close, offering this list of chemicals … just as an FYI so that we can begin to make the necessary shifts, if we so desire.

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