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Tea Tree Industry Requests Retraction
Posted: February 27, 2007
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This published paper is said to consist of two separate parts that have no scientific connection. Part one describes three clinical case studies of prepubertal gynecomastia. Part two describes a cell culture assay of the estrogenic activity of lavender oil and tea tree oil. According to ATTIA, a scientific basis would require that dosages and routes of administration could be related to each other quantitatively.
Unpublished skin penetration studies for tea tree oil conducted at the University of Queensland by Sheree Cross, PhD, claimed to show that only extremely small amounts of three of the over 100 components found in tea tree oil have been found to penetrate the surface of the skin so that any oestrogen receptor activity by tea tree oil in vitro is not relevant to topical application of tea tree products. This may be true with lavender as well, claims ATTIA.
According to the group, this publication is unscientific. The conclusion stated in the summary is not supported by the cell culture studies. The authors show no curiosity at all about the difficulties in attempting to connect the cell culture studies with the case studies scientifically and a retraction is warranted.
To view the complete reponse statement and request for retraction, click here.