No, Essential Oils Will Not Make You Look Like Dolly Parton

Oct 31, 01:58 AM

by Katharine Koeppen, RA

Yikes! During the past week, I've had several phone calls from women wanting to purchase essential oils to increase their breast size. It seems these ladies have gotten "reliable information" that geranium oil, ylang ylang oil, or a combination thereof will work wonders for breast enlargement.

I am sorry to say that if this were true, I'd have sold out of both these essential oils long ago. And if this were true, the industry would probably be suffering a worldwide shortage.

There are no essential oils that will give you bodacious breasts, and you should run from anyone who is making this claim.

From a psychological standpoint, ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) is known as an erogenous oil, and it is traditionally used in Malaysia to adorn and fragrance the wedding night bed. Its heavy, sweet, intoxicating floral aroma (which some find overpowering) may put you or your beloved in the mood and make for an exciting night, but it will not stimulate breast growth. Ylang ylang is a nice oil for most skin types, so it can be used on the breasts as a general soothing skin tonic.

Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) has long been known as an endocrine balancer, and has a special affinity for the female reproductive organs. Contrary to what one of my callers believed, it does not contain any phytoestrogens. Rather, it works on the hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal/ovarian axis and can be very effective for stress-related imbalance. It does not increase breast size, and will actually reduce breasts which are swollen from hormonal fluid retention or lymphatic stagnation. Like ylang ylang, geranium improves skin texture and can be safely used in dilute form on the breast area.

Respected aromatherapist Suzanne Catty has anecdotal evidence that misting black spruce hydrolat over the breasts may slightly increase breast size and tone. However, in her book Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy, she emphatically states that any benefits disappear after ceasing daily application of the hydrolat.

Lance Armstrong's Livestrong website claims that use of fennel or anise essential oil "may help [naturally] stimulate breast growth." The site quotes a study that found anethole (a phytochemical found in both these oils) has an estrogen-boosting effect, and goes on to broadly extrapolate that this may cause breast growth. This is true only if you are pregnant or nursing, because fennel is a galactogogue traditionally used to increase milk production. In this situation, a woman's breast size will increase because the mammary glands are filling with milk, not because of any increase in actual breast tissue. The article on Livestrong's website makes no differentiation between sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare dulce) and bitter fennel, with the latter, like anise, rarely being employed in aromatherapy.

So, repeat, there is no aromatherapy that will permanently enlarge the breasts. As I've said many times before, if someone makes an aromatherapy claim that sounds too good to be true, beware.

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