Is Tea Tree Oil Safe?

Is Tea Tree Oil Safe?
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The caveats for tea tree oil use, including tips on safe storage.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Is tea tree oil toxic? “Anecdotal evidence…suggests that the topical use of the oil is relatively safe, and that adverse events are minor, self-limiting, and occasional. Published data [however, add some caveats: it can be] toxic if ingested…and can also cause skin irritation at higher concentrations.”

Now, normally, “[t]ea tree oil reduces…skin inflammation.” 27 volunteers had histamine injected in their skin—the equivalent of getting bitten by a fire ant. But the big red swollen marks “significantly decreased” after the application of tea tree oil. Here’s where the bump was at 20 minutes after injection. Apply a placebo oil, and it continues to get worse before finally beginning to calm down. But, if at 20 minutes, you apply half of a single drop of pure tea tree oil, it stops the inflammation in its tracks, and it immediately starts to get better.

Some people are sensitive to it, though, and it can instead trigger a rash. This is relatively rare, though, with only about 1% of older children or adults having such a reaction. None of the 40 younger children tested had a reaction, which is good, since it may be found in like 5% of diaper wipes and lotions.

“Most reactions [when they do occur] are caused by the application of pure oil.” So, there are recommendations to keep the concentration of tea tree oil products applied to the skin under 1%. Moreover, manufacturers may want to use antioxidants and dark bottles “to minimize exposure to light,” since aged, oxidized oils are more likely to induce allergic reactions. Hundreds of different components have been identified in tea tree oil, but the composition changes “when…exposed to air, light, humidity, and higher temperatures.” It can start turning “a green–brownish color, the viscosity changes, and the smell becomes turpentine-like.” All bad signs.

Even fresh tea tree oil shouldn’t be ingested, though. Two hours before arriving at the pediatric critical care unit, a four-year-old’s mother “had given him approximately 2 teaspoons of…tea tree oil.” Within 30 minutes, he had trouble walking, and shortly thereafter fell into a coma. They note the tea tree oil was in a bottle without a childproof cap, but it didn’t matter in this case, because the cap wasn’t mother-proof, either.

Similar cases are reported at even less than two teaspoons, though the reported adult poisoning cases have tended to involve larger doses. Thankfully, “[n]o human deaths caused by [tea tree oil] have been reported,” though note the qualifier “human.” It has been implicated in the deaths of pets when used inappropriately when trying to treat fleas or something. “Cats in particular are at risk because of their habit of licking their fur.”

In humans, though, it can apparently be used safely if you “avoid…ingestion, apply…only diluted oil topically, and only [use] oil that has been stored correctly.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: anonymous via pxhere. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Is tea tree oil toxic? “Anecdotal evidence…suggests that the topical use of the oil is relatively safe, and that adverse events are minor, self-limiting, and occasional. Published data [however, add some caveats: it can be] toxic if ingested…and can also cause skin irritation at higher concentrations.”

Now, normally, “[t]ea tree oil reduces…skin inflammation.” 27 volunteers had histamine injected in their skin—the equivalent of getting bitten by a fire ant. But the big red swollen marks “significantly decreased” after the application of tea tree oil. Here’s where the bump was at 20 minutes after injection. Apply a placebo oil, and it continues to get worse before finally beginning to calm down. But, if at 20 minutes, you apply half of a single drop of pure tea tree oil, it stops the inflammation in its tracks, and it immediately starts to get better.

Some people are sensitive to it, though, and it can instead trigger a rash. This is relatively rare, though, with only about 1% of older children or adults having such a reaction. None of the 40 younger children tested had a reaction, which is good, since it may be found in like 5% of diaper wipes and lotions.

“Most reactions [when they do occur] are caused by the application of pure oil.” So, there are recommendations to keep the concentration of tea tree oil products applied to the skin under 1%. Moreover, manufacturers may want to use antioxidants and dark bottles “to minimize exposure to light,” since aged, oxidized oils are more likely to induce allergic reactions. Hundreds of different components have been identified in tea tree oil, but the composition changes “when…exposed to air, light, humidity, and higher temperatures.” It can start turning “a green–brownish color, the viscosity changes, and the smell becomes turpentine-like.” All bad signs.

Even fresh tea tree oil shouldn’t be ingested, though. Two hours before arriving at the pediatric critical care unit, a four-year-old’s mother “had given him approximately 2 teaspoons of…tea tree oil.” Within 30 minutes, he had trouble walking, and shortly thereafter fell into a coma. They note the tea tree oil was in a bottle without a childproof cap, but it didn’t matter in this case, because the cap wasn’t mother-proof, either.

Similar cases are reported at even less than two teaspoons, though the reported adult poisoning cases have tended to involve larger doses. Thankfully, “[n]o human deaths caused by [tea tree oil] have been reported,” though note the qualifier “human.” It has been implicated in the deaths of pets when used inappropriately when trying to treat fleas or something. “Cats in particular are at risk because of their habit of licking their fur.”

In humans, though, it can apparently be used safely if you “avoid…ingestion, apply…only diluted oil topically, and only [use] oil that has been stored correctly.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: anonymous via pxhere. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

What about the reports of gynecomastia (abnormal breast development) among young boys exposed to tea tree oil? That’s the subject of my next video: Does Tea Tree Oil Have Hormonal Side Effects?

So far, I think I have three other tea tree oil vids. Check them out here:

I also did some videos on aloe with similar caveats about internal use:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

86 responses to “Is Tea Tree Oil Safe?

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  1. For me, I would say “no.” (Always go with your gut reaction.)

    I tried it years ago for whatever reason, had a bad reaction, and never used it again. Didn’t care for the aroma either, as I recall.

    1. I think the smell is an acquired taste (LOL! Acquired smell?)

      How about this? I think it is a smell you can get used to.

      I use a shampoo with it in. The first time I used it, I hated it but didn’t want to waste the bottle.

      Now, I can enjoy that shampoo.

    1. I have three bottles of 100% pure essential oils sitting near my computer monitor: lavender, eucalyptus, and oil of clove. All solely for sniffing purposes when I get the whim.

      The reason I bought the oil of clove was because I thought it might help a tooth problem; it didn’t. The tooth turned out to be abscessed and eventually pulled. So that’s what I connect with the more-or-less eschewed oil of clove: bad memories. :-(

  2. I am so going to get out and buy Seventh Generation! Never knew it was so effective! Thanks Dr. Greger and team!

    A proud and healthy monthly supporter of Nutritionfacts.org ;)

  3. I love it. It’s the single best thing for getting a tick to release and pull easy–as well as treating the bite after. Matter o’ fact, I’ve never seen ticks respond to anything else. Just don’t drench and kill the tick before it has time to release and attempt to back out (watch closely, they only need to smell it).

    Last camping trip I found my friend’s entire family using straight TTO on the skin to repel mosquitoes and such. I need to work on dilutions to see what I find effective without using 100% oil. My 4-oz container (mail order) is brown and I’ll now be more mindful of storage (put it into the fridge). Thanks for the info.

    1. Interesting.

      I just use the little thing which spins them in circles.

      That always seems to work.

      I will be interested to see if that works faster.

  4. Also keep in mind that the FDA allows 100% therapeutic grade oil on the label as long as there is 10% of the actual oil – not 100% then in my eyes unless you use the Young Living brand.

  5. At home on the weekend in a foreign country, I was desperate with fierce itchiness from a rash that I thought was caused by insect bites. I mixed tea tree oil with bag balm and applied it to the rash. This relieved the itching! Pretty sure that it was the TTO and not the balm. The diagnosis, which I received two days later: shingles. Your mileage may vary.

  6. I have known for some time that tea tree oil, eucalyptus and several other oils are a danger for cats, but I did not know that this could be dangerous for humans as well. Is there a ‘cat and human safe’ oil I can use in my diffuser? Right now I only use rose water.

  7. It’s unfortunate one cannot mandate common sense and education be a part of parental education. I could not help but notice in the case study on the 4 month old, the dosage given was a full teaspoon (and who knows for what condition.) A more reasonable dose(a drop or 2) likely would not have had such an effect.

    1. Hi Joshua!
      I’m not a scientist of MD at all, but some things to think about when you think you may be seeing a correlation of information. (Anyone else, feel free to chime in or tell me I’m wrong!)
      1) Not all vegan diets are whole food plant based diets–that being said, everyone may need to check that they aren’t deficient in any vitamins/minerals. Don’s eat just bread an beans. Fruit and greens are super important.
      2) Was there an impetus for someone to change their eating habits? Many people change their diet to make themselves better. The underlying disease may be what has caused the “premature aging” and the physical effects of that may only be new to you the viewer; perhaps the person changed their lifestyle because they noticed something was wrong earlier than you did.
      3) WFPB can make people lose weight fast so their skin looks loose and they may look older. It can be difficult to get enough calories on a WFPB diet, I would track it for a couple weeks to make sure you’re eating enough.
      4) Genetic factors may contribute to premature aging. Environmental factors may contribute to premature aging. I would guess many people who switch to WFPB are at an age when it is IMPORTANT to make that switch for health reasons. I switched to WFPB to encourage my parents to make a change in their lifestyles, after my dad had a bad doctor’s visit. If my dad had gone full vegan when I did, it would probably appear to many that he made a poor decision.
      5) Many people tout a WFPB diet to IMPROVE appearance. I notice if I eat enough green things, my skin gets this golden glow and is very clear of blemishes. I’ve had a lot of people comment on my looks improving before knowing that I switched my diet (even before I lost any weight).
      6) in regards to the article- it says there isn’t a significant extension of life…but I’ll take an extra 4 years! Especially if its 4 years where I’m still walking in my 80s/90s. I knew a 94 yo woman who was doing yoga until 93. She went to the hospital after a “stupid” trip over her door entrance. While at the hospital, she contracted MRSA and her entire condition changed, she deteriorated VERY VERY quickly and died less than a year after her fall. There’s a season for everything, humans aren’t built to last centuries as much as we’d like to be. We just have to make most of the time we have.

    2. Joshua,

      Thanks for posting it.

      It doesn’t undo that meat eating is associated with disease, but it is interesting to read about Carnosine.

      I have been giving my dog Modified Citrus Pectin which prevents glucose from binding with Cancer proteins. I wonder if it is a similar mechanism.

      The thing with mortality studies using vegeterian as a category is that people could eat all sorts of refined carbs and sugar and even eggs and dairy and vegetable oils which are all disease promoting those are not protective. WFPB is the protective diet. Not vegetarian.

      I am going to point to Denmark, I think it was Denmark. They got rid of meat during WWII and their mortality rates improved while the other countries got worse.

      It might be on this site somewhere.

      Youtube will have videos on it.

      The whole point was that getting rid of meat added to longevity.

      1. I think Refined carbs and sugar and vegetable oils and not taking B-12 are the answers to why vegans aren’t further ahead than that.

        The wrong ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is what Dr Greger pointed to. His video is helpful for understanding how destructive Omega 6 can be.

        The endothelials being paralyzed by oil and Cancer spreading faster with vegetable oils are two we know. There are videos on Dr Swank her and John McDougall has one.

        People who don’t take B12 and it rots their spines and causes elevated homocysteine which contributes to Alzheimer’s.

        Dr Greger has a video on Homocysteine and B-12 plus WFPB improves it.

        1. Dr Greger is there something vegetarian which accomplishes the same thing as Carnosine?

          My limited understanding would be that we have to be low fat enough for our pancreas to function and when that happens, high carb eaters have lower blood sugar than meat eaters.

          Mic the Vegan has a few videos on Keto on YouTube and he shows the chart. Not sure if it is one of Dr Greger’s.

          I need someone who actually took science to help soon.

                  1. Thanks, Tom.

                    I watched his documentary where he got a whole group of Diabetics off of meds.

                    Talking, in most instances, he doesn’t come across with the same level of authority.

                    That being said, I learned a few things from him and if there really is a vegan source of Carnosine, then, someone who is low might be able to find it.

                    1. I liked his documentary on Diabetes.

                      It was different from listening to Dr. Barnard or Fuhrman, etc.

                      His was following a group of people and seeing how their numbers changed in documentary form.

                      I saw it long before I found this site and it did show me that people could get off their meds way before they lost weight or got fit with exercise. Just one week of eating properly.

                      Do you disagree with what he said about Carnosine, which is lined up with what the other page said about Carnosine?

                      Does he have his information wrong about that?

                      He probably is selling supplements, which we don’t really need?

                      I listen to everybody about everything and let the topics sort themselves out.

                      I probably used to try to avoid hearing things from an opposing perspective, which my Keto friends also do, but I end up in the conversations anyway and being able to understand Carnosine will be something I will have to talk through countless times by the end.

                    2. Deb

                      I am not aware that Cousens has published any scientific studies. Promotional YouTube videos are no substitute for well-designed scientific studies.

                      Short term studies might be positive but we don’t really have enough information to judge the long term efficacy and safety of chronic carnosine supplementation. However, there is a study underway and we might know more when it is completed.
                      https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/8/3/e020623.full.pdf

                      My understanding is that carnosine is only found in animal foods. Once in the body dietary carnosine is broken down into beta alanine and histamine. These are then later combined together in our muscles to produce carnisine again. However, you can get beta alanine and histamine from plants. Which is where animals, including us, get carnosine from. Our bodies make it from plants.

                    3. Thanks Tom,

                      Looking forward to the study results.

                      I had trouble figuring out the vegan carnosine supplement.

                      I understood his words, but I looked for a supplement with those words on the bottle and didn’t find one.

                      I found “synthetic” carnosine, but his algae story wasn’t easy for me to follow all the way to a product.

        2. I left off GMO soy isolates and salted soy products, but a lot of vegetarians eat the veggie burgers.

          Organic soy as in edamame and Tempeh are health-promoting, but salted soy contributes to stomach Cancer and isolates also increase Cancer where soy is protective.

          One kind protects you and one kind kills you faster.

          Sodium chloride is on the list.

    3. Joshua

      I am not sure why you think there is a lot of premature aging in vegans. That article you cited actually stated that ‘our research showed that vegetarians were not living that much longer than meat eaters’ In other less-grudging words, vegetarians do live longer.

      Since that LEF article was published in January 2006, the latest Adventist Mortality study results have been published. They showed that male ‘vegans’ had the lowest relative mortaiity of any of the study cohorts (meat eaters, semi-vegetarians, lacto-ovo vegetarins etc) with 72% of the mortality risk of male meat-eaters (called non-vegetarians’ in this study).
      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1710093

      In any case, LEF is in the business of selling supplements. Did you note the bizarre logic employed to suggest that people should supplement with carnosine?

      ‘ If carnosine is the missing link in explaining why vegetarians do not live that much longer than omnivores, then supplementation with 1000 mg a day of carnosine would appear to be at least as important as vitamin B12 for those on meat-restricted diets.’

      In other words, vegetarians live longer than omnivores so they must be deficient in carnosine! This was also after the statement

      ‘The author of the recent study linking carnosine deficiency to higher glycation rates in vegetarians concedes that red meat’s detrimental health effects may outweigh the anti-glycation benefits conferred by the carnosine that is naturally present in meat.’

      As for carnosine itself, it is naturally produced in the human body. There is no need to eat animal foods or consume supplements to obtain it. There are some few people who can’t naturally make carnosine but they are very few in number. For most of us, we make all the carnosine we need.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/when-meat-can-be-a-lifesaver/

      There is no good evidence that carnosine supplements fight aging or that they are safe for long term consumption despite all the online claims by enthusiastic meat eaters and supplement sellers.
      https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1038/carnosine

      Please note however that Dr Greger and this site do not promote vegetarian or so-called ‘vegan’ diets as such – they promote a whole food plant-based diet which may or may not be exclusively vegetarian. Note also that Dr Greger recommends that people who do eat an exclusively vegetarian WFPB diet should take some supplemets for optimal health.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

      1. Yes, I like this sentence: ‘The author of the recent study linking carnosine deficiency to higher glycation rates in vegetarians concedes that red meat’s detrimental health effects may outweigh the anti-glycation benefits conferred by the carnosine that is naturally present in meat.’

        The heart attack data being presented in a way where it is poo-pooed is a fairly good bait and switch focus technique.

        “For instance, one study showed that vegetarians under the age of 65 were 45% less like to suffer a heart attack than were meat eaters. Once vegetarians reached the age of 80, however, their heart attack risk was only 8% lower than that of meat eaters.38”

        Joshua,

        Here is why the meat eaters need more Carnosine to deal with their higher blood sugar.

        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/why-is-meat-a-risk-factor-for-diabetes/

        High carb versus low carb for Diabetes

        https://www.masteringdiabetes.org/low-carb-diet-vs-low-fat-diet/

    4. On the topic of glycation and aging, Dr Greger has several, check out this one:

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/reducing-glycotoxin-intake-to-prevent-alzheimers/

      Recommendation seems to be to eat whole plant foods to reduce endogenous exposure to AGEs.

      As someone else commented, studies on vegetarians vs meat eaters aren’t really relevant. What matters is whole food plant based, but unfortunately not many studies on this group. IMO best evidence is the traditional diets of longest lived populations, aka Blue Zones.

    5. I actually notice the opposite and scientific evidence suggests as much, but this of course completely depends on what a person is eating. I’ve noticed that those on a completely raw food diet seem to show more signs of premature aging, based on my own observations of course. But those eating a diet made up of whole plant foods are actually shown to have longer telomeres (telemeters are responsible for renewing our cells, they’re kind of like a lifeline and hugely responsible for the visual signs of aging when frayed and shortened) and whole plant foods can actually reGROW telomeres (which is literally reversal of aging). I’ve seen people reverse graying hair when switching to a vegan lifestyle or plant based diet or more in the direction of one. I am still young but my hair and skin has never been healthier since switching to WFPB vegan. The whites of my eyes are whiter now too. I have had so many improvements but these are some of the more superficial ones I can name.

      I think the scientific evidence is quite clear that the best bet to longevity and a youthful body is to adopt a WFPB diet. But it really depends on what the person is eating. Dr. Greger recommends a well balanced diet as demonstrated in his Daily Dozen. When I was listening to the internet hype and obsessing over avoiding omega-6, my omega-6 was too low in my blood work and I actually had hair loss and acne which I never had before during that time, when I figured it out and balanced things out (naturally through whole plant foods) those issues went away.

      1. I’d like to add that I notice in general, that people on westernized diets high in animal products all tend to prematurely age as a rule and prematurely die, at that.

      2. S

        Yesterday, because of the henna video, I ended up at the grocery store in front of a mirror with such good lighting that I looked at my hair and I really do think it has gotten darker.

        My friends all dye their hair, but their hair has gone grey and they end up having those tell-tale roots.

        Mine has a touch of grey, which I can put behind my ear and it all but disappears.

        But as Jerry Garcia sang

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkUtz8cP3tM

        1. I can attest that the more nutrition I eat, the darker it gets and when I go for a few months with lower nutrition more grey appears again.

  8. All very interesting; I’ll have to try TTO on a tick. Sounds like a winner. But when will Dr. Greger and team talk about earthing–said to be the biggest breakthrough in nutrition/health?

      1. He just might, it’s not only nutrition that he talks about, he lets us in on all the science regarding our health when he finds good evidence e.g. cell phones. I would love to hear about earthing!

    1. john tiffany, is this what you mean by “earthing?”

      “Years of extensive research has shown that connecting to the Earth’s natural energy, by walking barefoot on grass, sand, dirt or rock can diminish chronic pain, fatigue and other ailments that plague so many people today. This connection is referred to as Earthing or Grounding.

      To put it briefly, when your bare feet or skin comes in contact with the earth, free electrons are taken up into the body. These electrons could be referred to as nature’s biggest antioxidants and help neutralise damaging excess free radicals that can lead to inflammation and disease in the body.” (http://www.barefoothealing.com.au/v/what-is-earthing/22)

      I found no technical references on this site — just a lot of products for sale. Sorry, but to me, this sounds like bogus woo. Were you being sarcastic? Thanks for the laugh.

      1. Dr. J, actually some people on this site, under one of Dr. Greger’s more recent past videos (sorry I can’t remember which), posted some links with evidence about grounding or earthing helping with muscle soreness and pain, I believe they were pubmed links. I wish I could remember where these were posted here.
        Doesn’t sound like woo to me if you think about it, anyway, the earth is older than we can even detect and we stem from it and evolved for millions of years to live on it.

        1. I love their apples too. Yes, definitely give them a hug, and thank them for their “bounty.”

          I was waiting for a bus today and a huge flying insect of some sort kept flying around my head (testing me?). Can you believe I wasn’t at all afraid of it? I told it I loved it; we’re all part of ONE, even the bees and other critters. It finally flew off. I guess it just wanted to say hi, bless its little heart. :-) Namaste

  9. Many years ago, I bought a TTO lip balm because I had heard good things about it and had seriously chapped lips. It tingled nicely, and I thought nothing of it. Half an hour later, as I was driving to work, I noticed phlegm building up in my nose and mouth. I was quickly in full allergic attack, and have never used the stuff since. Had a pretty bad day at work too.

    1. Sounds like a horrible experience, Barbie.

      As kids, we used Vicks all the time with no bad effects….or at least none, that I remember. I think we even inserted it in our nostrils — which is now considered a no-no.

      A few years ago I used it again for whatever reason and broke out in a rash. I couldn’t find the website where hundreds (?) of people wrote it to tell of their bad experiences with Vicks. Some of them wondered if they’ve changed the formula over the years. (Maybe Big Vicks managed to have the website removed.)

      https://www.livestrong.com/article/112054-vicks-vapor-rub-warnings/

  10. So sad that animal have died over the use… I know people who put tea tree oil in their ears for whatever reason, is that safe? I also know people who put peroxide in their ears, is that safe?

    Another question on tea tree oil… In an interview Dr. Greger states that topical tea tree oil can lower testosterone so it can be useful to reduce unwanted hair growth where it’s topically applied, or at least on women. I told that to someone recently and they (male) were concerned about the testosterone bit because they have tea tree oil in their soap. So would this have a negative impact on male hormones?

  11. 2 teaspoons? Of course there is gonna be a reaction. People who ingest teatree normally ingest a few drops at most. So i havent seen any evidence to advise against a drop or two.

    1. But is there evidence proving its safety? Seems toxic to me. He may have been a young child, but 2 tsp of something putting someone in a coma sounds like some pretty serious stuff to me. Why ingest it, anyway?

  12. Not to ‘highjack’ or sideline this thread, but I thought I would ask (anybody) about this study that came out a few months ago via Ohio State University regarding:

    “OLUMBUS, Ohio – New research suggests long-term, high-dose supplementation with vitamin B12 — long touted by the vitamin industry for increasing energy and improving metabolism — is associated with a two- to four-fold increased lung cancer risk in men relative to non-users. Aug 22, 2017”

    https://cancer.osu.edu/news-and-media/news/long-term-high-dose-vitamin-b6-b12-use-associated-with-increased-lung-cancer-risk-among-men

    As on the advice of Michael Greger, 4 years ago I started taking 500 – 1000 mcg B12 daily, and now I am quite confused/worried.

    Cheers,

    LG King

    1. I am not concerned about my B12 intake, it’s such an important aspect of health, but I have seen others comment on this concern and I’m hoping Dr. Greger comments on it.

    2. LG,

      I think you are taking more than Dr. Greger recommends, but if I am reading the article correctly, you are taking way less than what the study was pointing to and the data was dealing with smokers.

      “Brasky notes these findings relate to doses that are well above those from taking a multivitamin every day for 10 years. These are doses that can only be obtained from taking high-dose B vitamin supplements, and these supplements are many times the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance,” he said.”

      This site had someone end up with blood blisters in their mouth from B-12 insufficiency while taking Methylcobalamin after going off fortified milk.

      I say that because maybe you can lower your level, but be careful about going too low for too long.

      The other side of the B-12 coin is that if you don’t get enough, you will have problems with homocysteine, which can cause brain problems and you can have thyroid problems and you can have your spine rot out or get MS. People used to die from B-12 deficiency.

      I think you have to do a balancing act.

      I go back to are you a smoker?

      That is my first question.

      The grossest concept possible flashed before my mind that you can always eat your own poop.

      Just don’t close your toilet seat and leave your toothbrush out and flush.

      Not sure how much Vitamin B-12 you get from that, but you may get some.

    1. Okay, yes, I wasn’t factoring in your age.

      When I first became a Christian, I listened to a lot of missionaries stories and one was from a Japanese Internment Camp in WWII and the woman had gone entirely grey from lack of nutrition and was put in solitary confinement maybe for not renouncing her Christianity. I remember her husband was killed and her close friend had gone insane and she was locked in solitary confinement and had to contemplate whether to eat her own poop. She said that she had heard stories of missionaries who had been prisoners who chose to do it to keep rodents and disease out and she comes to mind because though I have joked around many times on this site, I know that there are practical reasons that people get fecal transplants and that missionary was given a bowl of maggots for dinner or something like that and prayed to not throw up, so she wouldn’t have to eat her own vomit. I always marveled at missionary stories.

  13. This discussion board scheme is useless on this website and need a moderator. I came here to research a topic all I find is a video then a bunch of people trying to get free medical advice filing the boards with off topic conversation.

        1. LOL! I love both of you!

          I know that this site is more dynamic and less orderly than many of the discussion sites. The comments expanding from the center makes things much more dynamic and interesting.

          Probably disorienting for new people.

          Kate, welcome to NutritionFacts.org!

          Yes, you genuinely are welcome!

          Most of us bounce off the videos and do our actual research places like PubMed.

          As far as whether people are coming for free medical advice, I suspect the book “How Not to Die” contributed to that phenomenon. Pretty sure, next year, people will be coming for free diet advice.

          Bigger topics tend to have more on-topic discussions.

          1. I honestly think the discussion boards are getting friendlier and funnier and more useful about products.

            The big topic discussions aren’t here right now but I find it extraordinary that so many people are showing up for these topics.

            Not putting the topics down, they just are less meaty topics.

            Did I say meaty? I should probably say, “Weighty.”

    1. If you have something to discuss all you will need to do is discuss it and people will interact nicely with you.

      There are moderators for comments which are abusive and for spam links.

      You can discuss the topic and many people will respond to you and one of the moderators or Dr Greger himself will respond if something is wrong.

      1. Dr Greger reads his comments and I am sure he will take your thoughts into account.

        Though he also does encourage people to put the topics they are interested in so that he finds out what people are interested in.

        What you are seeing is a community of people who enjoy each other forming.

        Anyway, the research you want is in the videos themselves, and people genuinely will interact with you about the topics.

        I personally find this free-flowing format so much more enjoyable, and people are so willing to talk about the topics, too. It isn’t as ridgid and formal as most message boards and people’s comments get inserted right where they want to comment rather than ten pages down how most formats work.

        1. There are a few topics, like the How Not To Die series where coming as a new person, you want to be able to interact “on topic” but 99% of the people are following the daily videos and the concept of having formal discussion board sites on tea tree oil or henna would just separate the community from each other.

          That is what I have seen on other sites.

          Dr Greger has Krebs Cycles with active participation, rather than a set-up like cable or the Internet itself. It would become a few hot topics and a lot of abandoned threads.

          He can’t even really generate a discussion in podcasts and it isn’t his fault.

          He has given us two seriously dynamic threads versus dead discussion boards and even sites like Sparkpeople with so many people trying to lose weight together most of the small groups and threads end up closing and it becomes impossible to moderate. Not workable.

          The number of times I have found great discussions on-line, but they were from ten years ago and the responding is closed or you can post something ten pages in but you can’t get near the comment you wanted to respond to versus this site.

          Dr Greger I love your discussion format, but do understand that we all hi jack it and change topics frequently.

          New people will be the ones who struggle to follow it, but I can look at your YouTube videos and those comments are linear so if I hated this, I could go there or to Facebook.

          1. The fact that all of the hijackers are the people who come every day and make all the comments, it would get lonely in here if we had to stick with aloe on aloe day and henna on henna day.

            Dr Greger you just have to up the ante and get some topics as big as how not to die and up your production values and then you can have the nameless faceless masses commenting and probably stalking you.

    2. Kate

      If you come here just for the research, why are you wasting your time reading the comments?

      Watch the video and then read the relevant articles from the scientific journals referenced in the ‘sources cited’ drop-down box. Or go somewhere else more suited to your purpose if you find the comments altogether too irritating..

      I personally choose to read the comments because they often generate ideas for further study. I also choose to comment for various reasons including the opportunity to bring attention to and invite discussion of newly published research articles. It is therefore a useful and educational option for me. However, you are under no obligation to do the same. In fact, I didn’t bother reading the comments when I first came to this site – just watched the videos themselves and read the sources cited. I only started engaging with the comments once I had retired and had some more free time.

      You might want to read the ‘Comment Etiquette’ section for a bit of background on the aims and rules for the comment section.

      1. “If you come here just for the research, why are you wasting your time reading the comments?”
        – – – – – – – –

        Good point — I was planning to post the same thing. I always head directly to Dr. G’s transcript rather than listen/watch the video. I’ve very sensitive hearing and would rather just “cut to the chase” at my own speed.

        (Not to say I think there’s anything wrong with his voice or manner of speaking. :-)

        1. A couple of months ago some dude showed up to say that he reads the comments “for entertainment purposes only” — that we were the blind leading the blind or something.

          Gotta say, though, some of the comments you read here ARE pretty ……laughable. :-)

    3. Kate, are you really that bored that you need to come on a message board just to be slightly controversial and get attention or are you that dense that you can’t see this is a comments section (COMMENTS being the operative word) where people can have discussions, share cited information, and ask questions which Dr. Greger and the moderators encourage as sometimes the questions are addressed by volunteers or even Dr. Greger or even sometimes a commenter is able to answer the question or offer evidence and this is helpful to not only those asking, but to current and future readers as well.

      The videos are well organized presentations of scientific data. It makes researching possible to those of us who don’t have access to all the scientific literature and also aren’t trained trained to interpret it.

      Speaking of being dense, it’s ALL free medical advise… that’s the point. Dr. Greger is doing this because he cares and sharing is caring… it’s true, go watch Care Bears. Anyways, if you want to go do “research” on a site that isn’t free and the doctor running it gets rich off of your reading (and buying his products), I highly recommend Mercola’s site. Good luck.

  14. Dr. J, yes, earthing is electrical grounding. There are studies showing health benefits to plants, animals and humans, not all websites are selling products. By the way, putting you bare skin or feet on moist ground costs nothing, zero.

  15. when will dr. greger and the team look into fasting? Do intermittent and/or longer term fasting have benefits when combined with a whole plant based diet, grounding and exercise?

    1. john, the good news is, Dr. Greger is coming out with lots of videos on fasting! He promises that we’ll get sick of them lol. UNFORTUNATELY, it’s not going to be until sometime next year :( Hopefully January 1st! lol

  16. Note: This is not just a nutrition blog; sometimes dr greger talks about exercise, smoking and other health related topics. therefore there is no reason why we cannot look at grounding and/or fasting.

    1. He is good about reading the comments and if there are good studies he is open to our suggestions.

      He has tens of thousands of topics to choose from and most of his topics have more to do with who is publishing their research in the English speaking journals.

    2. john tiffany, just wanted to add that Dr Greger announces on his blog when a new dvd is about to begin. He posted the new upcoming one not long ago https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/08/30/dr-greger-on-macrobiotic-diets/ The videos we see are made well in advance, so while NF is interested in topic suggestions, seeing a video on that topic might take a long time. He does do a live Q & A every month on facebook.. maybe you would like to ask him there?

    3. He tends to concentrate on subjects for which there is good quality scientific evidence.

      My impression is that the evidence for the beneficial effects of earthing is not ‘gold standard’. Much of it could be the result of the placebo and/or Hawthorne effects. There may also have been confounding factors – that is, what else did people do differently at the same time? Finally, in many cases, people just get better in on their own in time anyway withot any medical, nutritional or lifestyle interventions. .Look at flu’s and colds for example’

      That’s why he mainly focuses on topics for which there are good quality scientific studies which adequately control for these factors.

  17. Euhm okay, this is a weird video. I thought the whole issue with tea tree oil and other essential oils like lavender was it’s hormone disrupting behavior? This isn’t even touched on in the video. Is there a part II coming in the next few days, or am I missing something here?

    After the initial observation in a 2007 study, which was countered with a study done by the industry, the Endocrine Society has presented new research in 2018, which once again confirms the hormone disrupting effect of things like tea tree oil and other essential oils.

    “Our society deems essential oils as safe,” says lead investigator on the study J. Tyler Ramsey. “However, they possess a diverse amount of chemicals and should be used with caution because some of these chemicals are potential endocrine disruptors.”

    https://www.endocrine.org/news-room/2018/chemicals-in-lavender-and-tea-tree-oil-appear-to-be-hormone-disruptors

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