Oh dearie me. Oh dearie dearie me. A bad day at the office for the wellness brigade. All those essential oils they tout as, well, essential? They can have anti-testosterone and pro-oestrogenic properties. If you happen to be a pre-pubertal boy, you’re going to get ragged at school if you start to develop boobs. And that’s what has happened.

The effect has been seen with both lavender and tea tree oils. You can find either or both of them in a variety of products. Shampoos, bath gels, and more than a few ‘earth friendly’ cleaning products.

This is yet another moment when you realise that a lot of people think ‘natural’ is the same as ‘safe.’ It’s not, as I have been banging on about for many a good year. Synthetic isn’t necessarily more dangerous than naturally occurring. Amanita toadstools are natural, but you don’t want them as part of your diet, any more than deadly nightshade as a staple. Lead’s natural. So is mercury, cadmium, and any of a long list of toxic, yet natural, things.

If a pharma company made a drug with this unforeseen side effect, there’d be a bit of a to-do. Cimetidine nearly got its coffin lid nailed down by this, along with decreased male libido and impotence. The treehuggers are now in the same sinbin as the much-hated* big pharma companies. I doubt we’ll see much of a backlash though.

However, there may be a silver lining to this anti-androgenic cloud. Testosterone isn’t all a good thing all the time. Interesting factoid. For some unfathomable reason other than wild-haired curiosity I guess, studied historical records about eunuchs in the 14th to 19th centuries. I was amazed there were still eunuchs in the 1800s, but there you go.

Any road up. Eunuchs lived, on average, about 16 years longer than their contemporaries. The number of centenarians was 130 times that of modern populations. I might be tempted the suspect this might have been something to do with the decent diet of those at court, but it’s still impressive.

So guys. Want to live to be 100? Have your knackers removed. I’ve never been too bothered about living to 100 anyway, and the possible route to success is not one I’m too keen on. I’m quite attached to my bollocks.

*Not without a fair amount of justification, it has to be admitted.