For hundreds of years, people in Australia have been using emu oil as a treatment for a number of ailments. Over the last few years, this oil has become very popular around the world as an ingredient in skin creams, shampoos and cosmetics and a number of studies have proven that it may be an effective treatment for people suffering from a wide variety skin conditions and other issues.
Why is Emu Oil So Special?
Emu oil is derived from the body fat of the emu. Emu oil is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, as nearly 70 percent of it is composed of unsaturated omega-3s, omega-6s and omega-9s. The most prevalent of these EFAs is oleic acid, which is the same fatty acid that gives olive oil most of its health benefits. Essential fatty acids are important to metabolic and cellular health.
What are the Emu Oil Benefits?
Emu Oil as an Anti-Inflammatory
Emu oil is strongly regarded for its anti-inflammatory properties. Research conducted at the University of Massachusetts has proven that emu oil has is an efficient topical anti-inflammatory and promotes faster wound healing, though it may be more effective for treating acute inflammation than as a treatment for those that suffer from chronic inflammation. Emu oil can also be used to treat muscle soreness and aching joints after intense exercise.
Emu Oil for Hair
A study from the Boston University School of Medicine shows that emu oil can stimulate hair regrowth in as little as 30 days.
As men age, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels build and shorten the active phase of hair follicles. DHT build up is one of the main factors of male pattern baldness. By treating the scalp with emu oil before the follicles die completely, the oleic acid in emu oil can reawaken up to 80 percent of sleeping follicles.
5-alpha reductase and androgen are by-product enzymes of male and female sexual hormones, which can cause hair thinning in men and women. Regular use of emu oil can act as an inhibitor of these enzymes and promote thicker and fuller hair follicles.
Emu Oil for Skin
Because of its similarity to the natural oils in human skin, emu oil has strong transdermal properties, which means that it is quickly and fully absorbed when used topically. These properties make it a great topical carrier for other supplements like aloe vera and glucosamine. The transdermal qualities also make emu oil an excellent moisturizer. Because it is so quickly absorbed, the oil does not leave behind a greasy residue like other moisturizers and lotions.
The Department of Dermatology at the University of Texas Medical School has proven that emu oil is non-comedogenic at concentrations of up to 100 percent. This means that even in its purest form, emu oil will not clog pores, which is the reason that more and more cosmetics manufacturers are turning to emu oil as a catalyst for their products.
Emu oil can be used to treat a number of skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and shingles and due to its anti-fungal properties, it can also be an effective treatment for athlete’s foot. Emu oil can boost collagen production and increase skin’s elasticity, which makes it an excellent treatment for reducing the appearance of bruises, scars and stretch marks. Cancer patients can also benefit from emu oil by using it to treat burns caused by radiation therapy.
Emu Oil for Babies
Babies’ skin is very sensitive and most topical treatments have additives and preservatives that can irritate an infant’s delicate skin. Pure emu oil is free of these chemicals and can safely be used to treat a number of skin conditions in babies and young children, including eczema, cradle cap and diaper rash, and can also relieve swollen gums during teething. Emu oil is much safer for young children than cortisone creams and is gentle enough to use, even on a baby’s face.
In 2007, The University of Victoria conducted a double blind study on the effects of emu oil on childhood eczema. After three months, children using emu oil experienced a significant reduction of symptoms and some were cured of the condition completely. Because emu oil is bacteriostatic and hypoallergenic, it can prevent infections from scratching in children suffering from diaper rash and eczema. Emu oil can be applied directly to the skin or a few drops can be added to babies’ bath water.
Emu Oil for Pets
In veterinary medicine, emu oil is used to reduce arthritis symptoms, heal damaged paw pads, and soothe irritation from flea bites. Emu oil can be given to dogs and cats orally or can be administered topically to treat severe itching. Several pet pharmaceutical companies make emu oil shampoos and sprays for dogs, cats and horses.
Other Potential Health Benefits of Emu Oil
With all of the health benefits that we know emu oil can provide, research is still being conducted to find out if emu oil can aid or even cure other ailments.
Research currently being conducted includes emu oil’s effects on:
• High cholesterol
• Weight loss
• Flus, including H1N1
• Diabetic nerve pain
• Menstrual cramps
History of Emu Oil
The aboriginal people of Australia have used emu oil to treat a number of ailments, including cuts, coughs, fevers and bruises for centuries. As early European settlers arrived on the continent, they witnessed the healing effects of the oil and adopted it as a treatment for injuries and minor illnesses.
In the mid-1980s, Australian researchers began studying the effects of emu oil. Originally, they thought the anti-inflammatory properties came from the abundance of fatty acids, but when they compared emu oil against other oils higher in EFAs, the results proved that emu oil was still far more effective. The University of Adelaide and Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital later found that the anti-inflammatory properties actually come from the bile and compounds from the bird’s diet that give the oil its yellow pigmentation.
Varieties of Emu Oil
Besides pharmaceutical and beauty products that include emu oil as an ingredient, there are a variety of forms and grades of pure emu oil on the market. Generally, emu oil is not sold in its crude form because of its tendency to spoil within days, especially outside of refrigeration, but crude emu oil is suitable for making soap.
For the most part, pure emu oil sold in stores comes in refined and triple refined versions. Refining the oil extends its shelf life and increases its purity, benefits and bioavailability. The refining process also removes any hormones, toxic metals, pesticides, viruses or bacterial infections that may be present in the crude product. Refined oils generally last one to one and a half years, depending on storage conditions and refrigerating emu oil can extend its shelf life dramatically. Trace amounts of Vitamin E are added by some producers to stabilize the oil and extend its shelf life further.
Emu oils are held to quality and grading specifications set by the Emu Oil Fully Refined Trade Rules by the American Emu Association (AEA).
Safety of Emu Oil
There is no standardized dosage for emu oil. Because of its similarity to the natural oils in human skin, it is generally considered safe for internal and external use. Emu oil is hypoallergenic and in its purest, refined forms will not irritate eyes. Since emu oil is a naturally occurring fatty oil, it is completely biodegradable.
There are no known side effects of emu oil, but as with any other over the counter supplement, children and pregnant women should only use it under a doctor’s supervision and people on prescription medications should always check with a doctor to ensure that there is no possibility of adverse interactions.
What Are the Best Emu Oil Products?
Emu Gold is an all-natural emu oil product that is AEA Certified, meeting and exceeding industry standards. It is a versatile oil that has positive results for skin or hair issues whether it is from dry skin, eczema, psoraisis or acne.
Available in 0.5 oz, 1 oz, 2 oz, 4 oz and 8 oz bottles, it has a nice thin consistency that does not clog pores. You can save 30% by purchasing it on Amazon.