Emu Oil










Emu oil is made from the fat of the emu (pronounced ee-myoo), a bird native to Australia. It has been used for thousands of years by the Australian Aborigines and played a significant role in their lives. The emu provided a means of survival in the form of both food and medicine. The fat from the emu aided the Aborigines as a remedy for skin ailments. It was used as a skin protectant and sunscreen, as a burn treatment and liniment for wounds and bruises, as a pain reliever for bone, muscle, and joint disorders, and for a skin moisturizer.
Aborigine Dance
Aborigine Dance

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The emu bird is considered by some to be the closest living relative to the dinosaur. It’s the world’s second largest living bird, standing 6 feet tall. The emu produces a layer of fat that surrounds its body somewhat like a saddle blanket. It averages about two inches thick and the composition of this fat is influenced by diet. Today the emu is raised on farms in the United States.



At room temperature emu oil is a semi-solid that will separate into three parts. The physical state of emu oil defines it more as seed oil rather than as an animal fat. Make sure that you shake the oil before applying.



Emu oil is approximately 70% unsaturated essential fatty acids . It contains about 40% oleic acid which is the largest component. Both palmitic and linoleic acids makes up about 20% of the fatty acid composition. Stearic acid makes up less than 10%, palmitoleic acid about 5%, and linolenic acid about 2%. Emu oil has a fatty acid profile similar to our own healthy skin.



Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid which eases muscle aches and joint pain. It suppresses inflammation and contributes to cell repair. Linoleic acid is also necessary for prostaglandin hormone synthesis.



Oleic acid is an omega-9 fatty acid and is a proven skin cell regenerator and anti-wrinkle agent. It also provides a local anti-inflammatory effect. Oleic acid is a known enhancer of transport of bio-active compounds through the skin. The high amount of oleic acid in emu oil may be one of the reasons that it’s able to penetrate the skin so well.



It's non-comedogenic even at 100% strength. It’s also hypoallergenic and moisturizing.



It penetrates the skin barrier and acts like an anti-inflammatory. It has hyper-oxygenated properties, which means it draws blood supply to topically applied areas. This speeds up the healing time for wounds and is anti-aging.



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It's bacteriostatic which also helps with wound healing. When applied to wounds the healing time is reduced as well as scarring.

Photomicroscopy, Skin X.S. Epidermal Layer
Photomicroscopy, Skin X.S. Epidermal Layer

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Documented Properties and/or Uses

• Anti-inflammatory activity
• Anti-arthritic activity
• Appears to encourage faster burn healing with less pain and scarring
• Bacteriostatic
• Cholesterol reduction
• Excellent emulsifier
• Moisturizing
• Non-comedogenic
• Penetration enhancer
• Significant wound healing agent
• Significantly reduces recent keloid scarring
• Significant epidermal proliferative activity


Anti-inflammatory activity

Eczema- reduces irritation and inflammation of the skin.

Epithelialized wounds- reduces scar tissue formation, soothing of wounds after surgery by anti-inflammatory action.

Bruising, sprains and muscle pain due to falls- The elderly often encounters this problem. The oil massaged into the affected area a number of times per day can offer faster relief from pain than other commonly prescribed dressings or balms.

Digitized X-Ray of Knee Patella Visible
Digitized X-Ray of Knee Patella Visible

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Anti-arthritic activity

According to Dr. G.R. Hobday of Australia in regards to joints---
Joint pain- reduces pain, swelling, and stiffness which are most evident where the joint is close to the skin surface, such as the hands, feet, knees, and elbows.
Massaging of the oil into stiff joints on the hands is of considerable benefit.

Rheumatoid arthritis- isn’t observed to be effective, though colleagues have noticed benefit. Further research is required.

Bruising and muscle pain- significantly benefits recent bruising and muscle pain where injury is relatively superficial.
Significantly reduces sports related muscle strains with post-exercise emu oil massage.



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Appears to encourage faster burn healing with less pain and scarring

According to Dr. John Griswold, Director of the Timothy J. Harner Burn Center, Lubbock, Texas, “Care for the re-epithelialized burn wound is one of the most important steps in the total recovery of the burn patient. This care includes topical applications of burn salves to aid elasticity, lubrication and the continued physiological processes of healing of new and applied skin.”


Numerous studies on burn victims have been conducted. The oil and cream have been applied soon after the burn accident. Some of these cases have involved third degree burns. Pain was actually reduced and healing was a lot faster with less scarring. Emu oil has also been used on radiation burns of cancer patients with great success.



Bacteriostatic- Throughout the world individuals and companies have tested emu oil and confirmed its bacteriostatic properties. For example, in British Columbia, Canada Karen Davis of Outback Emuzing Ranch, a medical technologist specializing in biochemistry and microbiology has tested the oil for several organisms. She found no growth for anaerobic bacteria, fungus, yeast, salmonella, shigella, staphylococcus, streptococcus and E. coli.

Gram Bacteria Streptococcus Pneumoniae
Gram Bacteria Streptococcus Pneumoniae

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Excellent emulsifier- It has been found to be a good emulsifier. Oil and water don’t mix and they form two separate layers or phases. An emulsifier will cause one of the liquids to be dispersed throughout the other liquid in small droplets.



Moisturizing- The moisturizing property of emu oil makes it useful in both the skin care and the cosmetic industries. The oil makes a good shaving cream. It’s even been found to eliminate the frequency of ingrown hairs.



Non-comedogenic- It's non-pore clogging. It won’t produce pimples on the skin. It was compared in a study with mineral oil. Each was used for one week and there was a one week waiting period between using the other oil. 100% of the people in the study said they preferred the emu oil. 70% of the volunteers had an outbreak of pimples with the mineral oil. Only one person had an outbreak of one single pimple with this amazing oil. That’s pretty extraordinary!



Penetration enhancer- It's highly penetrating. It goes through the skin barrier and directly into the skin. This is an important characteristic for both the cosmetic and the pharmaceutical industries, because it can carry active ingredients into the skin.






Significant wound healing agent- Doctors have used emu oil on their patients when other ointments, even prescription, have not worked. Amazingly the wounds in these patients have responded and healed at a fast rate.



Significant epidermal proliferative activity- Studies were done on mice applying emu oil for seven consecutive days. The emu oil produced a significant proliferation reaction on the epidermis. It produced a more normal stratum corneum than retinoic acid.







Veterinary Use of Emu Oil

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Veterinary medicine- Emu oil has been successfully used by veterinarians for wounds, ringworm, sore chapped or ulcerated teat ends of cows, cast sores, and pressure sores. I’ve used it on one of my cats with astounding results. Bogart, my red cat, has had a history of allergies and bumps on his chin. The vet told me his chin bumps were caused by feline acne and to make sure I used a metal or ceramic bowl and it should clear up. It never did! He continued to have the problem on and off. At one point his chin got so bad that he scratched at it till it bled and formed a large scab. I applied emu oil daily to his chin and the wound healed up and pink new skin formed. He no longer has bumps on his chin and new hair grew in at a fast rate.
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