What is Emu Oil?
Despite the fact that we are only just beginning to learn about the enormous benefits of emu oil, the aborigines of Australia have known about them for millennia. This wonderful bird native to Australia has provided native Australians with meat and healing oil for a very long time.
It can treat a range of conditions ranging from skin inflammation to wound healing and arthritis, and the wider world is just getting wind of its fantastic potential.
Where does Emu Oil come from?
Emu oil unsurprisingly is derived from the fat of the large flightless Australian bird which my daughter continues to call an ostrich. Although they are native to Australia only, they are now raised commercially in other parts of the world notably in India and China where their meat is becoming very popular.
Emu farming is considered to be environmentally friendly as every part of the bird gets put to use, and unlike much livestock, they benefit the land where they are being raised. It is also important to note that they only thrive under the most humane conditions.
What makes Emu Oil so effective?
Emu oil is especially effective at penetrating deep beneath the skin’s layers where it can help treat inflammation, relieve pain and treat the skin from the inside. Unlike most other oils, emu oil does not contain any phospholipids.
This is important because our skin blocks the penetration of oils containing phospholipids. The deep and fast penetration offered by emu oil allows it to work on the skin, muscles, and joints in a way that most other oils and even some medications cannot. Because of its amazing absorption abilities, it does not settle on the skin and clog the pores.
Emu oil contains the following healthy compounds:
- Vitamin A which is a known antioxidant and an excellent tonic for the skin.
- Oleic acid or omega-9 which can help fight wrinkles, blemishes and scaring by rejuvenating the cells.
- Linoleic acid or omega – 6 which helps to ease muscular aches and the type of joint pain associated with arthritis.
- Terpines which have antiseptic qualities.
- Sapogens which have many health properties including anti-aging and skin applications.
Emu Oil Benefits
Emu oil has excellent anti-inflammatory properties and can be applied to the body to ease swollen joints and muscular pain. Several studies have demonstrated that emu oil had the potential to be used as a complimentary treatment for those suffering from rheumatism and arthritis. This study published in 1998 revealed that emu oil inhibited chronic inflammation and had none of the adverse side effects associated with commonly prescribed anti-arthritic medications. (1)
Emu oil has been traditionally used by native Australians to speed up the healing of skin wounds and burns. Several studies have confirmed its traditional uses including this Chinese study published in 2005.
Researchers applied emu oil to the scald burns of 144 rats and observed the results. They found that the inflammation and effusion of the wound were alleviated significantly and infection was avoided; the burns also healed significantly more quickly following the application of emu oil, and there were no adverse side effects. (2)
Other studies have demonstrated that emu oil in combination with Vitamin E could help heal post-surgical wounds in rats. (3)
Acne and other Inflammatory Skin Conditions
Research shows that emu oil is composed almost entirely of triglyceride lipids making its composition very similar to human skin. This similarity means that our skin can quickly absorb emu oil.
Because it has such excellent anti-inflammatory activity, it can be used to help treat acne and other chronic inflammatory conditions affecting the skin. It is also antibacterial and contains vitamin A which has outstanding antioxidant abilities.
Many people who use emu oil find that it not only helps treat their acne but also helps diminish the appearance of red marks on their skin while also nourishing and moisturizing. The way in which emu oil gets absorbed so thoroughly means that it will not clog the pores which can contribute to acne.
Emu oil is also used to great effect to help treat other chronic skin conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.
It is recommended that you apply emu oil directly to the affected areas of your skin three times each day to see the best improvements.
General Skin Health
As we have already mentioned, the compounds contained in emu oil are not only great for chronic skin disorders but are also excellent for maintaining the general health and appearance of your skin.
Its antioxidant properties, as well as the rejuvenating linoleic acid, make it an excellent choice to help keep you looking young. If you feel that your skin is looking older and less lively, emu oil might be just the tonic it needs.
The aboriginal people of Australia have also long used emu oil to protect themselves from the harsh UV rays in the Australian outback. These days, emu oil is being used more and more often by people in hotter countries for the very same reason.
Because of its excellent anti-inflammatory properties, emu oil can help inhibit pain associated with arthritis and other joint conditions like gout. Emu oil is an excellent carrier oil and can help other pain relieving substances like menthol oils reach deep beneath the skin’s surface.
For the Hair
As I mentioned earlier, emu oil combines well with other products and can be added to your regular shampoo to help condition your hair and treat your scalp. As well as helping to nourish your hair, many people recommend massaging emu oil into areas of the head where your hair is thinning to help it grow back. In fact, there is some evidence that it might work.
A study published in 2014 set out to examine the hair growth effects of emu oil comared with a 5% minioxidil solution. The research done on animals found that it was extremely useful when compared to the commercial solution. They also found that it was safe and well-tolerated. (5)
Inflammatory Bowel Conditions
While this article has focused mainly on the topical use of emu oil, it can also be used internally, and there is emerging scientific evidence that it can help treat inflammatory bowel diseases that afflict so many people.
A recent study published in 2012 found that emu oil was effective against certain inflammatory bowel diseases and helped facilitate intestinal repair. The researchers concluded that emu oil was a potential adjunct to more conventional treatment methods. (4)
To Relieve Pain and Irritation from Breastfeeding
Applying emu oil topically can also help breast-feeding moms by relieving the pain that many women experience. Many women who breastfeed suffer from dry, cracked and painful nipples and one study has found that emu oil could offer some natural relief.
A study published in 2016 found that when wmu oil was applied to the nipples, it helped to soothe the pain caused by breast-feeding. 70 women took part in the study in which they applied emu oil cream to the areola. The treatment helped hydrate the affected areas while having no adverse effects on temperature, elasticity or pH levels in the skin. (6)
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of emu oil for the skin?
Emu oil has anti-inflammatory properties and has a great many uses for the skin and can safely be applied topically. Some of the main uses for the skin include common conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. It is also used for general skin care and to protect against damage from UV rays.
What are the other benefits of emu oil?
Apart from being applied to treat the skin itself, emu oil is also applied topically to help treat painful inflammatory conditions like gout and arthritis. It is also used to nourish the hair and scalp and may even help your hair grow back.
Is emu oil good for acne prone skin?
Studies have demonstrated that emu oil contains anti-inflammatory properties and may be useful against skin conditions like acne. There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that emu oil can reduce swelling and redness and help treat acne.
Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence yet to prove conclusively whether emu oil will help clear up acne.
Can emu oil clog pores?
Applying emu oil to your skin will not clog the pores. The opposite is true. In fact, emu oil dissolves hardened sebum responsible for clogging the pores.
If you use emu oil as part of a sensible skin cleansing routine, it may reduce the occurrence of new blemishes.
Is Emu oil good for scars?
It is highly unlikely that applying emu oil topically will have any effect on the color of your skin or the appearance of any scars you are trying to get rid of. It certainly will not help eradicate scar tissue itself. However, being an anti-inflammatory oil, it may help reduce redness arund the scar tissue.
How do I use emu oil on my hair?
Put a little emu oil on your hand and then rub your palms together. With your fingers and hands, apply the oil to your hair making sure you go all the way from the shaft of the hair to its roots. Apply more oil if you have longer hair. You can also cover the entire scalp with emu oil, and it will absorb very well.
Cover your hair and let the oil sit for at least five minutes. You could even let it sit overnight using a shower cap to protect the bedding. Finally, wash and rinse your hair as normal.
Available Forms of Emu Oil
Emu oil is available in numerous topical forms and also in capsule form that can be taken internally. As well as pure emu oil the following products are some of those readily available.
Emu Oil capsules: contain omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids with excellent anti-inflammatory properties that promise to help you with arthritic pains and also inflammation of the gut.
You can buy Emu Oil capsules here
Emu oil soap: can be used instead of your regular soap to take care of your skin in general and is an excellent option for those suffering from acne, psoriasis or eczema.
You can buy Emu Oil Soap here
Shampoo: you can buy emu oil shampoo or simply add some pure emu oil to your regular shampoo.
You can buy Pure Emu Oil here
Lotions: because emu oil makes such a great carrier oil, you can add it to your chosen face lotions which will help it to penetrate deeper and more effectively and also to last longer.
You can buy a pre-made Emu Oil cream here
Blue emu oil: blue emu oil is considered to be the best quality and strongest acting topical emu oil. It is combined with the soothing gel of Aloe Vera and is a great way to treat tired and aching muscles quickly.
You can buy Blue Emu Oil here