Emu oil is a natural product made from the refined fat of the emu, a large flightless bird native to Australia. Rich in antioxidants like vitamin A and polyunsaturated fats, emu oil has long been used in aboriginal culture to heal wounds and treat common skin disorders. Emu oil is also said to have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.

Emu oil is derived from fat deposits just beneath the skin of the bird. Once harvested, it is processed, filtered, and refined to various standards to obtain the prized, bright yellow oil. Aside from its topical uses, emu oil is also sometimes taken internally as a health tonic to treat digestive disorders and arthritis.



Benefit of emu oil


The most popular benefit of emu oil is its use as Trusted Source an anti-inflammatory. It also contains compounds that have antioxidant properties.

In a review posted to the journal Nutrition, researchers noted that the potent anti-inflammatory effect of emu oil may be beneficial in treating conditions such as:

  • ear inflammation
  • inflammatory bowel syndrome
  • arthritis

In the case of arthritis, it is used as a massage oil.

Emu oil is also said to prevent bone loss induced by chemotherapy.

Enhancing skin moisture and absorption

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Emu oil is thought to have benefits for skin conditions and wounds.

The skin easily absorbs emu oil. This can help lock in skin moisture, making the skin less prone to cracking or drying out.

Emu oil may help reduce skin damage Trusted Source associated with cancer radiation.

It appears that emu oil can pass this absorbable trait on to other compounds when they are mixed together. This property may explain why emu oil is regularly mixed into moisturizers containing other helpful compounds.

Stimulating the skin

The research also signals that applying emu oil to the skin may help increase the number of healthy skin cells. Emu oil stimulates the skin to reduce the appearance of skin wrinkles, and rejuvenate aging or sun-damaged skin.

Emu oil has also been recommended for use in the treatment of skin conditions Trusted Source, such as skin wounds and seborrheic dermatitis. It may also help with alopecia, rosacea, hypopigmentation, and shingles.

Healing wounds

Because of its painkilling effect, antioxidant levels, and ability to reach deep into the skin, emu oil can be applied to small wounds, cuts, bruises, or burns.

It can help ease the pain of minor wounds, and the antioxidants may help protect the skin from additional damage.

Bug repellant

Applying emu oil to the skin before heading outdoors can help repel insects. This is partly due to substances called terpenes found in the oil.

Many insects are disoriented or repelled by terpenes, and putting the oil on exposed skin can keep bugs at bay.

Reducing cholesterol

When taken orally, emu oil may reduce cholesterol in the body.

In 2004, researchers found that hamsters that consumed either emu oil or olive oil had significantly lower cholesterol levels than those that received coconut oil in their diet.

More trials are needed to substantiate these claims, but the results are promising.

Treating ulcers

According to some research posted to Pharmacy Today, emu oil may also help treat ulcers.

In people who had ulcers, applications of various levels of emu oil had a protective effect. In some cases, the oil even reduced the size of the ulcers.

Breast sensitivity

According to a peer-reviewed article, posted to Nutrition, emu oil may also reduce the breast sensitivity common in breastfeeding mothers.

When newborns latch onto the breast, some women may experience pain caused by an improper latch.

This can result in soreness, engorgement, cracked and dry skin, and pain. These symptoms may be severe enough to cause some new mothers to stop breastfeeding.

Researchers found that when breastfeeding mothers used an emu-based cream for a 24-hour period beginning soon after delivery, the breast areola and nipple skin was more hydrated.

However, more research is needed before guidelines for breastfeeding will change to include emu oil.

Before feeding her baby, a woman should wipe her nipple and breast with a warm cloth to remove any residual oil. This is because emu oil has not been proven safe for infants and children to ingest. It is also possible to be allergic to emu oil.


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