Emu oil for headache, shingles, joint pains, lipid-lowering and skin problems

Health Science and Practical Remedies

Emu oil is the oil made from flightless bird Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) which is native to Australia. Emu oil is marketed and promoted as a dietary supplement with a wide variety of claimed health benefits. Emu oil contains fatty acids that reduce pain and swelling. There are evidences that emu oil might work better for acute (sudden) inflammation than for chronic (forgoing) inflammation.

Emu oil has been used for pain relief (headaches, migraines, shingles, growing pains, bedsores, diabetic nerve pain, arthritis, sore muscles, aching joints, carpal tunnel syndrome), sciatica, shin splints, burns from radiation therapy, athlete's foot, diaper rash, canker sores, chapped lips, poor circulation, dry skin, dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles, age spots, bruises, cuts, fevers, coughs, hemorrhoids, insect bites, earaches, eye irritation, frostbite, razor burn and nicks.

Emu oil research results and applications:
  1. Oral syrup or nose application for colds, H1N1 (swine) flu and common flu.
  2. Double blind clinical study showed that Emu oil has moisturizing properties similar to mineral oil. Wound healing by Emu oil lotion is comparative with furasin, polysporin and cortisone. Use as massage oil as pain therapy.
  3. Topical application of Emu oil on wound shows anti-inflammatory activity and healing-promoting effects.
  4. Emu oil is used to reduce swelling in joints, prevent cracked or peeling paws and reduce irritation of flea bites.
  5. Oral-taking Emu oil (7%) is used in combination with glycolic acid (10%) for lowering blood fats including triglycerides and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, preventing and treating allergies and preventing scarring.
  6. Relieves discomfort associated with menstruation.
  7. Emu oil reduces small intestinal inflammation in rat model of indomethacin-induced enteropathy; suppresses 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy-induced inflammation, osteoclast formation and bone loss in rat; increases colonic crypt depth in a rat model of ulcerative colitis; shows therapeutic effect for gastrointestinal tract disorders; antagonizes croton oil-induced inflammation in mice; and alters selected small intestinal parameters in a rat model of mucositis.
  8. Emu polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids used for weight loss.
  9. Emu oil is a non-toxic transdermal anti-inflammatory agent in aboriginal medicine.

Chemicals in Emu oil:
Unadulterated Emu oil can vary widely in color and viscosity depending on Emu’s natural diet. Most Emu oils are yellow liquids composed of approximately 70% unsaturatedfatty acids. The largest component is oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. Emu oil also contains roughly 20% linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and 1-2% linolenic acid (anomega-3 fatty acid).

Lipids 38 (6): 603–7, 2003
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013 :429706
Di Yi Jun Yi Da Xue Xue Bao. 2005 Apr; 25(4):407-10
Dig Dis Sci. 2012, Apr; 57(4):887-96
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012, May;27(5):857-61
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jun 1; 302(11)

Dr. Jeff Zhao (赵吉福), a natural product scientist, has been studying active ingredients, new drugs, cosmetics and  nutritional supplements for over 35 years.

Warning: The information in this web site is for your information only. You should not use our information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your medical doctors.​​​​


Anonymous said…
I am a rep for an emu oil company and I hear all the positive comments all the time...the main thing I hear is relief from eczema and other skin inflammation issues. I used myself before I was a rep on body pain issues doing a treatment of chemotherapy....nothing else reduced the pain and that made me a believer.
Chic Bowdrie said…
"Oral-taking Emu oil (7%) is used in combination with glycolic acid (10%) for lowering blood fats including triglycerides and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, preventing and treating allergies and preventing scarring."

This claim was quoted on WebMd and many other sites without any supporting reference. Do you have one?
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