Aceite de Emu, Dromiceius Nova-hollandiae, Dromiceius novahollandiae, Émeu, Emu, Huile d'Émeu.
The emu is a flightless bird that resembles a small ostrich. Emu oil is taken from the fat of this bird during processing. It is used to make medicine.
Emu oil is taken by mouth for improving cholesterol levels, as a source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, for weight loss, and as a cough syrup for colds, H1N1 (swine) flu, and flu.
Some people apply emu oil to the skin for relief from sore muscles, aching joints, pain or inflammation, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, shin splints, and gout. It is also used topically to improve healing of wounds, cuts, and burns from radiation therapy; to reduce bruises and stretch marks; to reduce scarring and keloids; to heal surgical wounds caused by removing skin for skin grafts; to reduce redness due to acne; and to soften dry cuticles and promote healthy nails. Emu oil is also used topically for athlete's foot; diaper rash; canker sores; chapped lips; poor circulation; and skin conditions, including cancer, dry skin, dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles or age spots. It is also used to protect skin from sun damage and to promote more youthful looking skin.
Emu oil is also applied to the skin to reduce pain and irritation from shingles, bedsores, hemorrhoids, diabetic nerve pain, insect bites, earaches, eye irritation, "growing pains," and frostbite. It is used for rashes, razor burn, and nicks.
Some massage therapists apply emu oil to clients’ skin as part of their treatment.
Some people put emu oil inside the nose to treat colds and flu.
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; preventing scarring; treating headaches, especially migraines; preventing nosebleeds; treating and preventing cold and flu symptoms; and relieving discomfort associated with menstruation.
In veterinary practice, emu oil is used to reduce swelling in joints, prevent cracked or peeling paws, calm "hot spots," and reduce irritation of flea bites.
In manufacturing, emu oil is used to sharpen and oil industrial machinery, for polishing timber and leather, and for conditioning and waterproofing.
How does it work?
Emu oil contains chemicals called fatty acids that might reduce pain and swelling (inflammation). There is some evidence that emu oil might work better for sudden (acute) inflammation than for ongoing (chronic) inflammation.
When emu oil is applied to the skin, it has moisturizing and cosmetic properties that resemble mineral oil.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Reducing cholesterol.
- Weight loss.
- Skin and hair conditions.
- Muscle and joint problems.
- Eye irritation.
- Insect bites.
- Diabetic nerve problems.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
The appropriate dose of emu oil depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for emu oil. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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Fukushima M, Ohashi T, Sekikawa M, Nakano M. Comparative hypocholesterolemic effects of five animal oils in cholesterol-fed rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 1999;63:202-5. View abstract.
Lopez A, Sims DE, Ablett RF, et al. Effect of emu oil on auricular inflammation with croton oil in mice (abstract). Am J Vet Res 1999;60:1558-61. View abstract.
Politis MJ, Dmytrowich A. Promotion of second intention wound healing by emu oil lotion: comparative results with furasin, polysporin, and cortisone. Plast Reconstr Surg 1998;102:2404-7. View abstract.
Zemtsov A, Gaddis M, Montalvo-Lugo VM, Zemstov A. Moisturizing and cosmetic properties of emu oil: a pilot double blind study. Australas J Dermatol 1996;37:159-61.