Originally used to treat fevers, coughs, arthritis, bruises, cuts and sores, emu oil is a historical tradition used in Australian medicine.
Emu oil is a natural substance that is found in the fat of the emu animal. However, the oil goes through a lengthy process that involves chemicals, filters and heat. The preparation of emu oil can be dangerous to ones health if it is not done correctly.
Even though there is a lack of scientific evidence, people continue to believe that emu oil has moisturizing and cosmetic properties.
The emu is the world’s second largest living birds and has survived 80 million years in Australia. They can be found in the deserts, forests and on the plains. Resembling a small ostrich, the emu is a member of the Ratite family of flightless birds. Emus were originally imported to the United States as exotic zoo stock. Since 1960, the Australian government has banned the exportation of emu birds.
Oil is rendered from the fat of the emu and is used to make medicine. Emu oil is primarily used as a dietary supplement or topical treatment.
Some people take emu oil by mouth because they believe that it has the following benefits:
- Improves cholesterol
- Provides polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids
- Aids weight loss
- Used as a cough syrup for colds, swine flu, and flu
If applied to the skin, emu oil has moisturizing and cosmetic properties that have been known to relieve:
- Sore muscles
- Aching joints
- Poor Circulation
- Skin conditions
More evidence is needed to determine the effectiveness of these uses. There is no sufficient evidence to prove these assumptions.
Some emu oils are not processed properly, making it a serious health risk. In order for it to be safe, there are several steps that need to be followed.
When the emu fat is processed, it needs to be refined, sterilized and deodorized. There are several forms of emu oil that is rendered and not refined. If the oil is rendered, it has been filtered but not refined, allowing for the possibility of contamination.
Refining the oil is the safest option. However, there are several different refining processes. Some emu oils are refined with chemicals while others are done naturally. In order to eliminate all bacteria, the oil needs to be heated at a high temperature. If the oil is heated too much, the integrity of the oil can be compromised.
Emu oil is a highly processed medicine that lacks scientific evidence.
Despite the fact that emu oil has been used for thousands of years by the Australian aborigines to reduce pain and swelling, burns, and skin rash, there are other natural alternatives that are made without animal products. The diseases and situations described above can be prevented using natural products that produce the same therapeutic effects as emu oil.
There are many plant-based essential oils that can be used for anti-inflammatory or pain relieving purposes. These oils contain natural and moderate amounts of “salicin” that converts into salicylic acid that is anti-inflammatory in nature and thus relieves and counteract pain.