Emu Oil: Promising Benefits for Skin and Body

Emu Oil- Promising Benefits for Skin and Body

Hundreds of years ago, native Australian aboriginals figured out that oil from emu birds could help with wound healing as well as aches and pains. Today, emu oil is widely used for skin conditions like eczema and burns. Modern research may support this native remedy.

Unsure about supplementing with a bird oil? Read on:

What Is Emu Oil?

As the name suggests, this oil is extracted from the back fat of the Australian Emu bird (Dromaius novaehallandiae), a flightless bird native to Australia (similar to the ostrich). This back fat is then rendered and filtered like lard, producing a clear bright yellow oil with several healing properties.

All the Good Fats…

Emu oil contains all three types of omega fatty acids (omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9), which makes it an excellent fatty acid supplement. About 50% of its fat content is from monounsaturated omega-9 fat called oleic acid. This fat is also present in olive oil.

It also contains various natural healing compounds like antioxidants, carotenoids, flavones, polyphenols, and phospholipids.

Just as grass-fed beef has more nutritious fatty acids than grain-fed beef, the nutritional content of this oil varies based on what the emus eat. Today, some emu birds are farmed for oil and meat rather than wild caught. Because emu oil is readily absorbed into the skin, it is very important to get your emu oil from a reputable source. (This is the one I use.)

Benefits of Emu Oil

Recent research and human clinical trials support the benefits of emu oil for overall health and for specific conditions. It is important to note that in most cases, the studies showed that it was effective, but not as effective as conventional medication for several conditions.

However, this natural oil doesn’t come with the same side effects as these medications. In many cases, it can be a great natural option to help manage symptoms either on its own or together with other treatments.

Emu Oil Benefits for the Skin

Topical use is well supported in research. Scientific studies and anecdotal reports both show emu oil’s potential to:

Fight Inflammation (Eczema, Dermatitis, and Psoriasis)

If you have ever applied this oil to your skin, you probably noticed that it is very light and absorbs very quickly. The fat content of emu oil allows it to pass easily through the outermost layer of the skin (called the stratum corneum). This is likely the reason people often use it for chronic inflammatory problems like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.

In patients with seborrheic dermatitis, emu oil may relieve itchiness, redness, and scaling.

Address the Internal Too!

Skin problems are often a sign that something is wrong inside, like food sensitivities, gut dysbiosis, or nutrient deficiencies. Conventional medications like steroids simply suppress the immune system. The symptoms are suppressed, but the root causes remain.

Emu oil can provide great relief, but it is still important to address the root cause to clear the skin.

Heal Wounds and Avoid Scarring

Many people find this oil very effective to support wound healing and reduce scarring. A 2015 study found that it promotes skin regeneration and reduces inflammation. Testing on animal wounds showed inconclusive results, and we still don’t have any human studies that confirm the effects of emu oil on a wound.

One 2016 study tested the effects of emu oil on the healing rate of burn wounds in mice. They found mice that receive this oil heal more slowly but have much less scarring compared to the control group. Another Chinese study tested emu oil on burn wounds of rats and found that emu oil is superior to betadine and liquid paraffin treatments.

Protect Nipples During Breastfeeding

A small clinical trial using emu oil on new breastfeeding mothers found that it is somewhat effective at relieving the pain from breastfeeding and keeping the nipple skin nourished. While this oil is helpful, the authors of this study erred on the side of caution and expressed concerns that more testing would be required to ensure that emu oil is safe for new mothers and babies before it is widely used for this purpose.

Stimulate Skin and Hair Growth

Emu oil can stimulate the regeneration of skin cells and hair growth in patients with health conditions that cause hair loss, including alopecia and chemotherapy. This use is the most widely documented with anecdotal evidence, though again, more research is needed.

Emu Oil Benefits for (Inside) the Body

Because emu oil contains many healing substances and can readily be absorbed, its health benefits are beyond skin-deep. Scientists have observed several anti-inflammatory benefits such as its ability to:

Relieve Arthritis

Applying this oil mixed with eucalyptus on the skin significantly reduces arthritis swelling in rats, especially compared with other oils like lard, fish oil, olive oil, and evening primrose oil. Therefore, emu oil may help with arthritis and joint pain in humans.

Reduce Gut Inflammation

Several studies show that emu oil is very healing to the gut, especially in cases of diseases like colitis and Crohn’s disease. Some specific benefits include:

  • Soothing gut ulcers and inflammation that are side effects of chemotherapy (tested on mice).
  • Reducing damage and inflammation in a rat model of ulcerative colitis when combined with licorice. Another study also found that emu oil alone can help with ulcerative colitis.
  • Protecting the gut from more ulceration when combined aloe vera in a Crohn’s disease model in rats.

Given that many of these chronic digestive health problems have a lot in common, it is likely that eating this oil might help with other diseases of inflamed gut as well. However, additional studies, especially in humans, are necessary to confirm this.

Balance Cholesterol

Olive oil is often recommended to help balance cholesterol levels. It is said to increase good cholesterol levels. This native oil contains many of the same beneficial fats and may have the same effect. A 2004 study found that hamsters fed emu oil had significantly better cholesterol and triglycerides compared to hamsters fed with olive oil.

A Note on Emu Oil for Sensitive Skin

The skin can absorb and make use of natural oils. For sensitive skin, animal fats are generally better tolerated than plant-sourced fats. This may be because animal fats contain fatty acids that are more similar to the fatty acids that are present in our skin. Emu oil is one of the most anti-inflammatory oils that the skin recognizes and readily absorbs.

Those who have eczema or very dry, itchy skin, may benefit from this natural oil. For additional moisturizing, it helps to mix it with tallow balm or a body butter. It is possible, however, to mix emu oil with other ingredients or even tallow for the best of both worlds.

Bottom Line (& What I’ve Tried)

This is certainly one of the more unusual remedies I’ve tried over the years. It isn’t mainstream, but I’ve gotten a lot of questions about it so I figured I’d share my experience. To be honest, I was reluctant to try this remedy for a long time … but I’ve known about it for over a decade.

In fact, in high school, a kid in my class used to talk about emu oil and how he used it in various ways. Back then, I just thought it was a little unusual (nice grown up way of saying what I really thought). To my surprise, years later I stumbled on open research supporting the benefits of this bird oil.

When one of my favorite companies started carrying a high quality emu oil, I decided to give it a try. It certainly isn’t the most effective or versatile remedy I’ve tried. I did notice that it is one of the few oils I can use externally without breaking out. I’ve been experimenting with it in lotions and other topical recipes and prefer to use it this way.

Have you ever tried emu oil? What did you use it for? Please share in the comments below!


Emu oil is quickly becoming known for its healing properties for gut health and skin conditions. Learn about the proven benefits of emu oil.

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Reader Comments

  1. Sounds interesting but I just can’t do it! Personally I think there are so many other options that don’t use animal products for healing that I find this to be excessive. Comfrey, Dr Christopher’s bone and tissue salve, hemp, chia, fermented cabbage and other fermented foods all do the work without harm. I’m not vegan or vegetarian but I will opt for other options. Thanks for always doing so much research and finding great products.

    • I tend to agree with you, Jazmin Gill. There are wonderful benefits of coconut oil and olive oil. I imagine these are just as good. But interesting to hear about.

      • I am now going to unsubscribe from this newsletter! Didn’t think I’d ever see anything like this on here. I’m a vegetarian, & have been using cruelty free products all my adult life. There is NO NEED for this at all.

    • I definitely agree that you can get BETTER care for your skin without any animal products! And I would love to hear about how they are extracting this Emu oil from the back fat of Emus. I’m sure they don’t just let them extract it easily. I’d love for you, Katie, to add environmental implications of using certain elements that you write about. It sounds like this could be a potentially bad situation. Similar to Bear Bile where bears are kept in captivity to harvest for bile for Chinese medicine.

      • And I’m of the opinion that unless you’re living in an area where animals is your only source of food hence imperative for your survival it’s completely unnecessary. Science is starting to prove this as are thousands of vegan fitness enthusiasts across the globe that have proved that using animals is needed to achieve their optimal health & fitness goals. And yes, I’m one of those vegan ethusiasts. I like the rest of the info on your page & in the spirit of wanting to live harmoniously among everyone, vegans & nonvegans alike I’ll continue to peruse your sight.

      • I used Emu oil when I had Shingles. It immediately soothed the itching and the “blisters” healed quickly with no scarring. I got the product at the Host Fest in North Dakota. When I got home I ran out so I got some at a local store. It did not help at all. The product I used was from a farm in Minnesota. I have also used it with good success for Canker sores. I always keep some on hand to give to people who get Shingles. Some have tried many other products before getting the relief that the Emu oil gave.

      • My baby had very bad eczema and only thing that helped was emu oil

      • Katie,

        Your comment regarding cows being killed for steak, pigs for bacon… added nothing of substance to the conversation and didn’t address anyone’s concerns. Maybe do some extra research and do a follow up.

      • Very unfortunate comment. There’s no need for Emu Oil at all! There’s loads of others sources. I do agree with all the comments. We do already too much killing!!!

    • I agree Gillian… we humans do enough killing. There has to be a better way than slaughtering poor little Emus.

      • Cate, Emus are not little : The Emu is Australia’s tallest native bird, reaching between 1.6 m and 1.9 m when standing erect. The Warrego Hwy passes an emu farm and I hate to think of their destiny, being bred for their meat and oil, same as other creatures that end up on our dinner plate. Emu oil like jojoba oil does penetrate the skin layers as this article says.

        • Saying “little” was just a figure of speech… 🙂

        • Here’s a thought. It’s a fact that whenever we eat something, something gave it’s life, whether that’s a strawberry or a fillet of fish. We assume because plants have no nervous system, that we are causing no pain. We can’t see air and yet, it’s there. What if our senses are just too base to perceive the experience of the plants we eat? Most are grown and harvested in circumstances that are far from natural. Then they get thrown into boiling water, chopped up, stir fried and grilled. And what of the fellow human beings working those fields that are exposed to pesticides and sometimes harsh working conditions? Since something has to die for us to eat and live perhaps the answer is gratitude for the life given, period. And for those called to it, improving the lot of animals, plants and farm workers in whatever way they feel called to do.. CAFO’s are sad.. If your health is best supported by including meat in your diet, find a local farmer with humane practices and purchase there. And there’s nothing natural about the life of a plant grown from the practices of big Agra. nor the chemicals that some farmworkers are exposed as they do their part to feed us or the very real effects of pesticides and fertilizers on our water supplies and soil. Grow your own, visit a farmer’s market or join a csa.. I, for one think Katie has done a great job of helping families be informed so that we can make better, more life affirming choices for our families and our planet. I will continue to look forward to her posts–her website has been a blessing for my family for many years.

          • Lori – Well said and totally agree! Some of the comments on here are appalling!

    • It is good to have many different remedies to provide more options due to cost, availability, practicability and sensitivities. But I agree Gillian – it’s all about our wants and needs at the cost of countless beautiful beings and natural habitats. We need to consider how we impact the ecosystem and how we treat every beautiful life-form. Not only are animals being raised for ‘our’ wants but many are being born and raised in utter cruelty. Maybe next lifetime we should come back as one of these beautiful beings.

  2. Eczema/Dermatitis/Psoriasis/inflammation/arthritis etc. can be due to gluten. I tried Emu oil, but I can’t have certain oils so it did not help me. Each person is different. I learned by research/trial and error.

  3. I appreciate the honesty of your experience. My only experience is with Emu oil is as a carrier oil for essential oils, and I have to say it was superb to any other carrier oil.

  4. Chris Masterjohns article on Vit K has emu oil listed an excellent source.

  5. Emu oil is the only thing that takes care of my little patches of dermatitis I get every winter. I get it from a company called Emu Bliss. Good prices and may choices. The pain relief version works great on sore muscles.

    • You would support killing a beautiful bird for “little patches of dermatitis”?
      There are so many other ways of dealing with our discomforts. Why do we feel we’re so important that another creature has to die to make us feel better?

  6. I have found it great for several years on the minor pains of growing older… sore knees, feet, thigh muscles. Blends in so easily and has been very effective for me

  7. Honestly this is disturbing, we do not need to kill emu’s to use their body fat on our face, skin, and internally. I know your chatholic and one of the Ten Commandments of your own religion says “thou shalt not kill” seems a little hypocrytical to me.

    • They are farmed just like many other animals are. Thou shall not kill refers to killing (murdering) people, not animals.

      • Well said Katie. I’m getting pretty sick & tired of people going on about not killing this animal & not killing that animal. I am a christian & therefore I know that all animals & plants have been given to us humans, to use in the ways they are meant to be used. We were given animals to use for food, fur for clothing, etc. There are certain animals we are not supposed to eat the meat of, but overtime of course like everything, someone decided to change that. This world would be totally covered by all sorts of animals & no room for humans, if they were just left to continue to breed & not be killed for what they were intended, if all these animal rights people got their way. I love animals & growing up never wanted to see or hear of any of them being killed – but I grew up – would be a good thing if a lot of other people did also.

        • What a shame that religion is being used to support our own selfish.wants. Killing is being done in the name of Islam nowadays. The same was true of Catholics and non Catholics during the Spanish inquisition and the time of Henry 8th. We bandy around the word ‘Christian’ as if it somehow makes what we say more legitimate. We also pick and choose what we want to follow. ….what man is put to death for mastubation these days, for example?
          I am not vegetarian but I try to only buy humanely killed meat. Just because we were give meat to eat by God, doesn’t mean we have to abuse animals.
          Killing a beautiful bird just because it makes us more comfortable is an atrocity and hiding behind the label ‘christian’ along with the obvious rudeness thst often goes along with it would certainly be equally abhorrent to God.

    • Here in Australia emu’s are a nuisance, in some parts there’s so many of them!. Also they’re bred on farms for certain resources. Do you not wear make up, creams, ointments, shampoos… etc. Where do you think the ingredients in these come from?
      So if YOU don’t kill, what the heck do you eat, use on your hair and skin and take internally to kill cancers etc??? Every day thousands of plants are killed!.. Build a bridge

    • Are you kidding me? Every time Katie posts something about using a product that contains animal products, here come the “How can you kill animals for this” folks. Katie is not and has never claimed to be a vegetarian or a vegan. It’s mind boggling to me why you all continue to comment on how disgusted you are with her use of animal products. There are plenty of blogs written by vegans – please go read those. It’s super obvious that you continue to read and comment because you take every opportunity you can find to tell everyone how humane you are. We get it. Now go away.

      • There is much abuse of animals shown daily on the internet. Many people are hurt by seeing this and knowing animals are hurt. I can’t eat meat…clogs my blood vessels. I eat it once a year…yesterday and now my arms are “on fire” with circulation cut off. I don’t blame her for mentioning that if possible taking a plant may hurt less. Animal Vit A/Vit B12/Fe etc may work better for health. Cod liver oil has Vit A/Vit D. People may not feel as bad about fish as other animals. They are eating dogs/cats etc…which they torture. Just live and let live. People may need to help in their own way on sites. Best wishes.

      • AMEN DJ, AMEN!!!!!

  8. This is just sick. With all of the healthy, cruelty free, healing oils available, why would a person promote the use of this type of oil? Honestly Katie, this post is so disappointing.

    • I certainly understand that there are differing opinions when it comes to using animal products and absolutely respect that. I have gotten a lot of questions about emu oil, so I was offering my take. And there are a lot of non-animal oils available, though none of them work in exactly the same way on the skin. I know doctors using emu oil in formulations because it is the most effective in some cases.

  9. Emus are not raised specifically for the oil. Their primary use is for their lean red meat. Unlike other animals raised for food, a full 95% of an emu gets used, including the fat that’s refined into oil, the skin that’s tanned into leather, and the feathers that are used for crafts and jewelry.
    That being said, not all farms treat their emus with love and care. That’s why it’s so important to know the source of the emu oil you purchase. At Emu Joy (formerly Emu Bliss, as mentioned by Kathleen Kahl in the comment earlier) our oil comes from emus raised on a family farm in the United States. It is rated in the top 2% of emu oil in the U.S. for it’s purity and level of beneficial fatty acids, and is certified by the AEA.
    Yes, there are non-animal oils that are good for the skin, but they do not have a lipid profile that is nearly identical to our own skin, which is what allows emu oil to penetrate so deeply. This also makes it an excellent carrier oil when making your own formulas.
    P.S. Thanks for posting this well researched article Katie. Emu oil has can help many people for a wide variety of ailments, but very few people have even heard of it.

    • Hello,
      just a question on this emu oil. Is is refined? Most of the emu oils are refined oils. I found a few brands that offer unrefined oil, but I suppose there will be some unpurities in it then?
      Also, if refined, how does this process take place (heat, sifting ? With clay or chemicals?) There are many different ways.
      Thank you for answering.

  10. Katie,

    Thanks so much for the article. You are outstanding.

  11. I will be trying it! I love the comment explaining just how much of the emu is used. That’s how it should be, much like Native Americans and the buffalo. Humane treatment is important, but people must remember that we are meant to consume animals naturally. Choosing not to is fine, but it isn’t the natural order of the world.

    • There is also the approach of taking only the lives we need to sustain ourselves…seems the argument here is one way or the other: no animal use at all, or slaughtering for any benefit we desire, necessary or not…

  12. My daughter had a huge cut and I have tried to buy emu oil as I heard its good for healing and scarring.

    The problem I had was finding one that was 100% and then you wonder if it really is emu oil or not

    Do you have any brand recommendations

  13. I’m from Australia, but I’ve never used Emu oil…it’s sold at a lot of tourism places here, and usually mixed with a lot of crap (the ones I’ve seen) so I’ve stayed away. I’ll pay more attention to it next time I see it here, I’m sure there are better sourced ones too (like what you have shown). I tend to prefer plant based products for humanitarian reasons – but, obviously even plant based is not always ethical (palm oil & killing orangutans, exploitation of monkeys and people for some brands of coconut oil etc). I do believe it depends on the individual, some people do work better with animal products. If I were to purchase some of this, I’d do my research first and find a more ethical source (environment, fair treatment of animals, a smaller company that doesn’t compromise and exploit for the sake of profit alone etc), then use the product sparingly with reverence…perhaps it sounds over the top but the only way to roll these days is to educate yourself about what’s going on – to make smarter choices – vegan or non vegan.

  14. I hope that anyone who has a problem with killing emus, isn’t eating any meat of any kind. I raise rabbits for meat and get lots of negative comments from people who eat store bought meat and/or Mcdonalds daily. My animals are loved and cared for. Not so the case for most store bought meat.

  15. I use Emu oil and introduced it to my chiropractor for her patients that have arthritis…I use Montana Emu Ranch oil for their purity and quality as all emu oils are not the same. They treat their animals with care and their oil is processed with their emus only.

  16. Thank you Katie! I love your blog and the fact that you post so honestly to share your experiences to help others, as sometimes it takes extensive spending and trial and error to find remedies. Unfortunately I have to work two jobs, and I was struggling finding the time to do the proper research for me and my daughter. You have helped me narrow down my searches from products like makeup to a sensitivity-friendly butternut squash recipe. My daughter suffers from eczema, and while it is much improved with our new diet there are triggers we cannot avoid like weather changes. While now it seems to be controlled with coconut oil and essential oils, I am grateful for a new suggestion if she has a stubborn outbreak. I would much prefer to use this instead of steroids I assure you, and a good balance of fatty acids tends to stabilize her moods as well. Thank you, thank you. You have truly been a blessing to me and my little one.

  17. I have been using emu oil for my face and neck area for over a year. I tend to have dry skin and this oil is very soothing and effective without making my face greasy or shiny. When applying I extend it to the edges of my hair. My thinning edges are filling in nicely. Also, it doesn’t bother my eye area (like other oils I’ve tried) when I dab it on. I’m not crazy about the smell but it goes away. It’s also good for dry scalp – just a few drops on the fingertips and then I rub it in gently.

  18. Really? Advocating animal oil for skin benefits? Sorry but I think there are just as many plant/herbal based oils that can accomplish the same effect.
    This disturbs me and even though I know they are also slaughtered for their meat, having them killed so my skin can look better….yuck!
    Sorry Wellness Mama I think you dropped the ball on this one and now I believe I will have to relieve myself from your newsletter.
    Please take a minute and think before you post!

  19. Katie is doing research and putting it out there for our benefit. I have found that this not only saves me time, but introduces new ideas to me. I am from Arkansas-chicken farming is a BIG deal here. Have ya been to a chicken house? And I don’t mean a cute little one for eggs. I am also a Christian like Katie. I don’t judge people one way or another on what they eat or don’t eat, or if and how they worship. I have found when people find it necessary to point out something the Bible says, they just don’t really know much about the Bible. If you don’t like something she writes about, just don’t do it. No need to be snarky. Thanks for your hard work Katie!

  20. What’s the smell factor with Emu Oil? I’ve always been afraid that it would smell like chicken fat! Also want to mention that I’ve had a slightly off experience re: smell, with grass fed beef tallow that I ordered that was intended for topical use – maybe the problem was with the rendering process.

    Thank you for all the good information, Katie!

  21. Thanks for all the research that you do, Katie. I know a few people who have used emu oil, myself included and I can say it as helped me and my 98 years old mother in law. She as used it for years for inflammation of the joints.

  22. Hi Katie, I love your blog and so appreciate your intuitive brilliance! Though have to say I wish you hadn’t posted this one. I am well aware of the benefits of emu oil but stopped using it many years ago because I couldn’t justify the resources consumed and the lives taken just to benefit our skin–a luxury product at best. I try to practice only taking what we need from other creatures, like meat for a balanced diet (was vegan for 22 years and that unfortunately did not work out well for me in the end…) and wish you took the same approach to protecting the earth and our creatures as much as possible because your influence is so immense, but alas I know all of our values are different, just had to say my piece, thank you 🙂

  23. I agree with Melanie. I too am a farmer, a diary farmer. My cows receive a quality life they are my livelihood. That being said there is a cycle of life. I have been using organic Emu Oil for a long time and I’m positive the farm I purchase from also provides an extremely good environment and feed for their animals.
    I took,care of my Mother until her death. When she came to me she had a huge bedsore on her leg. Applied Emu oil twice a day. After a few weeks, upon bathing her the very large scab came off whole and what was underneath looked like a babies bottom and no scar.
    I also use Emu Oil infused with essential oils to make my breast oil. Love it, as it penetrates deep.
    I don’ t always agree with some of the information posted but that’s fine, Katie is doing us a service, educating us, doing the research work for us, entertaining us, sharing from her heart. And she puts herself out there, which is more,than most of us are willing to do. Thank you Katie!

  24. I use Emu oil every night. I love it after using my PMD (home dermabrasion system) to suppress any inflammation as a result of the deep exfoliation. Great stuff! Try it. You will like it :).



  25. This has never been a site advocating no animal products. Responsibly and respectfully raised animals are part of Katie’s diet, and yes, that includes skincare. If you disagree that’s fine, but you don’t have to be judgemental. We can state our opinions and not be too narrow minded to consider others.

  26. I’m fairly new to Emu oil. I got some to use in a face moisturizing blend I made. I love the blend but the rest of the oil sits in my cabinet. I’m going to look into other uses as I have sore muscles and my guy has eczema…I also appreciate knowing that this is another case of finding the most humanely raised and best quality. Thanks for the information.

  27. I’ve been using Emu oil for years for skin care (It’s good for wrinkles) and hair care, minor arthritis, sore muscles, even carpal tunnel pain (some relief).
    I’ve found that for pain and inflammation it needed to be undiluted when applied or it didn’t work so well.
    I’ve never taken Emu internally before, I’ll be following to see what others say.
    As for me, I love the stuff.

  28. I always appreciate learning about new oil’s, whether they are plant or animal. I have extremely sensitive skin and dermatitis. This sounds like something that may work. Thank you so much Katie, for your thorough research. I’m definitely trying emu oil.

  29. I am very sensitive to fragrance and some essential oils. Can anyone tell me what emu oil smells like?
    Thanks much.

  30. I’m grateful that when I want to try somthing new, I can trust this person to provide a link to a place where animals are not punched in the face while having their feathers ripped out gasping for there last breath!
    Thank you Katie. I trust you to help us avoid animal abuse in these dark times for so many animals.

  31. I have “dry eye” in which the tear ducts gradually shut down and quit working. It can be painful, especially in the morning. About 2-3 months ago, I started rubbing a (fairly large) drop of emu oil on my bottom eyelid once a day. My eyes still get dry overnight, but it’s far less time before the tear ducts start secreting after I wake up and even during the day I can feel them producing. I’m sure that the longer I use the oil, the better my eyes will work.

    Yes, it’s a bit greasy on my eyeballs after I put it on and I have to blink a lot, but compared to dry, itchy, sore eyes it is a breeze. I do not want to use synthetic chemicals in manufactured eye drops.

  32. Dry eye maybe due to gluten which may cause inflammation/swelling. Iodine may help. Gluten may hurt the thyroid also. Best wishes.

  33. If the emu oil is high quality, refined properly, and comes from a reliable source where the emus are raised properly, then it should have virtually no smell at all. A lot of companies have jumped into selling emu oil solely to make a buck, and they are selling cheap, adulterated emu oil. This is a product where you get what you pay for. If you ever smell emu oil that smells bad, it probably isn’t anything you should to rub into your skin.

  34. Megan,
    The oil is not extracted from the back fat of a live emu. What happens is when the emus are processed for their lean meat (which is now a luxury item in upscale restaurants) and other parts, the fat from their backs is removed, flash frozen, and sent to an FDA approved processing plant where it is completely purified. In fact, our emu oil that we sell in bottle is the same oil that is made into ingestible gel caps, so it is food grade safe.

    Not only is 95% of an emu used upon processing, but they lay huge blue/green eggs that are used for food and the shells for crafts.

  35. Sophie, for emu oil to be rated Grade A, pharmaceutical grade, it has to be fully refined. Please do not ever put any unrefined emu oil on your skin. (I don’t think it’s even available that way for consumer purchasing.) Unrefined emu oil is only for industrial uses, not human.

    Different companies use different refining methods, as you mentioned. At Emu Joy we use physical refining with clays to remove any impurities. The brand that Katie mentions is made in Australia (Emu Joy is a USA product) and while the certification requirements are different than U.S. certifications, it too is a quality brand. We have a guide about choosing and using emu oil on our website which explains how emu oil is obtained and purified and can provide additional information to your questions.

    • Thank you Carole,
      Will look at the guide on your site.
      The emu oil that Katie mentioned is unrefined according to the seller.
      I also found several other brands of unrefined emu oil, but because you mentioned this is only for industrial uses, I’m not sure anymore … 🙁

      • The product I used when I had Shingles was emumagic. It is from a ranch in Minnesota. They only advertise it for external use. One of their products is refined.

      • Sophie, I checked again on unrefined emu oil to make sure I was giving you the correct information, and believe I did. The emu farmer I work with explained it this way: Crude rendered, or just rendered not refined, emu oil should not be put on the skin. Some people have, some people do, but you would be more prone to reactions because not all the bad proteins are taken out of it. Rendered emu oil is simply the fat heated up and strained. When we first started I would do that myself when we lost a bird unexpectedly. If you do it slowly and take painstaking time to filter it you can come up with an oil that is ok, for about a month MAX before it turns.

        Neelum, regarding “extraction”, that doesn’t happen. See my previous comment for the process.

        And Dr. Cabeca makes a great point about emu oil’s use for women with vaginal and vulva problems. I have spoken to many women who suffer from lichen sclerosis and they have found relief using pure emu oil, or some of the combination products like Banish My Pain and Banish My Rash. Also, one of the funniest calls I ever had with a customer was a woman who uses emu oil as a sexual lubricant. She is 72 and her gynecologist told her she has the vagina of a 25 year old!

  36. I have been using emu oil for over 10 years. I first bought it because my dog had hot spots that would not heal. It worked brilliantly.

    It helps with inflammation – arthritic hands, recovering from a broken wrist, etc. If I wake up with a backache, I rub it on my back and usually that’s the end of it.

    I use it on my face daily esp at night. I too have a dryness problem with my eyes, so when I go to bed I rub the emu oil all the way up around my eyes so that it seeps into them. I don’t do it in the day bc it causes my vision to be cloudy but using it at night helps me not to wake up with my eyes so dry I can hardly open them.

    Emu oil is a product I hope to never have to do without.

    • Hot spots/arthritis/inflammation/dry eyes etc can be due to gluten/GMO. Pets/people need grain free food/treats…then health issues may go away fast. Iodine may help dry eyes. Hot spots…I had when my thyroid was low due to gluten/heavy metals.

  37. I have been using emu oil for years, mostly for skin care and healing. I wouldn’t like to do without it. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, then just use something something botanical, no one is making you use emu oil. Katie has never made it a secret that she favors organic, grass fed meat, and to each his or her own. Open-mindedness and tolerance would go a long way. As for the emu, the animals are almost always organic and grass fed, killed quickly and humanely, and nearly every part of the animal is used. No cruelty, no waste.

  38. Believe me I understand the thoughts and controversy around emu oil and appreciate the discussion.

    As a gynecologist and specialist in women’s sexual health I know there really is a paucity of truly helpful and restorative solutions for conditions such as vaginal dryness, incontinence, vulvodynia, lichen sclerosis, vestibulitis, and the list goes on.

    Surgical procedures and potent medications are often resorted to with less than fantastic results, not to mention over 40% of women over 50 suffer without treatment. In my over twenty years of ob/gyn practice I experimented with vaginal and vulvar topical (even non estrogen containing) hormonal therapies with excellent results, but the best healing results were, without a doubt, when I used emu oil in my combinations.

    Yes, I was conflicted about this, especially as I worked to create an over the counter solution for women that could be applied cleanly to the vulva and get restorative results, improving quality of life and relationships.

    In my over 4 years of formulation, emu oil combined with my ingredients got the best results and has really restored women’s sexual health, desire, and confidence that they won’t leak anymore when they exercise! Seriously, a little bit of emu oil goes a long way and can really improve some devastating conditions.

    I truly tried many other combinations, but safety and efficacy wins out with this combination. Here is the link to my product: Julva.com and take a look at the other ingredients which you will love. But the results speak for themselves as you will see in the testimonials.

  39. I actually use emu oil to heal my cavities since it’s great for brain health as well as bone health. But it’s the Australian emu oil that has the highest form of K2 in the entire world, higher than high vitamin butter oil based on recent studies. I take it with my ECLVO and skate liver oil. It honestly taste just like regular oil and yes I was skeptical to consume oil from a bird, but considering I actually eat animals and I’m using this for my health, it doesn’t seem that different.

  40. HI ,

    Thank you for this post, I wanted to ask how is the oil extracted from the Emu – My concerns are cruelty and dis-honouring the animal, affecting it in anyway

    Warm wishes

  41. To me, it smells somewhat like an oil that’s almost rancid – not quite rancid but on its way. However, the scent quickly goes away and there’s no after smell.

  42. Hi Katie, do you consider this safe to use on infants? I’d like to try it on my 12-week old who has some dry patches (I’m breastfeeding and off of dairy, sugar, yeast, caffeine, chocolate, oranges, refined grains…not sure what it could be from – she’s very congested too!)

  43. Dry eye may be due to gluten which may cause inflammation/swelling. Iodine may help. Gluten may hurt the thyroid also. Best wishes 🙂

  44. I’ve been using Enya Emu Oil Cream in the pump container for sometime now & have used it many years prior, in a squat container. I’ve found it to be extremely useful. My hands get so dry during the day, especially in cold weather, washing dishes & the laundry & the Emu Oil Cream is wonderful to get into my dry skin & make it so smooth & soft again. At the moment I am using it for vaginal dryness, as nothing else was helping. I am in my mid 60’s & am obviously low in estrogen & as I still enjoy being intimate with my partner, I’ve found that I often have a problem with pain & stinging, during & after. I have nothing but good things to say about Emu Oil Cream & I think everybody should get back onto anything natural, rather than going onto drugs & steroids to fix any problems. You are only creating more problems, if not at that time, then further down the track. I am into anything natural, even homeopathic drops, instead of taking drugs. They are not only better for my health, but there are no side-effects & they work a whole lot better & quicker than drugs, especially the painkiller drops. I cannot swallow tablets, let alone capsules & have always had trouble with trying to get rid of pain (extremely bad back from 2 slipped discs in same spot & horrific neck pain from whiplash on top of previous neck problem). The painkiller drops work so well & quickly & no upset stomach, or other problems that are associated with over the counter, or prescription so-called painkillers. I also got rid of asthma I’d had for years, via our Hilde Hemmes book & then a few months later, got rid of hayfever that I had had since I was 12 & was by this time in my 40’s. I cannot say enough about the wonder of natural remedies – it just takes a bit of investigating, searching & getting advice from experts & your health will be a whole lot better.

  45. I first got some emu oil at the advice of the health food store lady when I was trying to find a better lotion for my best friend to use during radiation therapy. (FYI: Only a few are allowed, because many of the lotions interact with the radiation).

    BFF used it faithfully, and found that the burning side-effect of radiation didn’t show up until the last couple of treatments.

    Meanwhile, I’d had a skin cancer frozen off of my chest, and thought I’d better start taking care of my own skin. I found that emu oil helped me recover from sun exposure more quickly and just felt good and right when I used it – like it was meant to be. (I am a Northern European mutt by ancestry, my ancestors were dependent on animal products).

    I find that I need only a very tiny bit to cover a lot of surface area, so don’t blanch at the price – it lasts a long time.

  46. Some of these comments are outrageous! That aside… my daughter’s hands get dry, bumpy, red, and swollen every winter because she is extremely sensitive to the cold. We have tried eliminating gluten and dairy without any luck. We tried so many oils and various natural treatments without much improvement. We read about emu oil this winter when she had a huge flare up that kept her home from school. Within 3 hours of applying it, the inflammation and redness decreased. By the following morning her hands look pretty much back to normal! I am beyond thankful! Any time we see signs of dry/red hands– the emu oil goes on and it always works! 🙂 I’ve read it’s great for eye wrinkles, but haven’t tried!

  47. Thanks for featuring the s product. I bought the same brand at Autism One today and am interested to see Joe it my benefit me. It was also recommended for my sonwho is dealing with depression. Thanks!

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