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Medicinal Properties


The origin of emu oil is believed to have begun when the emu fat was collected by aborigines. They hung the emu skin from a tree and collected the oil, or alternately they wrapped the skin around a sufferer and left them in the sun, allowing the oil to liquefy and penetrate the skin. Early settlers corroborated this by using it on themselves, their animals and their riding tackle. The Australian aboriginal people ascribed great medical powers to emu oil's body fat as: 


  • A remedy for skin ailments 
  • A skin protectant and sun screen
  • A burn treatment and liniment 
  • An arthritis treatment and liniment
  • A skin moisturizer 
  • An epithelialiser of wounds; reduces scar tissue and soothes swollen wounds after surgery or for lacerations 


The emu is considered by many scientists to be an improbable bird; it cherishes water, carries ten to fifteen kilos of fat and lives in the rugged outback in temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius as well as thriving in the snow. Adult emus have incredible recuperative abilities from shock and wounds not normally observed in nature. 

Therapeutic and Cosmetic Properties of Emu Oil · 

Emu oil contains the following beneficial substances: 

  • Vitamin-E an anti-oxidant and healing agent
  • Vitamin-A known skin repairer
  • Terpines - an antiseptic
  • Sapogens - skin softener



Oleic Acid - based on research by Dr Margaret Craig-Schmidt Associative Professor of Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Auburn University Alabama USA.

A skin cell regenerator and preserver besides providing local anti-inflammatory effects, it can also induce a long lasting state of pain relief in the local area. 

An epidermic transporter of bio-active compounds that conducts them through the layer of the skin down to muscle tissue.

Can be combined with enhancers or drugs for topical application of treatments of medicines only previously administered internally (often with side effects). A breakthrough in duration and validity of moisturisers, balms and creams due to the penetrative consequences of the oleic acid in the emu oil. 

Comedogencity (pore clogging) - Dermatology Department, Occupational Dermatology Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 1993.

Unlike other oils emu oil does not clog up the pores of the skin or cause acne. More effective skin treatment which enables the emollients to penetrate the skin's surface and have greater impact without greasy residue, a boon for the cosmetics industry. Similarly, it is more active than water based creams which do not penetrate the skin barrier.

Fatty Acid Analysis/Effects on Heart Disease and Arthritis Dr Craig-Schmidt as above. Dr Michael Wellesley A Whitehouse PhD in Chemistry Univ Oxford and MP Ghosh for article "Evaluation of Emu Oils for Anti-inflammatory Activities".

Oleic acid; the largest primary fatty acid found (benefits already discussed) These findings are consistent with the recommendations for a heart healthy diet and have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular disease.

Omega 6 fatty acids; necessary as building blocks for very powerful compounds, prostaglandins, as certain diseases can cause an unbalance of prostaglandins in the body. The balancing of prostaglandins in the body serves to control and ease the effects of arthritis.

Omega 3 fatty acids; another important acid usually found in fish oils. Omega 3 contains EPA & DHEEPA & DHE are again critical in the fight against heart disease.

Linolenic acid; present in large quantities in emu oil and is known to ease muscle ache, joint pain and have anti-inflammatory properties.The linolenic acid in emu oil has anti-inflammatory properties that will substantially reduce the pain and inflammation of arthritis (rheumatoid and osteoporosis).

Bacteriostatic Testing - Karen Davis (medical technologist and biochemist) researched for Outback Emuzing Ranch in British Columbia in Canada, 1995 from internet

Emu oil has been tested for the following bacteria and found no growth nor indeed presence in the fat; anaerobic bacteria, fungus, salmonella, shigella, staphylococcus, streptococcus, E coli.

It can be concluded that emu oil does not promote the growth of bacteria. 

A usual and remarkable quality leading to projected and already executed applications in many commercial products instead of chemical based preservatives and stabilisers presently used in creams, make-up and even food; eg. hydrogenated vegetable oil for food and liposomes in the cosmetics industry.

Long Life Properties Ms Chris Burke of Epicure Products marketing from World Emu Conference Programme 1996 pp24-25.

Emu oil is stable at room remperatures, does not readily oxidise and has not deteriorated in storage after two years. Potential as a natural product stabiliser and preserver.

Furthermore, emu fat does not subscribe to normal definition of animal fat but rather shares more in common with some seed oils.

Epithelialised Wounds - Ar G R Hobday from "Emu Oil -A clinical Appraisal of this Natural and long Used Product"

Emu oil has demonstrated scar reduction and anti-inflammatory action. Speeds up the healing process from surgery and burns by reducing inflammation preventing scaring and soothing pain.

Emu oil is sterile and hence can be used in an open area of the skin. It reduces irritation in eczema, the scarring of keloids and has advantages in skin grafting.

Hair Regrowth - A clinical study by Michael Holicik, MD PhD professor of Medicine Physiology and Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine.

There was a 20% increase in DNA synthesis stimulated hair and skin growth and hair follicles were more robust .Stimulates hair regrowth.

Skin Moisturiser - Initial testing suggests that emu oil has remarkable powers for moisturising based on its ration of C-16 to C-18 unsaturated components and the stereochemistry of the C-18 oleic moiety. Study by Dr Alexander Zemstov Editor of Skin Research and Technology for Emu Today and Tomorrow, Vol5 No1 by Nelson, Heide and Ardell 1996

It is able to enhance the skin's upper layers to hold onto water, penetrate the epidermis and stimulte its ridges which would enhance the thickness of the dermis.

Transforms rough dry skin to a smooth and healthy appearance.
Can reverse the ravages of ageing.
Can offer similar benefits to hair and nails.

Emulsifier - Dr A Zemstov as above.

Emu oil is a good emulsifier being able to blend two products together naturally. 

Will have many applications with cosmetics and creams.
Can combine with many pharmaceutical ingredients to improve therapies eg. aspirin for pain relief.