Due to its supposed plethora of health benefits and purposes, Emu oil has grown popular to the masses in recent years. But before jumping into the trend, we must educate ourselves about Emu oils first. Along with all the information that revolves around this certain product.
In this article, we will discuss where Emu Oils came from, its uses, its benefits, and everything in between. So without further ado, let’s try to know what the fuss that’s going on around Emu Oils is all about.
What is Emu Oil and Where Does it Come From?
Emu oil is a kind of animal fat derived from emus—scientifically known as Dromaius novaehallandiae. Based on appearances, emus are large birds that cannot fly and closely resemble ostriches. Emus are native to Australia, but due to the increasing demand for their medicinal fat and their nutrient-rich meat, people have also found ways to bring emus overseas.
Emu oil is a liquid that appears to have a bright yellow hue. The liquid is mainly emu fat gathered from deposits beneath the bird’s skin. It is a highly commercial product that is believed to have a few health benefits.
Once the fats have been collected, they undergo numerous filters and procedures in order to turn into pure oil. The types and quality of Emu oil are determined by how much they are refined during the filtration process. And according to various sources, a single emu can produce an approximate 250 ounces of fat. 
Uses of Emu Oil
The flesh of an Emu bird is reported to contain high levels of omega fatty acids. They also have lower traces of saturated fat compared to pig, chicken, turkey, and beef meat. However, its poultry produce is far less known to the general public than its oil counterpart.
Emu oil is sold as a healing agent for health issues ranging from wrinkly skin, psoriasis, dermatitis, and arthritic pain. And they are available in the market in the forms of creams, lotions, capsules, and just standalone oil to be used externally. 
Emu Oil’s Health Benefits
The medicinal usage of Emu oil dates back to the cultural practices of the Aboriginal Australians. Emu oils have been around for more than 2,000 years, according to the orally recorded accounts of Australia’s indigenous people.
Aboriginal people first introduced Emu oil into European culture as a medium to help moisturize the skin and as a natural sunscreen. The Europeans have quickly grown to love the oil and also started using it to treat injuries, and to help speed up their recovery. Since then, far more benefits have been believed to be caused by Emu oil.
Here’s a list of popular medical benefits that are attributed to Emu oils: 
- Enhances skin moisture and nutrient absorption
- Helps reduce inflammation
- It helps ease the pain caused by small wounds
- Stimulates the skin
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- It helps treat or reduce the size of ulcers
- Minimizes breast sensitivity for mothers that breastfeed
- Helps repel insects
Unfortunately, due to the lack of extensive clinical trials on humans, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not authorize the use of pure Emu oil products for therapeutic use. They also didn’t validate any claims that using it in therapy is effective or safe.
Is It Ethical to Use Emu Oils?
In order to get things clear, yes, the use of Emu oils is ethical. So long as it comes from well-maintained and legally recognized farms. Just so you know, The American Emu Association actually keeps a registry of accredited members that farm emu produces ethically.
If you want, you can even inquire directly to these farms about whether they harvest the whole bird, from flesh to skin. And to encourage ethical emu farming and production, and to avoid contamination, always remember to purchase Emu oil from trusted sources.
We generally don’t support using animal products in cosmetics and medicine. However, we do always hope that the birds from where the raw materials come from are raised in healthy and ethical conditions. We value conventional medical methods and understanding, but it would be better if we develop plant-based alternatives instead.
Side Effects and Possible Dangers of Emu Oil Use
So far, there haven’t been any known serious risks to utilizing Emu oils for extended periods. But it is still not advised for wounds and irritation caused by poisonous agents like poison ivy or oak. This is due to Emu oils acting like an enhancer that goes through the skin, which could cause injuries to heal slower. 
Unauthorized use of Emu oil could also trigger allergic reactions to some, and the symptoms will vary from person to person. The lack of safety evidence for Emu oils also means that pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children are discouraged to use the product. 
Additionally, the production of Emu oils are neither supported nor regulated by the FDA. Thus, there is a significant potential that the consumption of Emu oil products can be unsafe due to contamination.
Although Emu oil is harmless, its medicinal claims remain untested. Also, the demand for emu meat for human use is still scarce as of today. Therefore, in some cases, the animal is simply slaughtered for its fat, and its remainder is usually thrown away. So if you favor a much more ethical option, you can opt for other choices available elsewhere.
If you want, there are products available in the market with qualities comparable to Emu oil that you can use as an alternative, like aloe vera, vitamin E, olive, and argan oil. These products are proven to be safe and effective. So feel free to utilize these cruelty-free and ecologically friendly replacements whenever you want.
Emu oil can cause a dilemma for some people, and it is best to carefully consider every aspect that goes into these types of products. Regardless, of whether you want to try this product or not, as always, we highly recommend you consult a medical professional for advice first.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Manjula, R., Kattupalli, S., & Namitha, S. (2021, November). Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research SYSTEMATIC ANALYSIS OF EMU OIL. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/356428542_Journal_of_Cardiovascular_Disease_Research_SYSTEMATIC_ANALYSIS_OF_EMU_OIL
- Attarzadeh, Y., Asilian, A., Shahmoradi, Z., & Adibi, N. (2013). Comparing the efficacy of Emu oil with clotrimazole and hydrocortisone in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis: A clinical trial. Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 18(6), 477–481.
- Jeengar, M. K., Kumar, P. S., Thummuri, D., Shrivastava, S., Guntuku, L., Sistla, R., & Naidu, V. G. (2015). Review on emu products for use as complementary and alternative medicine. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 31(1), 21–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2014.04.004