There’s an endless variety of beauty products out in the market, and among them are beauty oils. These beauty oils are extracted from either plant or animal source. We see plenty of beauty oils out there, but there is one that is quite unusual and is under the radar that some of us may not heard it before. And with that, let this article introduce to us, the Emu oil.
What is Emu oil?
Emu oil is derived from the adipose and fatty tissues of the Emu bird, a flightless bird, and the second largest bird after the ostrich. Thousands of years ago, the Australian aborigines used emu oil for minor aches and pain relief, wound healing and skin protection against harsh elements of wind and sun. They introduced the oil to the first Europeans as a sunscreen and skin moisturizer. Since then the emu oil has been used and recommended for skin problems.
Emu oil consists of almost 100% triglyceride lipids, approximately over 70% unsaturated fatty acids, mainly Omega 3, 6, & 9. Studies have shown that this composition is consistent with the current recommendations for a "healthy" diet for the heart, in which these fatty acids can lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing good cholesterol, reduce inflammation in body tissue and joints, improve the immune system and assist the body with many functions. The monounsaturated fatty acid Omega 9, also known as Oleic acid is the major fatty acid in emu oil.
Although the oil has been recommended by some doctors, it is still relatively unknown clinically in the medical field.
Composition (%) of Fatty Acids from the Emu oil and Human Skin
Source: Emu Oil Research – Uniquely Emu Products, Inc.
Benefits of Emu oil
A 2012 study in Australia presented that emu oil possesses a significant amount of linoleic acid (Omega 3) which provides an anti-inflammatory property. Several studies and research were conducted have shown that emu oil can be a source of non-toxic transdermal anti-inflammatory agent, and when applied topically, it is as effective as taking Ibuprofen orally. Studies also have shown that patients who suffered from arthritis have shown significant improvement in swelling and pain by taking emu oil topically and orally 3 times daily. It is a good anti-inflammatory agent for the relief of joint pains and muscle aches. It also alleviates the pain experienced by breastfeeding mothers. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that applying emu oil topically around the areola of the breast helps relief painful, dry and cracked nipples, without affecting the skin pH, elasticity or temperature.
We often watch or hear in commercials of some products with omega fatty acids are good for the heart, and they are right about that. One of the emu oil’s major fatty acid, oleic acid (Omega 9) decreases bad cholesterol and possibly increases good cholesterol in our body. Linoleic acid or omega-3 fatty acid is also known to help with fat loss. A study conducted by the Nutrition and Metabolism Research Group in Canada, linoleic acid can reduce plasma triglyceride levels without affecting or altering LDL or HDL cholesterol levels.
Improves Skin Health
Emu oil is easily absorbed in our skin due to its fat lipids that are similar to those found on top of the skin layer. The oil can be a moisturizer as it breaks through the barrier and penetrates deep into the skin surface. It can be applied to smooth rough hands, elbows, knees, heels and reduces itchiness and flakiness from dry skin. Since it has anti-inflammatory properties, it also reduces swelling and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema and reduces the appearance of burns, scars, wrinkles, stretch marks, wrinkles, and sunspots. Emu oil also contains fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A and E in which both can contribute to promoting healthy cells. Vitamin E is a natural anti-aging agent, as it strengthens the capillary walls of the skin, thus improves skin elasticity. Vitamin A helps repair damaged tissues and reduces inflammation. Both vitamin A and E play its roles as antioxidants to fight free radicals that cause cell damage, thus protecting the skin from harmful factors such as radiation from UV rays and infections. They also help boost the immune system to prevent diseases caused by bacteria such as colds and flu.
Promotes Hair & Nail Growth
The antioxidants present in emu oil also promote healthy hair and nails. Emu oil penetrates deep inside the scalp and gets to the deep end roots of the hair, thus it gives hair moisture and helps blood circulation in the scalp. Research also found emu oil to be effective in stimulating dormant hair follicles, which promotes new hair growth. For nails, emu oil helps moisturize nail cuticles and reduces inflammation caused by bacterial and fungal complications like fungal nail infection.
Emu oil not only helps promote skin health and relieves pain but also it helps fight gastric infections and boost the immune system. Researchers in Australia conducted a study on the activity of emu oil on the gastrointestinal tracts of mice. They found that it gives partial protection against mucositis, an adverse effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for cancer which describes as a painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract. Based on these findings, emu oil is able to improve intestinal repair and as an adjuvant to conventional treatment for inflammatory disorders affecting in the gastrointestinal system. Emu oil also contains vitamin K2 or Menaquinone which helps activate proteins that regulate where calcium ends up in the body. Some of its benefits are it regulates and prevents calcium build-up from in the arteries that can cause heart disease, and disposes of calcium by binding them into the bones.
Although there are no supported clinical trial data, several emu oil products that were marketed recommend the dosing regimen of topical application 2-3 times daily to the affected site. Several celebrities shared their experiences using emu oil and gave positive reviews, thus increases its interest in everyone. Overall, emu oil is an all-around oil that you can use every day, and there’s no doubt that this oil will surely deliver its amazing wonders in keeping you healthy and beautiful.