Emu oil: a miracle worker?
If I told you bird back fat could help give you younger-looking skin, lower your cholesterol, and minimize joint pain, would you believe me? No? It’s fine. I don’t think I would believe that nonsensical jibber-jabber either. UNLESS I TRIED IT…AND IT WORKED. IN YOUR F??##%$$&&&ING FACE! Sorry. My inner caveman needed to yell and do a happy dance over my own personal experience with EMU OIL. Like I always say, I would not recommend something unless I had tried, tested, and treated myself with said product and let me say, I feel great. And as for my skin, well just yesterday a girl in J. C. Penny told me I had the skin of Justin Bieber. Winning! In addition to physical well-being, by the end of this one you will have learned something about birds, Australia, and Omega 3, 6 and 9’s. Should I give you another reason to keep reading? Ok… you just checked your Facebook 30 seconds ago and no one has commented on anything. Moving right along.
In the hot deserts of Australia thrives the non-flying bird known as the emu.
Resembling an ostrich of sorts, this foul stands 5 to 6 feet tall. It is believed that the emu is a survivor of prehistoric times and dates back some 80 million years, roaming the outback of Australia. The Aborigine tribes relied upon the emu for their existence. The emu provided them with food, clothing, shelter… and a life free from arthritis? Quite possible. In fact, one useful survival tool given to the emu to flourish under extreme temperatures and direct sunlight is a very thick layer of subcantancerous back fat! Until the late 1990s, emu oil had been quietly used for more than 1,000 years by the Australian Aborigines in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism and skin irritation. Modern scientists and doctors became curious when they realized that painful arthritis was largely absent in many Aboriginal tribes, while at the same time an estimated 10% of modern Australians and 15% of Americans are daily arthritis sufferers. This major clue led the way to the first major clinical study of the “wonder oil”, (as it is referred to today) led by a Dr. Peter Gosh. His conclusion was summed up in the paper, The Anti- Arthritic Activity of Emu Oil, which demonstrated that emu oil does eliminate inflammation and pain in many patients and that people can get real results from this ancient remedy. His specific results were charted as follows:
ARTHRITIS PAIN REDUCTION
Day 1: 1%
Day 4: 30%
Day 7: 50%
Day 11: 82%
Day 14: 100%
REDUCTION OF ARTHRITIC SWELLING
Day 1: 1%
Day 6: 22%
Day 12: 48%
Day 17: 100%
I have to say that personally, I experienced very much the same results over a 2 to 3 week period. Overuse and rehearsing for two shows at the same time had left me with some mild patellar tendonitis and a sore wrist. I used 2/3 drops of emu oil 3X a day and after about a week, I started to notice a real difference. Minimal swelling remained and I noticed that pain had diminished in the area previously under stress. In about three weeks my knee and wrist felt better than they had in a long time. These results drove me to look even deeper into the why’s and how’s of emu oil.
Does everyone remember my blog about fish oil? OK, it was a while back (January of 2010). You could go back and read it again… But, I digress. Essentially, we are looking at a very similar product here. An oil packed with Omega 3’s. And what do Omega 3’s do? Well, to quote myself, “Omega fatty acids, particularly EPA, have a very positive effect on your inflammatory response. Through several mechanisms, they regulate your body’s inflammation cycle, which prevents and relieves painful conditions like arthritis, prostatitis, cystitis and anything else ending in “-itis.”
Hold onto this idea and let’s jump to the next paragraph and look at
The Mechanical Makeup of Emu Oil
On a scientific level, emu oil contains a wonderful balance of 3, 6, and 9 Omega fatty acids. The oil is approximately 70% unsaturated fatty acids (these lower cholesterol and decrease inflammation), the largest component being oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated Omega 9 fatty acid. Emu oil also contains about 20% linoleic acid (an Omega 6 fatty acid).
Does this sound like a lot of crap, percentages, and numbers? I feel you, but let me sum up what I see. I see a high percentage of oleic acid. Still doesn’t ring bells for you? And why should it? You probably spend your time enjoying life as opposed to sticking your face in science textbooks. That’s why you have me. The monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid, is a known enhancer for transport of bioactive compounds into the skin, thus rendering the fatty acid compositions in emu oil extremely penetrating or… big word… ”transdermal”. This stuff is literally spot treatment Omegas for the areas that need help in your body! It was designed perfectly by nature to deliver spot treatment – natural Advil-esk aid to your aching body! Hurray!
OK, I feel exhausted from summing that all up so I am going to cut it short: emu oil has been studied and verified to lower cholesterol, soften skin and make your face look like mine.
It’s true: there are additional studies which side the effect of Emu oil lowering cholesterol much like fish oil, a benefit yes….but I’m concerned with americas aches and pains for now.!
Let me end with a word of caution: Not all oils are created equal! As great a natural health wonder as emu oil is, it is a wonder why so many companies muck up their formulas with dangerous additives. Emu oil products have been found to include parafen preservatives, and related dyes have been added as preservatives and color enhancers. So, do your research and buy organic. As always I know a few companies which are reputable. However, be your own advocate for health.
Again I am not a medical doctor, and while I have played one onstage, this article is an summary of many studies, and opinions through out the nutritional and medical community. Take everything with a grain of *sea salt, and find your own truth. Find what speaks to you. Shanti!