Emu oil is a natural oil with many benefits, such as moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. Traditionally, the aboriginal people of Australia made extensive use of emu oil healing properties to treat ailments such as arthritis.6
For those wondering what is emu oil made of, emu oil contains high concentrations of unsaturated fatty acids, including oleic acid and linoleic acid.1 With an increasing amount of scientific research on this natural oil, some may wonder what is emu oil commonly used for today.
Emu oil is often used to thicken hair, combat wrinkles, and moisturize skin. In addition, emu oil is great when paired with essential oils. One of the best ways to dilute essential oils is with emu oil, a carrier oil that permeates the skin quickly because of its likeness to human sebum—an oily substance produced by the body to help moisturize skin.2
Where Does Emu Oil Come From?
After hearing about this highly beneficial oil, some may question, what is emu oil made from?
Pure emu oil is made up of fat that has been extracted from the Australian emu, a tall, flightless, bird.1,3 For those wondering how is emu oil extracted, the oil is taken from large fat deposits located between the emu’s skin and its flesh.
Furthermore, people may wonder how is emu oil made? After the fat is removed from the emu, it’s prepared, cleaned, deodorized, and sterilized to create an oil that is free from impurities. The result is pure refined emu oil.
When purchasing pure emu oil, it’s important to determine emu oil shelf life by reading the label on your oil carefully.
Emu Oil Benefits
Pure emu oil benefits have been observed in many scientific studies, and include anti-itching properties and reduction of some symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis (a type of eczema that causes an inflamed, scaly rash).4
Another benefit of emu oil is its positive effect on wound healing. A 2016 study observed that when emu oil was applied to burns, it increased levels of collagen and improved the regrowth of hair at the site of the wound.5
It was also noted for its beneficial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.5
In addition to the many benefits of emu oil listed above, emu oil may also have ulcer-fighting properties. In a 2016 animal study, a mixture of aloe vera and emu oil was recorded to protect against the formation of ulcers.1
Emu Oil Uses
There are many uses for emu oil as part of an everyday beauty routine or as a therapeutic health treatment. For those wondering what is emu oil used for, some common applications include using emu oil in a moisturizing bath or as a massage oil.
Emu oil can also be used as part of a diaper cream, as a moisturizer, as a hair mask, and as a carrier oil for essential oils. For more information about how to use emu oil with essential oils, refer to the material below.
Emu Oil for Hair
Today, many people take advantage of emu oil hair benefits by using emu oil for hair loss. By covering the scalp with emu oil, hair regrowth is thought to be stimulated.
The reason Australian emu oil is so useful for hair loss is that it encourages hair growth by supplying fatty acids needed for hair follicle cells to divide.2
There are those who have even reported that by using emu oil, facial hair growth increased.
Because of its antioxidant properties, emu oil may also be used as a therapeutic treatment for hair loss related to oxidative stress.5
A study in the Journal of Medicine and Life found that patients who had androgenetic alopecia (receding hairline and thinning hair) had higher oxidative stress than patients without alopecia.7 By applying emu oil, receding hairline issues may be positively affected for certain people.5
For those still wondering is emu oil good for your hair, trying the product may help answer your question. To use emu oil for hair growth, apply 5-10 drops of emu oil to areas of the scalp with thinning hair. Leave the oil on overnight, allowing it to absorb into the skin. In the morning, wash out to get rid of excess oiliness.
For an alternate hair-growth recipe, mix 2 Tbsp. emu oil with three drops rosemary essential oil, an oil that has been shown to help promote hair growth, and apply directly to the scalp.
Emu Oil Shampoo
To make your own emu oil shampoo, combine ½ cup of liquid castile soap, 2 Tbsp. emu oil, and four drops of rosemary essential oil. Combine the mixture thoroughly and store it in an empty shampoo bottle for easy dispensing.
Emu Oil for Skin
There are many benefits of emu oil for skin, such as its deep moisturizing properties, which are absorbed in the epidermis.2,6 When using emu oil on the skin, especially the face, it’s important to use the best emu oil available for high-quality results.
Some common emu oil uses for skin include applying emu oil for dry skin, eczema, scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, psoriasis, and diaper rash. There are also many people who use emu oil for skin discoloration.
Emu oil can be used for skincare by applying the pure oil directly to problem areas, or by mixing a small amount of emu oil with your favorite essential oil for skin.
Emu Oil Eczema
Using emu oil for eczema may benefit some users, as emu oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties.1 Applying emu oil directly to the affected areas may help soothe skin that is cracked or inflamed.
For added benefits, combine 1 Tbsp. of emu oil with 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil, one of the top essential oils for eczema. Gently massage the mixture into the affected areas until fully absorbed.
Emu Oil for Scars
Emu oil is also touted as a useful treatment for scars, but some may wonder, does emu oil work? In recent years, researchers have uncovered promising information suggesting that emu oil does work in treating scars. In a 2016 animal study, scientists found that topical application of emu oil had the ability to reduce the size of scars resulting from burns.5
To use emu oil for scars at home, combine 1-2 Tbsp. of emu oil with 2-3 drops of helichrysum essential oil, a moisturizing essential oil clinically shown to help reduce scars for post-surgery patients. Apply on the area daily to reduce or prevent scarring.
Emu Oil for Stretch Marks
Because emu oil contains moisturizing properties, it may also help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.5 To create a stretch mark serum, mix 2 Tbsp. of emu oil with two drops of juniper berry essential oil. Massage the serum into the skin.
Emu Oil Wrinkles
People wishing to reduce wrinkles may also benefit from the use of emu oil. Topical application of emu oil has been reported to help increase collagen levels. High collagen levels help skin look more plump and youthful. Emu oil also has antioxidant properties that can help protect skin from potentially damaging free radicals.5
Emu Oil Psoriasis
Like eczema, psoriasis is also related to inflammation. Users can take advantage of emu oil’s anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties to help calm inflamed rashes brought on by psoriasis.
For a natural remedy, add 2 drops of geranium essential oil to 1 Tbsp. of emu oil and apply to the area liberally. This rose-scented essential oil is often listed as one of the best essential oils for psoriasis as it has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Emu Oil for Diaper Rash
Often used anecdotally, there is limited research on the safety of using emu oil for diaper rash. As baby skin is extremely sensitive, parents should only select carrier oils and essential oils for babies. While there is no evidence to dismiss using emu oil for diaper rash, Essential Oil Experts recommends to talk with your health care provider before using any carrier oil or essential oil on an infant.
Emu Oil Acne
There are many emu oil benefits for face ailments such as acne. One of the most prominent reasons to use emu oil for acne is that it has natural anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and wound-healing properties, qualities that are useful for treating current acne breakouts. It may help reduce scarring—a common side effect of acne.5
It’s also beneficial to use pure emu oil for face treatments that include essential oils for acne. Since many essential oils should not be applied to the skin directly, they should be mixed with a moisturizing carrier oil, such as emu oil.
For those wondering how to use emu oil on face blemishes like acne, begin by mixing 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil (an oil clinically shown to reduce pimples) with 1 Tbsp. of emu oil. Apply the blended emu oil for face blemish relief.
Emu Oil for Pain
Organic emu oil is also an excellent for pain relief when used in combination with select essential oils for pain management. For example, by combining eucalyptus essential oil (an essential oil with pain relieving properties) with emu oil, muscle pain may be reduced.
Create an emu oil muscle rub by combining 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil with 2 Tbsp. of emu oil. After combining the oils, rub the mixture into the affected areas.
You may also use emu oil for back pain by combining 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil with 2 Tbsp. of emu oil. Apply the mixture to aching back muscles. By using emu oil, inflammation may also be reduced, resulting in less overall pain and swelling.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Vemu, B., Selvasubramanian, S., & Pandiyan, V. (2015). Emu oil offers protection in Crohn’s disease model in rats. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16(1). doi:10.1186/s12906-016-1035-y
- Shatalebi, M., & Rafiei, Y. (2014). Preparation and evaluation of minoxidil foamable emu oil emulsio. Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences,9(2), 123-133. Retrieved June 10, 2017, from http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC4311290/
- The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2017, April 10). Emu. Retrieved June 11, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/animal/emu – View reference
- 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,18(6), 477-481. Retrieved June 10, 2017, from http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC3818616/
- Afshar, M., Ghaderi, R., Zardast, M., & Delshad, P. (2016). Effects of Topical Emu Oil on Burn Wounds in the Skin of Balb/c Mice. Dermatology Research and Practice, 2016, 1-6. doi:10.1155/2016/6419216
- Zemstov, A., Gaddis, M., & Montalvo-Lugo, V. M. (1996). Moisturizing and cosmetic properties of emu oil: A pilot double blind study. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 37(3), 159-162. doi:10.1111/j.1440-0960.1996.tb01040.x
- Prie, B., Iosif, L., Tivig, I., Stoian, I., & Giurcaneanu, C. (2016). Oxidative stress in androgenetic alopecia. Journal of Medicine and Life, 9(1), 79-83. Retrieved June 13, 2017. http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC5152608/