- Where does the oil come from?
Emu oil is derived from the fat of the emu bird. They are raised as livestock all over the world primarily for their meat. In fact, they are the perfect environmentally friendly livestock. All parts of the bird are used, they do not tolerate inhumane conditions and actually improve the land on which they are raised.
- Why does emu oil work so well?
The fatty acid profile in emu fat is nearly identical to our skin cell's profile. It helps to heal adverse skin conditions better than any plant based product. It out performs aloe vera or lavender oil when applied to burns. It is usually more effective than conventional medications such as cortisone at reducing inflammation and related pain. The fatty acids in emu oil (Omega 3 and Omega 6) increase the production of hormone-like substances called eicosanoids in our bodies to help heal skin and reduce inflammation. As it penetrates thru all 7 layers of skin, the fatty acids cause an anti-inflammatory effect. It actually reaches deeply into the joints or muscles to relieve pain associated with this inflammation.
- If Emu Oil works so well on so many different conditions, why is it not approved by the Food and Drug Administration?
A major problem is funding: Even a small study with say, 40 patients, can cost $80,000 or more and a large clinical study of the size the FDA really wants will cost in the vicinity of $1,000,000. Pharmaceutical companies with exclusive rights to a particular drug can direct that kind of money with a realistic belief of a justifiable return. There is simply no incentive to put this kind of money into FDA approval for a non proprietary product. EACH application (burns, eczema, psoriasis, etc.) for emu oil would have to endure the expense of a full FDA application process. Then ANYONE selling emu oil for an approved application could use that data to their benefit.
- Do you have to kill the bird to get the oil?
In a word: yes. Emus are raised as livestock all over the world primarily for their meat. It is a very healthy, red and low-fat meat endorsed by the American Heart Assn. In addition to the meat, emus are raised for their hides and fat which is refined to the oil. They are a perfect livestock because they are environmentally friendly, nearly all parts of the bird are used and they will thrive only under humane conditions.They actually improve the tilth of land on which they are raised.
- What is the origin of the emu?
Emus are indigenous to Australia. Since their commercialization in the late 1970's, they are now raised all over the world. India and China are developing emu as a major food source.
- What does the meat taste like?
The meat is beef like in taste and texture, low in fat and very healthy to consume on a regular basis. Even though the meat is dark red in color and more resembles venison than beef, it does not have a gamy flavor.
- What makes emu oil different from other oils or animal fats?
Emu oil penetrates through all 7 layers of skin. Even though it is an oil, it doesn't clog pores, has anti-inflammatory and skin proliferative properties, and has some natural UV protection properties (very slight).
- Animal fats can't possibly penetrate, why is emu oil different?
Emu oil contains no phosphorus molecules. Since our skin is phospholipid deficient, it will not let anything containing a phosphorus molecule penetrate through it. It is a non-polar monounsaturated fatty acid as well (non-polar fatty acids move through cells more easily). It has short chain fatty acids (as most animal fats do) but acts like a long chain fatty acid (like most plant oils). In fact, emu oil resembles olive oil or cottonseed oil more than an animal fat. It is an almost 100% triglyceride lipid.
- Are there any other animals that have this type of fat?
Yes, the rhea (native to South America and similar in size to the emu), sperm whales, sharks, turtles(from Mexico) water pythons(from the Philippines), and a lizard from Indonesia and Australia have a similar fatty acid composition to their fat. It is believed these animals need the therapeutic properties in their fat to help their bodies heal quickly from injuries. Emus fight heavily during breeding season and have evolved to heal efficiently. These healing properties are believed to transfer to any human or animal tissues the oil is applied to.
- Since emu oil penetrates so well does it take everything with it including unwanted toxic substances?
You do not want to mix emu oil with something that you know may be toxic such as applying it after you have been exposed to poison oak or poison ivy. If you are exposed to something toxic sometime after you have applied emu oil there is no hazard related to the oil because the oil has already penetrated. So, as rule, it is best to apply emu oil to clean skin whenever possible. Use care when when mixing emu oil with essential oils for topical application.
- How does emu oil carry substances into the skin?
Emu oil carries compounds "piggyback" style into cells, unlike man-made liposomes which are substances that act like a bubble encasing compounds to carry them deeper into the skin. Emu oil will carry substances much deeper than other methods, literally into the bloodstream according to studies.
- What other substances penetrate besides emu oil and how deep?
Emu oil and DMSO (a byproduct of the paper industry) are among the only substances able to penetrate through all 7 layers of skin to reach the muscle tissues or cartilage in joints. Aloe vera can penetrate through all 7 layers of skin (only the gel from a freshly cut live frond can do this). The active ingredients in aloe vera diminish after 24 hours. Only one company, Mannatech, has developed a system which they claim keeps the compounds in aloe vera active long after it has been cut from the live plant. Aloe vera contains polysaccharides (complex natural sugars) which are considered beneficial for the immune system, but it may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. All other products on store shelves that contain aloe vera have retained little if any active components and are not considered effective aside from "feeling good". Liposomes, as described above, can carry compounds deeper into the skin tissues but not into muscles or joints. Tea tree oil also has superior penetrating abilities but sensitivities and allergies to it are common. Mink oil will penetrate to the third layer of skin as will castor oil.
- Are people allergic to emu Oil?
Emu oil is considered very hypo-allergenic. Allergic reactions are extremely rare since the fatty acid profile in the oil is similar to our skin cell profile. Emu oil has more in common with olive oil than an animal fat with the exception of the therapeutic properties. Although olive oil contains high levels of oleic acid it is in an inactive form. The oleic acids in emu oil are extremely active.
- What makes the oleic acid in emu oil active?
The activity of emu oil is not completely understood as yet. It is known that several factors about the unique composition of emu oil are responsible for its activity: the unique ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids, the ratio of all the individual fatty acids to one another and the form these fatty acids take, alpha, omega, gamma, etc. Researchers have labeled this mysterious activity of emu oil as "Factor X". Not all emu oils are alike in their fatty acid composition. Some emu oils are more effective than others. Old oil may not be as effective as fresher oil due to inevitable oxidation.
- Can you mix emu oil with other products?
Yes, usually it is a great carrier oil. Add it to shampoo (just one drop) or your favorite face lotion. It carries the other ingredients deep into the skin and makes it more effective. Excellent when used in conjunction with sunscreens, allows them to penetrate deeper and last longer. Again, use care when mixing emu oil with other substances.
- Can you take Emu oil internally?
Yes, it has been found to reduce LDL cholesterol(the bad kind) and it is also a good general dietary fatty acid supplement. Frequently available in gel caps, but at much greater cost. Our oil is refined to to the same purity as that in capsules but is not currently available in gel cap form. There is no reason, however, why one could not take it internally. Many do.
"Emu Oil...It's What Your Skin is Thirsty For"
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