Teaching Tuesday-Emu Oil

I have a friend in Utah that swears by an emu rub to combat the pain in both aged, arthritic and youthful, over-worked knees. After more than a year of hearing the virtues of emu oil extolled, I decided to look into more deeply, and I must say that I was intrigued. So today's Teaching Tuesday is all aboaut that flightless bird, the emu! 

Emu oil is actually a by product of processing the Emu. After it is processed for it’s meat, the thick layer of fat that is under its skin on its back, is rendered, refined and sterilized. This oil is then used in various cosmetic and medical applications. 

The Emu is actually a prehistoric, Australian bird. It is quite largeflightless, and rather ostrich like. It is thought to have wandered the Australian outback for the past 80 million years, and can still be found there today! Its history can be compared to the Native Americans' relationship with bison, as this bird provided the Australian Aborigines with food, clothing, shelter, medicine ( it was used for wounds, aches, pains and skin protection) and spiritual sustenance. The emu has been valued by the Aborigines for thousands of years, especially for its healing powers, and it does indeed, have many natural qualities which are  beneficial to our health. And, unlike many other oils, emu oil is beneficial to our health without the addition of any herbal or chemical additives. In fact, the fatty acid composition of emu oil is [very] close to the composition of fats that are found in our skin.

Emu oil has been proven to be an intensive pain reliever, especially in cases of chronic arthritis, strains, sprains, and muscle pain. It is also known to possess anti-inflammatory properties, its effects comparable to ibuprofen, bacteriostatic properties (meaning that it inhibits the growth of bacteria, not that it prevents it), and hypoallergenic properties, meaning that it is not known to cause skin irritation or have any other side effects. Emu is widely used to accelerate and promote wound healing. Additionally, it is a non-comedogenic oil, which simply means that it does not clog the skin pores, which makes its perfect for most all cosmetic applications. The chemical composition of emu oil is actually very similar to that of human skin, which means that the emu oil, as well as all of its beneficial properties, can quickly and easily penetrate the skin's surface, which sends its  soothing benefits deep into the skin's tissues. Once applied to the skin, emu oil is odorless and will serve to moisturize and condition.

Emu oil contains Vitamin E, a major antioxidant and healing agent; Vitamin A, which is a known skin repairer, as well as another antioxidant, linoleic acid, which helps to ease muscle and joint pain. It also contains oleic acid, a proven skin cell regenerator and anti-wrinkle agent, sapogens, which are skin softeners, and terpines, which are known antiseptics. Therefore, skin care products that are made with emu oil, (because of the powerful antioxidants) will be great skin cell regenerators, and anti-wrinkle agents. They will actually improve the condition of aging skin. Additionally, products made with this oil are deep (read "great" here) moisturizers, capable of smoothing and conditioning the roughest, driest skin, especially those hard to deal with areas, the elbows, knees and heels. 
Emu oil is also known to reduce the itching and flakiness that often accompanies dry skin issues, because it forms a protective barrier on the skin, after it moisturizes and lubricates the irritated area. Emu oil is also a skin-thickening agent, and it offers the skin protection from wind and other harsh weather conditions, especially when used in formulations for the face and hands. Perhaps best of all,  the wonderful properties of emu oil, its anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as all its others, are considered to be "long lasting".  

Because of its bacteriostatic, anti-inflammatory, and cell regeneration properties, this oil would make a great addition to most any homeopathic balm. In fact, this oil is gaining great popularity in the sports medicine world, its properties making it a natural choice for pain balms that are used to treat muscle aches, pains, strains, pulls, sprains, cramps, as well as minor wound repairs, especially where scarring could be an issue. It is also a good oil for any recipe that is intended to lessen the pain of chronic conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. It works well in formulations to lesson the pain and the scarring of sunburns and burns, those intended to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, alleviate the discomfort of eczema, psoriasis, diaper rash, and shingles. Any formulation intended to reduce the infection, pain and swelling of insect bites and/or stings will benefit from using emu oil. In fact, emu oil has even been shown to help reverse hair loss, so maybe it should be the next big shampoo or scalp conditioning sensation!    

You should be aware that not all of the emu oil sold at market today is of animal origin, and that some emu Oil is only rendered and filtered, not purified. Unpurified oil may contain contaminants. I did not find any information on what  potential impostors would likely be made with, or how to tell the difference between the real [emu] oil and an impostor. So all that I can suggest is to be sure and read the fine print, choose the refined product, and be sure to purchase your supplies through a reputable company. 

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