Emu oil

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Emu oil is oil derived from adipose tissue harvested from certain subspecies of the emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae, a flightless bird indigenous to Australia.[1][2]

Unadulterated emu oil can vary widely in color and viscosity anywhere from an off-white creamy texture to a thin yellow liquid, depending on the diet of the emu and the refining method(s) used.[3] It is composed of approximately 70% unsaturated fatty acids. The largest component is oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. Emu oil also contains roughly 20% linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and 1-2% linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid).

Emu oil has been fraudulently promoted as a dietary supplement with the false claim it can treat a variety of human ailments, including cancer and arthritis.[4] Little is known about its risks and benefits.[5]

Commercial emu oil supplements are not standardized and vary widely in their potency.[6] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration highlighted emu oil in a 2009 article on "How to Spot Health Fraud," pointing out that many "pure emu oil" products are unapproved drugs.[4]


As of 2015 there have been two small human studies.[7] One looked at emu oil as a skin moisturizer and the other as an insect repellent.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ American Emu Association FAQ
  2. ^ Devantier, Alecia T; Carol, Turkington (2006). Extraordinary Jobs in Agriculture and Nature. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8160-5854-9. 
  3. ^ American Emu Association - Definition of emu oil grades
  4. ^ a b Kurtzweil, Paula (April 30, 2009). "How to Spot Health Fraud". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  5. ^ Ratini, Melinda (31 December 2012). "Emu Oil". Vitamins & Supplements. WebMD. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Whitehouse MW, Turner AG, Davis CK, Roberts MS (1998). "Emu oil(s): A source of non-toxic transdermal anti-inflammatory agents in aboriginal medicine". Inflammopharmacology. 6 (1): 1–8. doi:10.1007/s10787-998-0001-9. PMID 17638122. 
  7. ^ a b Jeengar et. al (2015). "Review on emu products for use as complementary and alternative medicine". Nutrition. 31: 21–27. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2014.04.004.