Skunk oil

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Skunk oil is obtained from skunks

Skunk oil is an oil that is obtained from the two lateral glands that run the length of a skunk's back. Skunks store fats in these glands for use during hibernation or semi-hibernation in warmer climates. Skunk oil has minimal odor.[citation needed]


Skunk oil was used by the Native Americans as a healing balm or as a liniment. When rendered from the glands, over a low heat, it has the consistency of an SAE10 motor oil and the feel of coal oil when applied to the skin. It gives a warming sensation as a mild liniment would. The early explorers and fur buyers, especially in Canada, found that the oil was a very useful addition to their medical kits and paid the natives a premium price for it.

It is also used in the United States as a way for deer hunters to mask their human odor while hunting.


Around the year 1900, the state of Maine produced about 25,000 gallons of the oil annually which sold for about $4/gallon.[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fur trade review 25, 1897: 517  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Irving P. Fox (1905), The Spatula 12: 32  Missing or empty |title= (help)