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What Are the Benefits of Emu Oil Capsules?

By Christy Callahan

Oil rendered from the fat of the emu may be a viable substitute for your fish oil capsules. Studies on the oil are limited, but many healthcare stores are stocking the capsules on shelves and promoting their use. More research is needed on the toxicity of emu oil, and this product is not regulated by the FDA. Discuss its use with your doctor before taking this product.

Essential Fatty Acid

Emu oil contains a variety of fatty acids including oleic, linolenic and linoleic oils, states Oleic is the main fatty acid in emu oil, which is an omega-9. Linoleic oil is an omega-6, while linolenic is an omega-3. Emu oil capsules are now being offered on the Internet and at specialty stores as a new omega fatty acid supplementation. However, studies on the fatty acids contained in emu oil are limited, and the quality of the oil is not guaranteed. The FDA does not regulate this product, therefore discuss its omega fatty acid benefits with your doctor before using.


Studies on the topical effects of emu oil show that it decreases inflammation, although not much data exist about its effects on intestinal lining, states an article in the "British Journal of Nutrition" in April 2010. The article describes a study that took place at the University of Adelaide in Australia, in an attempt to determine emu oil's effectiveness in reducing inflammation in cases of post-chemotherapy mucositis, or inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. This condition may be a concern for you if you are undergoing chemotherapy. The researchers found that emu oil was able to reduce inflammation in the lining of the gut, as well as improved the structure of the mucosal membranes.


Emu oil's anti-inflammatory properties may extend to easing arthritis pain and inflammation. In a study published in 1997 in the journal "Inflammopharmacology," researchers in Australia found topical emu oil applications to reduce arthritis in rats. Although this study focused on the topical application, the internal effects, with exception to the reduced inflammation in the intestines, are unknown. However, Aborigines have used emu oil for thousands of years, applying it directly to the skin and ingesting the meat of the bird, claiming its ability to cure a variety of ailments, including arthritis pain.

Wound Healing

Emu oil is also of potential use in burns and other wounds, helping to reduce inflammation. Researchers from the Southern Medical University in China discovered that topical applications of emu oil could reduce inflammation in scald wounds. Published in the "Academic Journal of the First Medical College of PLA" in April of 2005, emu oil was found effective when applied on days one through three after the injury, as compared to the other treatments, which were saline and iodine. Again, although studies are promising, emu oil effects are not guaranteed. Talk to your doctor if you want to try emu oil, and find out which brands have the highest quality oil.

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