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Emu Oil

Scientific Name(s)

Dromaius Novae-Hollandiae

Common Name(s)

Emu oil also is known as emu.

What is it used for?

Traditional/Ethnobotanical uses

The Aboriginal people of Australia have used emu oil for centuries. The oil was collected by either hanging the emu skin from a tree or wrapping it around an affected area and allowing the heat of the sun to liquefy the emu fat to enhance absorption into the skin.

Emu oil was used medicinally to treat muscle and joint problems and a variety of skin conditions. Other purported medicinal uses include the treatment of psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. The oil also has been used for cooking as well as for keeping leather riding tackle supple.

Anti-inflammatory/Wound healing

Nearly all clinical and scientific studies focus on the anti-inflammatory properties of emu oil. In animal studies, the topical application of emu oil had anti-inflammatory effects comparable to oral ibuprofen. In humans, emu oil was evaluated as a lubricant and aided in reducing scar formation in healed burns. Wounds treated with emu oil also healed significantly better. However, more research is needed to fully explain the benefits of emu oil.

What is the recommended dosage?

Emu oil has been studied as a topical application, but clinical trials are lacking.


Contraindications have not been identified.


Avoid use. Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.


None well documented.

Side Effects

No adverse reactions have been reported with the use of emu oil.


No toxicities have been reported.


1. Emu Oil. Review of Natural Products. Facts & Comparisons eAnswers [database online]. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Health Inc; July 2015. Accessed April 27, 2015.

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Further information

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