For many years Australian tea tree oil has been a stable in the beauty and health industry, now comes a new trend from the 5th continent: Emu Cream and Oil. Yes, you read right, the Australians have re-discovered that Emu fat has health and beauty benefits for the users. Something what the natives of Australia, the Aborigines apparently knew and used since thousands of years. So what is behind this "new" beauty secret? Where does it come from? Emu cream and oil is, not surprisingly, produced from emus, the largest bird native to Australia which are unable to fly. Emus weigh between 18 and 48 kilograms and were used by Aboriginals and the first settlers mainly as food supply; but they can be easily bred in captivity. Wild emus are now protected in Australia and emus that are held in captivity for breeding etc are monitored.
The use of Emu fat for beauty and health reasons was known to the Aborigines that used it widely in their native bush medicine, religious and spiritual ceremonies and as a lubricant and wood treatment. Mixed with natural color pigments like ochre and other earths it is also used for ceremonial body paintings.
From its simply beginning, fat rubbed into the skin, it has now been developed into a series of beauty products that range from shampoo to foot cream. Emu creams, oils and other emu fat products are thought to help against a variety of skin conditions in humans and animals. The producers of emu cream and oil claim it is beneficial for sufferers of and to help with: acne, unclean skin, allergies, wrinkles, rheumatic pains and conditions, insect stings and bites, burns, dry skin, psoriasis, for muscle relaxation, lowering of Cholesterol levels though internal use (not FDA approved), bruises and other soft tissue injuries, rashes, sun burns, eczema and other skin irritations, dry hair, dry scalp condition, hair loss and stretch marks. Unfortunately very few scientific studies have been carried out to support such claims, but personal testimonies do exist that seem to support these and other claims of the benefits of emu cream, oil and fat.
Late in the 20th century professional emu farming started to emerge, not only in Australia, but also in the United States, parts of South America and even in China amongst other countries. They are kept and bred not only for their oil and fat, but also for their meat, leather and feathers. Emu oil and cream is won by processing the raw emu fat and by clarifying it. It is not only used as a cosmetic product, but also as nutrition supplement for internal uses.
Scientific evidences, as mentioned before are still scarce, but the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) is investigating emu products for possible anti-inflammatory properties.
Emu oil is thick and often, especially at lower temperatures resembles more a cream then an oil and separates easily in two fractions. It is of a creme or light yellow color and has no specific odor or taste.
Emu fat, from which emu product are derivate, is won mainly from the big pocket of fat found on the emu's back. This fat is then filtered, refined and developed into products.
Summary: Emu cream, oil and other products claim the same benefits as tea tree oil products, but have yet to proof these claims through further scientific research. Until this is done, you can but try it and see if it works in your particular case.