Emu: A Bird Worth Its Weight In Oil;
Aboriginal Healing Oil Now A Beauty Aid

LOS ANGELES--June 6, 1999-- In the central desert of Australia some 50,000 years ago, the Aborigines used medicinal plant, herbs and animals to relieve countless afflictions.

One common remedy was emu oil. The emu, a flightless bird, was prized for its most valuable attribute--oil that aids healing.  The unique properties of emu oil were reportedly discovered by the Aborigines when they began collecting the oil as it dripped off the hide, and started using it as a pain reliever for muscles and joints and as a anti-inflammatory substance for burns.

In some cases of wound healing, the "patient" was placed in the sun and wrapped in the hide with the fatty side, which contains the oil, facing toward the skin. It's the emu's fatty acids, which are similar to those normally found in human skin, that help hydrate the skin, enabling it to retain moisture, making it softer, firmer and more elastic.

Beauty professionals across the country are touting the benefits of emu oil. Found in cosmetics, soaps and shampoos, it has been reported that emu oil also thickens aged, mature skin, making it appear younger. One study reported that 100 percent emu oil rubbed into the skin twice daily would thicken the skin by 14 percent.

The oil is highly penetrating and won't clog pores. It can help people whose skin is parched, cracked and has lost its smooth, healthy look.

The Aborigines relied on the healing bird to treat their wounds, burns and the remedy skin ailments. Today, emu oil is proving to be a wonder for moisturizing and beauty. It has grown into an industry with more than 1,000 emu oil products sold in health and natural food stores.