Emu Oil

As a pharmacist, when my manager informed me 10 years ago that we would be stocking emu oil, I was a bit skeptical — would snake oil be far behind? But emu oil really is one of the best multi-purpose non-prescription anti-inflammatories I’ve ever come across. It’s the best treatment I’ve ever used for sunburn — much better than fresh aloe—rapidly tames the pain and helps heal sun damage. When I over-strain my muscles, if I give them a good rub with emu oil before bedtime, that dreaded “second-day soreness” never arrives. It’s good for bug bites (reduces itching), scars (helps heal and minimize them), arthritis, tendonitis, and miscellaneous aches and pains; it helps calm and heal any kind of skin inflammation or irritation, and is reputed to reduce the incidence of wrinkles if used on a regular basis.

Emu oil can also be used in conjunction with other anti-inflammatories (hydrocortisone, or salicylate creams such as BenGay), anti-histamines (Benadryl), or other healing agents or emollients (such as aloe) if necessary. It’s a skin penetration enhancer, so it helps the other meds work more effectively.

It’s a particularly handy item in my travel kit: since it has so many different uses, it reduces the number of items I need to pack. It gets used on every trip, one way or another.

Buy a smaller bottle than you think you might need; a little goes a long way, and it can eventually go rancid (it still works at that point, but it will smell a bit funky). One or two ounces is plenty for most people. Health food stores often stock it, and Amazon, of course.

-- Barbara Dace  

Emu Oil
$22 / 4-ounces

Available from Amazon