It seems like every time I turn on the television I see at least one ad for Blue Emu Products. That prompted me to ask the question: What's all the hype?
That brings us to the topic of today's post. To give a little background you must first consider the active ingredient in this product line, which is emu oil. According to WebMD, emu oil is an extract that is derived from the fat of a flightless ostrich type bird known as an emu bird. This extract has been used for a multitude of purposes--taken orally, it supposedly can reduce cholesterol levels, promote weight loss; it has been used in cough syrups as well.
Veterinarians use emu oil to reduce swelling of animal joints, and for cracking or peeling of paws, and other dermatological issues such as "hot spots" or flea bites. Massage therapists sometimes use emu oil in their practices. Emu oil can be applied to the nostrils as a treatment for cold or flu.
With respect to chronic pain, emu oil can be applied to the skin to relieve sore muscles, inflammation, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine relief, and the list goes on an on. But the million dollar question has to be--is this effective?
According to the WebMD side, "more evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of emu oil...". However, there are 92 User Reviews of the product on this site and, to be honest, only a few people expressed low satisfaction with the product. The average reviewer gave the product 4 1/2 to 5 stars for effectiveness, ease of use, and satisfaction. For comparison purposes, I looked at the ratings of Blue Emu Original Analgesic Cream on Amazon.com. Sixty eight percent of those who wrote reviews on Amazon gave the product a five star rating; only six or seven percent of reviewers rated it as one or two stars.
That leads me to believe their must be something to this product. I can't personally sing its praises and I think some scientific studies would help support the claims of effectiveness. But it definitely looks to have some promise for at least some folks who are suffering with chronic pain.
Sources: WebMD; Amazon.com; Wikimedia