We had an order at the compounding pharmacy for a prescription with Emu Oil. One of our pharmacists, Katie, was curious about where Emu Oil comes from, which made me decide to do some research. I suggested that they ring the oil out of the Emu’s necks and it seems that I wasn’t far off.
Emu Oil is derived from adipose tissue, body fat, harvested from an Emu subspecies, Dromaius novaehollandiae, a flightless bird that lives in Australia. The oil can vary in color and viscosity, from off-white creamy to a thin yellow liquid, depending on the diet of the Emu and the refining methods.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not approved any Emu Oil. It has been wrongly promoted as a dietary supplement with the claim it can treat ailments like cancer and arthritis. Most of the benefits from Emu Oil is in cosmetics, soaps and shampoos.
Emu meat is lean, low in cholesterol and high in iron and vitamin C. Emu connoisseurs attest the bird tastes like a fine filet mignon. The emu, native to Australia, where scientists believe it began roaming the Outback some 80 million years ago.
The birds were originally imported to the United States as breeding stock for zoos, but a 1960 exportation ban in Australia has since barred emus from crossing the border.
The Emu’s, from the original zoo shipments were easily bred and there are now many Emu farms across the United States. One Emu yields about 30 pounds of boneless meat, but the real money maker is the oil.