Medical Emu Oil Info.

The Emu Oil Institute

What Is Crohn's and Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Crohn's causes small intestine inflammation and usually occurs in the lower small intestine.  That is not to say it cannot afflict any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth on down.  The inflammation can cause a tremendous amount of pain, diarrhea and other discomforts.

The general name for afflictions such as Crohn's disease is IBD (inflammatory bowel disease).  The IBD group also includes irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.  Statistics show that about 20 percent of people with Crohn's have a relative with some form of IBD.

The most popular theory for the causes of Cronh's is that the body's immune system reacts to a virus or bacteria by causing inflammation in the digestive system.  Many IBD sufferers tend to have abnormalities of the immune system but it is unknown if these abnormalities are the cause or result of IBD.

The most common complication of Chron's/IBD is blockage, which occurs due to the disease thickening the intestinal wall with scar tissue and swelling, thus narrowing the passage.  Ulcers may also occur which tunnel through the affected area to the bladder, vagina, or skin.  Some believe nutritional deficiencies occur with IBD due to inadequate dietary intake, intestinal loss of protein, or poor absorption.  Additionally, many IBD sufferers have associated complications such as arthritis, skin problems, inflammation of the eyes or mouth, gall stones, kidney stones, biliary system or liver problems.

What Is the Treatment for Crohn's/IBD?

The list goes on and on of the drugs prescribed for this health problem.  Some patients take corticosteroids, however they can cause serious side effects, including a greater risk of infection.  Likewise drugs containing mesalamine are often prescribed and have possible side effects like nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea and headaches.

How can Emu Oil Help Crohn's / IBD?

We are by no means physicians here, and cannot give medical advice.  However, logic tells us since Emu Oil studies have shown that Emu Oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, and Crohn's/IBD is an inflammatory disease, it may help reduce the inflammation naturally.  Ingesting Emu Oil dietary supplements will take the Emu Oil directly into the digestive tract, right to the source of inflammation.  The anti-inflammatory component of Emu Oil is unknown at this time.  In a U of M studies  (2001) conducted for inflammation, Emu Oil reduced the degree of inflammation between 42% and 71% in mice with auricular (ear) swelling due to Croton oil.  The Dr. conducting the studies reported the results to be "incredible".

From US National Library of Medicine
National Institute of Health

 2012 Apr;57(4):887-96. doi: 10.1007/s10620-011-1979-1. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Emu oil increases colonic crypt depth in a rat model of ulcerative colitis.



Current treatments for the inflammatory bowel diseases, encompassing Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are variably effective. Emu oil, extracted from emu fat, predominantly comprises fatty acids, with purported claims of anti-inflammatory properties.


We evaluated emu oil for its potential to ameliorate dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in rats.


Male Sprague-Dawley Rats were allocated to treatment groups (n = 8). Groups 1 and 2 consumed water and were gavaged (1 ml) daily with water (group 1) or emu oil (group 2) from days 0 to 10. Groups 3-6 ingested 2% DSS in the drinking water from days 5 to 10 and were gavaged from days 0 to 10 with water (group 3), 0.5 ml emu oil (group 4) or 1 ml emu oil (group 5). Group 6 received 1 ml emu oil after commencing DSS treatment (days 6-10). Disease activity index, metabolic parameters, (13)C-sucrose breath test, and histological colonic damage severity and crypt depth were assessed.


Emu oil in DSS-treated rats reduced colonic damage severity compared to DSS-controls (up to threefold; P < 0.001). In DSS-treated rats, crypts in the proximal colon were lengthened by 0.5 ml emu oil (373 ± 18 μm), compared with DSS-controls (302 ± 8 μm); whilst in the distal colon (DSS control: 271 ± 17 μm), crypt depth was greater following 0.5 ml emu oil (352 ± 22 μm) and 1 ml emu oil (341 ± 9 μm) and also when emu oil was administered post-DSS commencement (Group 6: 409 ± 16 μm; P < 0.05). Emu oil did not significantly affect other parameters of colonic architecture.


Emu oil improved tissue damage associated with colitis, suggesting its potential as a unique formulation to augment conventional treatment approaches for IBD.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]





Effects of Bio-active Emu Oil on Chemotherapy-induced Mucositis
by A/Prof Gordon S Howarth and A/Prof Ross N Butler/ Australian Gov. RIRDC Pub. # 09/31

Intestinal mucositis is a serious disorder that results from chemotherapy for cancer whilst inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an incurable condition with uncontrolled bowel inflammation. The current study, utilizing a Bio-active Emu Oil prepared by a novel rendering and filtration process, identifies Emu Oil as a product with the capacity to decrease the severity of intestinal injury from these conditions. This Emu Oil has also demonstrated the ability to improve growth of the damaged intestine, extending to effects in the inflamed colon (large intestine). These findings suggest a new mechanism of action for Emu Oil, expanding the spectrum of bowel disorders for which Emu Oil may have therapeutic application.

The Australian Emu Industry should benefit greatly from this research since there exists the opportunity to value-add significantly to the Emu Oil market. These findings could extend to international markets in which Emu Oil could be indicated as a simple dietary supplement for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. The international market for cancer sufferers undergoing treatment is substantial.

The current study provides encouraging information to support expansion of the Australian Emu Industry in order to expand applications for Emu Oil. The new market for Emu Oil could include oncology patients and sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease.

In conclusion, in the current study, Emu Oil partially ameliorated intestinal mucositis and
promoted recovery of the intestinal mucosa following 5-FU induced injury in the rat. Emu Oil has
the potential to increase the rate of recovery following chemotherapy-induced damage and act as
an adjunctive therapy in mucositis. Potentially, Emu Oil could be used in conjunction with other
agents, such as KGF-1, which has previously demonstrated a protective effect. These results
represent a new direction for research into treatments for mucositis, and provide hope for
thousands of individuals suffering from the debilitating symptoms of mucositis, in the ongoing
fight against cancer.

This project was funded from RIRDC Core Funds provided by the Australian Government.
This report, an addition to RIRDC’s diverse range of over 1900 research publications, forms part of our New Animal Products R&D program, which aims to accelerate the development of viable new animal industries. Most of RIRDC’s publications are available for viewing, downloading or purchasing online at

We can only suggest that Crohn's/IBD / IBS sufferers "give Emu Oil a try" to see if its anti-inflammatory properties will work for you. The suggested intake of Emu Oil gel caps is 3 - 6  1000 mg capsules per day.

No information contained within the pages of should be construed as medical advice. We are not doctors. Please contact your physician for medical advice. We make no medical claims, expressed or implied.

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