The healing power of a flightless bird – Emu Oil

Sunday 16 June 2013 

I have made a fantastic discovery about why the rough and tough world of rugby needs to be thankful to the humble Emu – or more importantly the oil we get from them – Emu Oil keeps rugby players free from injury… find out how!

Next weekend is a highlight in the Rugby supporters calendar, and this year I am especially excited.

For those not familiar with the beautiful game I’m talking about the British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia – and their first Test against the Australian Wallabies side.

Despite my resolution to lose a bit of weight I will be glued to the TV in my local and cheering the Lions on to an expected victory – and glowing with pride at the same time.

For the first time in many tours the side will be dominated by proud men of the Principality; nearly half of the starting fifteen will be Welshmen – and that hasn’t happened for a while.

But they are up against a fierce and wounded Wallabies side, and can expect a rough game.

Discover how you can calm damaged skin

Rugby, it is often said, is a hooligans game played by gentlemen – but the bruises and bashes are still a painfully accepted part of the game that need careful salving and treatment to ensure the players stay in top form.

So what are the secrets of the professional game that allows the bruised and battered bodies to maintain such a high level of performance?

You might be surprised to discover that it is not all about sports nutrition and leading edge science, there are some ancient and natural remedies which are part of the doctors toolkit as well.

Read on to discover more about the healing arts used by the games most physical players.

The healing power of a flightless bird

Last year I told you about how the Welsh & English Rugby teams used a very special form of piezoelectric therapy to resolve problems with muscles, tendons and joints – called the MicroDoctor.

But I have discovered that this is only one of a whole host of pain relieving strategies used in the modern game.

Back in my day we used to slap on preparations like Ralgex and Tiger Balm before entering the field of play believing that the heating effect would warm up our muscles and prevent injuries – post game pain relief was usually served in pints!

But the modern professional now reaches for a much more diverse range of products to help prevent and relieve injuries – and most of them avoid the post match beer in favour of ice baths and protein shakes.

Who said science was a good thing!

As I researched the muscle rubs, massage oils and healing balms that were used I began to notice that virtually all of them contained the same ingredient – and it was a surprising one – Emu Oil!

At this point I began to think that I had found an elaborate Antipodean wind up...

...I could just imagine the lads in the Aussie bars laughing as they thought about the great and good from Europe slapping rendered Emu fat onto their skins, but the truth is that it really is a proven healing product.

For thousands of years Aborigines harvested the oil from the flightless birds they hunted used it to treat a wide range of ailments including cuts, bruises and joint pain.

The early settlers saw the benefits of having a pot of the oil in their medicine chests as well.

For instance, the famous explorer Robert O'Hara Burke tells how he rubbed emu oil into his arms when he was sunburned and found that, not only did it help his sunburn, but his stiff elbow too.

So, why is this stuff so good?

Well the first thing to note is that Emu oil is very quickly absorbed into the skin and is readily available in the living cells under the dead outer layers – this means it gets to work very quickly.

Secondly, it truly does have powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties which have stood up to significant scientific scrutiny.

What do the scientists say about Emu Oil?

There has been substantial and wide ranging investigation into how Emu oil works, and why it is so effective: This body of evidence has led to Emu oil being classed as a pharmaceutical product in Australia, although it hasn’t achieved that status yet in Europe. 

Here is a selection of some of the reports findings generated from the studies;

- Dr. Leigh Hopkins, AEA Oil Standards Team, compared the oil from human’s skin with Emu Oil and found that the fatty acid composition is quite similar. In both types of oil, mono-unsaturated oleic acid is the most prevalent fatty acid, followed by Palmitic acid, then Linoleic acid, which is an EFA (essential fatty acid). This similarity may be one of the factors enabling emu oil to have such a positive action on human skin.

- Dr. Thom Leahey of the Ardmore Arthritis Clinic in Oklahoma has reported very positive results in clinical trials with arthritis patients. He was quoted as saying;

"The dramatic results I have observed convinced me that this oil can make an impact on those suffering from arthritis. The advent of this oil has simply changed my practice. The research is impressive. The initial results and potential are so exciting. I've begun recommending the use of Emu Oil as part of a regular treatment program for patients. I've observed some very surprising results. The oil is very economical compared to regular arthritis medicines, and appears to have fewer side effects.”

- Research carried out by Dr. Michael Holick, M.D, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Physiology, and Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine, shows that there is an increase in cellular activity when Emu Oil is applied to the skin. This means that massaging Emu Oil into the skin encourages the cells underneath to grow, thickening the underlying tissue. This thickening plumps up the skin making wrinkles less obvious.

When I sit down with a few friends next Saturday I will be watching the crunching tackles flying in and thinking about the big birds of the Australian outback that make it all possible – Emus we salute you!

Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day! I hope all Dad’s are having an enjoyable time with their nearest and dearest.

For those who ask about him my own Dad continues to enjoy good health and hasn’t deteriorated over the past year, for which we are all grateful.

Mum encourages him to eat well and maintain an active social life as well as complete as many puzzles and crosswords as he can stand to do.

We know that the Alzheimers will worsen eventually, however, whilst he is in such good form we spend as much time as possible together as we can.

Yours, as always









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