Emu Oil Use with Chemotherapy

A 2017 study done in the United Kingdom found that of patients with all types of cancer approximately 12% (early stage diagnosis) to 39% (late stage diagnoses) opted for chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment. For those with breast cancer the use of chemotherapy was much higher with an average around 63%.

Chemotherapy is an intensive drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals that target cancer cells in your body. It can be administered:

  • Intravenously: as an injection or infusion
  • By mouth: as tablets, liquid or capsules
  • Or topically: onto the skin through a cream or lotion

Many different types of drugs can be used alone or in combination:

  • Some prevent cell division
  • Others target the cancer cells' food source (the enzymes and hormones they need to grow)
  • And still others trigger apoptosis, or the "suicide" of cancer cells can be used alone or in combination.

Though chemotherapy is an effective way to treat many types of cancer, chemotherapy treatment also carries a risk of side effects. Some side effects are mild and treatable, while others can cause serious and chronic complications. The most common side effects are nausea, fatigue, neuropathy, hair loss and skin changes, constipation or diarrhea as a result of mucositis. The longer term effects can be chemo-brain (memory and cognitive impairment), bone loss, kidney damage, digestive, immune and hormonal interruption.  For more info on side effects

Emu Oil can help lessen or alleviate some of these problems. Emu Oil's anti-inflammatory properties will help with intestinal inflammation; and studies have also shown it can assist with reducing hair loss and re-growing lost hair; as well as increasing skin and nail thickness and health.

How To Use Emu Oil For Chemo-Induced Mucositis (Intestinal Inflammation)

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Mucositis resulting from chemotherapy is a serious disorder of the alimentary tract which is all the organs making up the route taken by food as it passes through the body from mouth to anus; it is comprised of the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines. Emu oil has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in animal studies of arthritis and topical wound healing as well as the digestive tract.

Research published by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corp of Australia 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."

A further 2018 study looking for possible negative side-effects of emu oil stated that data “strongly support the safety of Emu Oil for further studies in the context of bowel inflammation”.

Unfortunately human clinical trials are lacking to determine dosing frequency or duration. We recommend Emu Oil Gel Caps as a means of ingesting Emu Oil. Gel Caps also assist with chronic body inflammation, heart health (lowers cholesterol and triglycerides) and support for immune and neurological systems.

How to Use Emu Oil for Chemo-Induced Changes to Hair, Nails, and Skin

Chemotherapy can lead to hair loss, or hair may become thin and brittle. Nails, too, can become brittle and break and skin can be dry, thin and flaking. Emu Oil is a strong, deep moisturizer with a lipid profile very similar to your body’s own oils so it is able to help support and rejuvenate skin, hair and nails.

Just massage a few drops of Pure Emu Oil to scalp, skin and nails. A little goes a long way; if it doesn’t absorb fully in 30-60 seconds you have over applied. Just try a bit less next time.

For hair we also recommend using all natural products without sulfates, parabens, artificial scents or dyes. Our Hair Care Products are all natural and have the added benefit of additional emu oil and essential oils in the formulas.

For skin and nails, again you can use the Pure Emu Oil, we feel the full strength oil is the best at first, but as you start to see improvements you may like to try other products like the Body Silk, Multi-Omega Lotion and the Body Butter. For more information on Emu Oil for Skin.

Discuss using Emu Oil with your Doctor 

Again, we recommend discussing the use of Emu Oil with your Dr. and do additional research yourself.  While compiling this article I searched for possible negative side-effects of using Omega Supplements during treatment and there is some controversy.  I found suggestions in a 2015 study that Fish Oils (Omega 3) could potentially reduce effectiveness of some chemotherapies, then a later 2017 study that indicated an improvement in outcome when patients took Fish Oil (Omega 3) supplements and later a very comprehensive 2019 publication that concludes Omega 3 (not listing source, fish, emu or plant) as having protective effects for Cancer-Related Complications.

The Fish Oil industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and has spent millions of dollars in research and human clinical studies.  Unfortunately the Emu Oil industry in the US is based around small family farms and has not had the money or influence to commission similar studies.  Some extrapolations can be made when reviewing Omega 3 research done by the Fish Oil industry, however, while Fish Oil is primarily comprised of Omega 3, Emu Oil also contains Omegas 6, 7, 9 and 21 other fatty acids and bio-nutrients including rare vitamins like K2, so we can't fully compare the two supplements.

We offer this information for your review.  It is not intended as medical advice and we recommend discussing all supplements with your physician.