Compiled from research
by Harner Burn Center
AEA began working
with Dr. John Griswold, Director of Timothy J.
Center (affiliated with the Texas Tech
Center in Lubbock) during the
first quarter of 1995. We agreed to
a four-six month study to analyze the potentially effective involvement of
emu oil in the healing process of burn wounds.
wounds are painful and pose many difficulties for the recovery of a burned
patient. Inflammation, lack of
moisture, and wound sensitivity are often cited as impediments to daily
activities and therapy. Current
emollients vary in their ability to penetrate skin and decrease sensitivity
and associated pain. Adequate lubrication
aids the healing process by providing moisture in areas where sebaceous
glands are depleted or currently dysfunctional.
the normal response to healing of a burn wound. This inflammation also causes scar tissue
to form. Approximately 2.5 million
people seek medical attention of burn injuries each year. Virtually all require some type of
lubricant application during their recovery. This provides a large segment of the
population with potential need for an emu oil product.
In a letter
received from Dr. Griswold by the American Emu Association in January,
1997, he said, “We now have 10 patients with appropriate wounds who have
completed at least initial evaluation of approximately nine months that
could be compared in an treatment/control fashion
in the same patient. This required
wounds that were completely separate in opposite sides of the body yet in
areas that would heal similarly in order to appropriately compare the emu
oil versus a placebo. Two important
results from evaluation of the data are:
Comments from patients almost unanimously favored emu oil as an end result and during application.
There was a unanimous difference noted in photographs taken of the wounds
as far as reduction in scarring and inflammation done by three blinded
observers as to which was emu and which was a control wound area. This difference was statistically
We are in the
process of providing you more in-depth details as to the complete study,
patient demographics and results.”
American Burn Association meeting on March 18-21, 1998, a poster presentation was
made on the completed study. The
presentation was entitled; Evaluation of Emu Oil in Lubrication and
Treatment of Healed Burn Wounds.
Accredited authors were M. Penturf, PhD.,
RD; S. O’Banion, RPh;
and J. Griswold, MD.
The full and
complete abstract presented to the American Burn Association reads, “Emu
oil has been reported to have significant anti-inflammatory effects, and
has been used both in cosmetics and therapeutic vehicles. This experiment was conducted to evaluate
emu oil as a lubricant as a aid in reducing scar
formation in healed burned wounds.
Ten patients were evaluated in a randomized double blind study for a
minimum of 6 months. Patients served
as their own control by utilizing bilateral wound areas for application of
emu oil (New Discoveries, Inc. Florence,
MS) and the placebo lubricant
on independent sites respectively patients were instructed to apply both
lotions daily on an as-needed basis. During scheduled out-patient clinic
visited, patients’ wounds were evaluated by the Vancouver Scar Assessment Scale. Photos were taken on each clinic
visit. Treatment ranged from 195 to
385 days before discontinuation. LL
of the patients were men, ranging in age from 24-63 years. Per scar assessment, significant differences
were noted in pigmentation and pliability (p<0.02). There were no differences noted in
vascularity and height of the healed wound, (=0.08). Pictures were scored by a four person
blinded panel on pigmentation, scar maturation and general health of the
skin. Emu treated areas healed
significantly better (p<0.02) than control in photo analysis.
calculated by analysis of variance, means were separated with the
F-protected predicted difference test.
The results of the pilot study are promising,
however, additional research is needed to further elucidate any therapeutic
qualities of the oil.”
Now that the
study has been presented in a peer-reviewed context, the abstract can be
cited in research studies. Proper
citation id “Evaluation of Emu Oil In Lubrication and Treatment of Healed
Burn Wounds,” S. O’Banion,
J. Griswold, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas;
American Burn Association, March 18. M1998. Chicago, Illinois.
closing, because the study was thought to be ground breaking
at the time, our expectations were high. This study now pales in comparison to
current experiences of the benefits of emu oil in wound healing.