Pros: Blu-Emu worked well to relieve my husband's pain.
Cons: Blu-Emu put me through a living hell as a result of a possible allergic reaction.
I cannot speak for anyone else but when pain strikes, I rarely consider using a product that replaces my initial cause for distress with extended suffering. Nevertheless, when Equal Half read an article about the extraordinary powers of Super Strength Blue-Emu Pain Relief Cream, I did my research.
The company web site should have set off a few alarms in my pointed little head. The manufacturer actually bothered to copyright their trademark Better Than The Other Stuff catch phrase. Ignoring that aspect of relative smarminess, I took note of the disclaimer placed by Blue-Emus distributor, NFI Dietary Supplements:
This Internet site is used for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider. Super Strength Blue-Emu is not a drug and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. It is not intended to affect the structure or functions of the human body.
I admit that type of legal-speak is par for the course with any naturopathic supplements, creams and cure-alls. My friends, family, pets and I experienced wonderful results when using the dietary supplement Inholtra Pain Relief Formula. How could it possibly hurt to put my faith in an innocent appearing little jar of Aboriginal healing oil?
Dr. Johnson, I presume?
Without clicking a single link, I learned a bit about the source of this emulsion:
Did You Know? Emu Facts: The emu is a large flightless bird which is native to Australia. Its value to the Aborigine people is similar to the role of the buffalo to the American Indian. It is harvested for its meat, leather, oil and feathers.
Bolstered by that homey factoid, I ventured deeper into the site to check out the manufacturers claims and more importantly, the list of ingredients. I admit to qualifying as a freak of nature. If some odd balm, pill or elixir mentions that one-percent of the human race may experience some bizarre side effect, I confidently can place my paycheck on the bet that I am a one-percenter. Perusing that lengthy list and the description of each ingredient that follows on the Blue-Emu web site, I honestly felt no cause for concern. The components, on an individual basis, appeared benign.
Ingredients as listed on the web site and the product packaging:
Stabilized Aloe Vera Gel, Johnson's Emu Oil (7%), Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Methylsulfonyl Methane (MSM), Oleyl Alcohol (and) Zanthoxylum Alatum Extract, Horse Chestnut Extract, Comfrey Extract, Calendula Extract, Chamomile Extract, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) [and] Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Glucosamine Sulfate Sodium, Allantoin, Panthenol, Ethoxydiglycol, Carbomer, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Triethanolamine, FD&C Blue 1.
One page of additional claims convinced us that this remarkable product not only would bring about relief from suffering but also may replace every medication known to mankind:
Top 10 Reasons to Use Emu Oil:
1. Natural Anti-Inflammatory
2. Natural Anti-Bacterial
3. Natural Anti-Fungal
4. Arthritis - Muscle & Joint Injury - Relieve the Pain
5. Unsurpassed Penetration
7. No Known Side Effects
8. No Odor/Will Not Stain Clothing
9. Non-Comedogenic - Does Not Clog Pores
10. Burn Pain & Scarring, Speeds Wound Healing
With past experience using Inholtras Pain Relief Cream under my belt, I knew the MSM, Glucosamine and most of the complicated sounding but familiar ingredients would not cause me any problems. The additional vitamins surely would make this an even more powerful balm. Much of the other ingredients listed served as emulsifiers, lubricants, thickening agents, stabilizers, toners and emollients; again, safe for me and other hairy beasts.
By then, I reached the point where traditional prescription medication and other pain relief salves failed to touch what I experienced in my knee joint. Any slight touch, bend or pressure brought about a sharp, searing pain and a light touch caused the area to feel as if it involuntarily rippled and vibrated in protest. I printed out the graphic from the web site for Equal Half to take along for reference on his next trip to the local Walgreens. I definitely wanted only the best; you know, the one that is better than the other stuff.
Stupid, Stupid Me
According to my mother, applying this type of cream immediately after a hot bath or shower results in the strongest effect on joint and muscle pain. Mom, I love you dearly and always listen to your advice but in this case, consider not sharing that information with the uninitiated. In truth, Moms advice was right on target, I felt the full impact of this evil emulsion and more.
My first and only experience using Blu-Emu started out well. My pain prompted me to take a flying leap into the shower, steam my weary body and apply the cream according to directions. As promised, I began to feel the warming, soothing effect of the cream within minutes. Although I noticed a strong menthol scent, the relief was worth the additional assaults on my senses. The odd oily consistency of the cream disappeared as it slowly absorbed. With no worries about ruining linens or clothing after an initial twenty-minute drying time, I took a much-needed nap.
I only wish I looked at the clock before falling asleep. I really wish I could tell you how long it took for the warming blanket of relief to turn into a blistering nightmare. All I know is I woke up thinking that red ants invaded my bed. An odd map of tiny fluid-filled vesicles covered the area where I applied the cream. My knee and the surrounding tissue took on the texture of an orange peel in a bright red hue that seemed to glow. Flushing the area with warm water brought some immediate relief; applying triple-antibiotic ointment for the following week healed things enough that I could again wear my beloved blue jeans.
I need to mention that even after my horrendous experience with Blu-Emu, the other resident of this loony bin decided to give it a trial on his aching hip joint. Equal Half suffered no side effects and claims the cream brought about almost immediate though temporary relief. As I stated above, I qualify as a biological oddity; what happened to me may not happen to you. Still, do you really want to take a chance?