Emu Oil is This Physician's Choice

by Beth Silva

Hundreds of patients who have visited Dr. Dan Dean of Dan C. Dean D.O. & Associates in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan are receiving relief from various ailments, thanks in part to treatments with emu oil. A commodity acknowledged for centuries [in its native Australia] for its medicinal purposes, emu oil is just beginning to be touted and recognized by some in the medical field in this country.

Typical of the medical practitioner, Dean was at first somewhat skeptical about the reputed medicinal and cosmetic benefits of emu oil. The doctor remarks that his initial research in earnest on the oil happened on a trip to Australia several years ago. But the physician, also an avid thoroughbred horse enthusiast, was won over only after emu oil was used to save one of his top racers, The Rebalizer. Dean explains that the horse picked up a Salmonella infection, was treated at the Michigan State University, but developed an allergic reaction to all the IV steroids, antibiotics, etc., it received and subsequently lost all its hair and much of its stamina.

Knowing that emu oil had a reputation to stimulate skin and hair growth, the doctor decided to give it a try on his favored horse. Ultra sensitive to touch, The Rebalizer had to be stilled for the first few applications of pure emu oil to his bare hide. But Dean says that after twice-a-day applications for three days, the animal welcomed the employment of the oil. Shortly after the treatments began, his horse's health and hair returned! Dean says that after researching the oil further, he began using it on himself, his family and then patients, with incredible results.

Now, two years later, hundreds of the doctor's patients (as well as some patients of other physicians sent to Dean) are realizing benefit from emu oil. On a typical day the doctor uses the oil on individuals suffering from burns, abrasions, sore joints, eczema, arthritis, colitis, psoriasis, and as a wound application immediately following surgery.

"It's all voluntary," says Dean. "I explain to the patients what the oil is and what I'll be doing. I've had exceptional results with the oil and we haven't had one patient complain. Actually, many people come in and ask for it. When surgery patients leave they are given a small container of the pure oil to be applied to their wound three times a day to speed up the healing process. In the office we use the pure emu oil directly on open burns, abrasions and ulcerations. We only use pure emu oil with no added ingredients. It's an amazing substance."

The doctor utilizes the oil's moisturizing properties by compounding an emu oil nasal spray and cough syrup formula for some of his patients. "When cold and flue season starts, we'll use the oil on a minimum of 15 patients a day," he says.

When asked what impresses him most about the oil's properties as a practicing physician, Dean replies, "the thing that's most impressive about the oil is I can actually see the way it affects open wound healing, which I'm very interested in."

The doctor is also presently researching wound healing utilizing emu oil to learn more about the oil's properties with Dr. Leigh Hopkins, a comrade who is a clinical professor of pharmacy with a degree in biochemistry.

"We've got the cart before the horse," says Dean. "We know the oil works, but we want to look deeper into the microphysiology and biology of just why it does work." Actually, emu oil is being utilized and researched quietly by a growing number of individuals in the medical field including cancer centers interested in the oil's effects on burns sustained by patients during radiation treatments. Dean himself has a growing number of patients being referred to him by other medical professionals. Of this he says, "Slowly we're getting other physicians interested in the oil. It's a little hard to convince doctors, but I don't push the emu oil on them, I let them come to me. Now some are asking, What are you using? and Why did so-and-so heal so fast?

An 80-year-old diabetic patient with gangrene of the toes and a serious heel ulceration was recently referred to Dean. "The surgeon who sent the patient down said it looked like they were going to have to amputate the foot," relates the doctor. "But I suggested that we first try the emu oil. And by using the emu oil we were able to completely heal the ulceration on the heel and there's no gangrene in the toes -they're just as pink as can be. The surgeon's comment was, it looks like emu oil turned this thing around. We're not going to amputate.' We used only pure oil in the treatment and it saved this gentlemen's foot!"

Patients of open-heart surgery also receive emu oil on their freshly stitched incision. Dean says that when they return to their thoracic surgeon for a follow up with a well healed sternum incision, the surgeons always comment on how fast the incision healed.

Convalescents of a nearby extended care facility also benefit from the medicinal advantage of emu oil. Dean says that he is currently using the oil on individuals with pressure sores. "We're using the oil when the sore is actually a grade 1 - when we just see the inflammation of the skin. And I think because of the oil's penetrability, we're able to prevent the sores rather than having to cure them," he remarks.

Dean is helping to spread the interest in emu oil. He delivered the slide presentation "Wound Management With Emu Oil" at the 1998 Annual American Emu Association Convention in San Antonio and relates that he was recently approached by a drug company (that usually features a discourse on one of their own products) to deliver a presentation on emu oil to an all-doctor audience. He mentions that he has also been petitioned by an Alternative Medicine group out of Chicago to speak on emu oil.

To better serve individuals requesting the oil, Dean recently began offering a line of several specially formulated and pre-tested emu oil products for medicinal and cosmetic applications called 'The Dean's List." And this May the doctor received a Humanitarian award for his continuing work in the field of family practice, as well as a New Product Award for his product line from the Award Committee for the International Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Inventors Clubs of America Inc.

Through Rishada Emu Inc., Dean currently has available six products, which he says contain a high percentage of emu oil and Include a hand lotion, skin moisturizer, skin tightener, body cleanser, shampoo, and 100 percent pure emu oil. "I'm real excited about all our products and people's response to them is amazing," says the doctor, who has additional emu oil products on line.

Dean says that he will continue to research the oil and use it in his practice. "I wouldn't quit!" he says.


The published article was accompanied by a series of photos, supplied by Dr. Dean.

Series 1, was a severe gasoline burn on the arm of an 8 year old patient, covering most of the lower inner art, and around the elbow. The burn was treated with only pure emu oil, no antibiotics. With in 21 days the lesions was almost completely healed, with minimal scarring.

Series 2, showed a gravel abrasion, from a motorcycle accident, on the inner arm. After cleaning and debriding, the area was treated with pure emu oil on an occlusive dressing. With in 3 weeks, the lesions was completely healed, which normally would have taken 4-6 weeks.

Series 3, was photos of an elderly woman with severe eczema on her face. She had previously been treated for approximately eight weeks by a physician with conventional therapy (cortisone, antibiotics, IV, oral). All prior medications were discontinued, and after three weeks of applying only pure emu oil, the area was nearly normal with healthy color to the skin.

Series 4 Ulcerative Lesions on woman's arm.


Dan C. Dean attended Northern Oklahoma College, Central State University and received his Doctorate of Osteopathy at Missouri's Kirksville College of Osteopathy and Surgery. Dr. Dean has been practicing medicine for the past 28 years, and currently conducts his practice in two clinics in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Reproduced with permission from Emu Today and Tomorrow, October, 1998, page 2