Emuaid is a skin cream brand available in major retailers and online that sells homeopathic remedies. The brand claims their products can treat over 100 skin conditions, including eczema, hemorrhoids, athlete’s foot, cold sores and many more.
In this article we’ll review the ingredients in Emuaid and Emuaid Max based on medical research to determine if it’s likely to be safe and effective for treating skin conditions. We’ll also discuss some hesitations we have about homeopathic remedies generally.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a type of alternative medicine that’s rarely practiced in the U.S. It involves using extremely dilute amounts of natural ingredients to cure a wide range of diseases. As documented by the National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health (NCCIH), one of the core tenets of homeopathy is that the lower the dose of medication the more effective the treatment, which is illogical and false.
An extensive medical review of homeopathy was published in 2015 in the Homeopathy journal. This review examined 36 other reviews of medical research on homeopathy.
16 of the included reviews had positive results, and 20 had inconclusive or negative results. Given that this review was published in a medical journal called Homeopathy, we assume some level of bias, and still results were generally negative for homeopathy’s efficacy.
There is little high-quality scientific research proving the efficacy of homeopathic treatments, which is unsurprising given that the core tenets of the treatments defy basic logic. We find it unfortunate that major retailers such as Walgreens carry homeopathic products which are likely a total waste of their customers’ money.
Emuaid’s own website states this in the disclaimer section, which is somewhat comical: “Homeopathic claims are not backed by scientific evidence – they are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700s that are not accepted by most modern medical experts.”
You don’t often see a brand selling a product while making health claims, and then publishing a disclaimer that their health claims are necessarily false due to a lack of scientific evidence.
Emuaid Ingredient Review
The sole active ingredient in Emuaid is colloidal silver. This ingredient refers to silver nanoparticles diluted in a carrier liquid (typically water).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. has banned oral use of this ingredient due to health concerns, and explicitly states this ingredient cannot be marketed for the prevention of any disease, which it appears is exactly what Emuaid is doing.
Medical research has shown the ability of colloidal silver to be effective against some biofilm-related infections like Staph infection when applied topically. It’s challenging to determine if Emuaid is effectively dosed, because homeopathy uses dosage descriptions which are not within the medical standard.
As an example, Emuaid’s ingredients list states: “10x, 20x, 30x Colloidal Silver”. 10x in homeopathy actually means the active ingredient is diluted 10 times, and the potency is 10 to the power of negative 10, or 1 part colloidal silver per 10 million.
20x is 10 to the power of negative 20, and 30x includes such a minute amount of the original ingredient that no molecules of the original solution would even exist if diluted in water, as documented by Wikipedia’s homeopathy resource.
As any rational observer can tell, this entire process makes no sense and is likely to lead to doses so low as to be ineffective even where colloidal silver may be effective. In the above-linked study on colloidal silver for skin infections, one dosage was noted: 30 parts per million (ppm).
The most potent ingredient in Emuaid appears to be 1 part per 10 million, or 0.1 parts per million, and the other doses of silver are so low-dosed as to be essentially nonexistent.
We cannot locate a medical study suggesting that topical colloidal silver at 1 part per 10 million or less is effective for any treatment, so we consider this to be an ineffective formulation.
The inactive ingredients in Emuaid are safe and non-toxic, so we don’t believe the product will be actively harmful, just a waste of money.
Emuaid Max Ingredient Review
The active ingredient in Emuaid Max is exactly the same as the active ingredient in regular Emuaid, so we don’t understand why it’s priced higher.
The inactive ingredients are exactly the same as well. Unless there’s something we’ve missed about the homeopathic active ingredient formulations, it appears the company is selling the same product with different branding.
Since the formulation is identical, we will conclude that this product is ineffective similar to our conclusion about Emuaid.
Is Emuaid Effective for Hemorrhoids?
One of the most common and uncomfortable skin conditions that patients visit a drugstore to treat is hemorrhoids. These swollen veins can emerge on the interior or exterior of the anus, and may be caused by poor diet or excessive straining when passing bowel movements.
We can’t identify one single medical study suggesting that colloidal silver is effective for hemorrhoids treatment, so we would suggest that consumers dealing with this condition speak with their doctor and avoid Emuaid.
Questionable Medical Study
Emuaid’s website links to a PDF document claiming to test the efficacy of their products at reducing pathogen levels on contact.
The study was performed by a third-party, for-profit laboratory called Kappa Labs. As we’ve stated in previous research reviews, we don’t consider studies paid for by companies meaningful unless they’re published in a legitimate medical journal, which involves a high standard of methodology and data quality.
Any company can pay a third-party research lab to test their products, and there is significant bias involved in the process for the results to be favorable.
It’s also unclear to us from the study if the lab even used an off-the-shelf Emuaid product, because there is only reference to a “Formula #DC-137, W/O Waxes” as the test substance, with no definition of what this formula is. We’re assuming this refers to one batch of Emuaid without the wax ingredient but this needs to be clarified.
It’s good that Emuaid is sponsoring a study, but we don’t consider this legitimate medical research and it doesn’t change our opinion about their products.
We recommend unrefined (virgin) coconut oil as a natural healing treatment for various skin conditions that’s much cheaper than Emuaid and backed by medical research.
Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties thanks to its naturally high levels of lauric acid.
A medical review of virgin coconut oil for atopic dermatitis found that 47% of patients achieved moderate improvement and 46% achieved an excellent response.
An animal study found virgin coconut oil helped wounds heal much faster than expected due to its effect on collagen cross-linking.
Coconut oil has even been shown to have a skin-protective effect against UV radiation; the only whole foods compound shown to do so in medical research that we’ve come across.
It certainly can’t heal all of the conditions that Emuaid claims it can heal, but it’s unlikely that Emuaid can either based on our research review.
Coconut oil should be applied topically after a shower to the skin, and has a moisturizing and skin-protective effect.