The Emu has Landed
Thunder Ridge Emu Products acquaints America with the “thunder” from Down Under.
By Joanna Cosgrove
Without a doubt, the large, flightless emu is an odd-looking bird. Although nearly 70 years have passed since the first emus were imported from Australia to the U.S., primarily for use in zoos and as exotic pets, the use of emu oil dates back over 40,000 years to the Ancient Australian Aborigine culture. Rich in essential fatty acids, emu oil moisturizes dry aging skin, treats chronic skin conditions and helps to heal burns. Clinical studies have also documented that it contains a high level of Omega 3, a substance known to ease the discomfort of joint and muscle pain. Thunder Ridge Emu Products has translated the benefits of emu oil into a series of 16 personal care products each made from 100% American emu oil and other natural ingredients.
Thunder Ridge Owner, Anne Geller, said the idea of raising her own emus came out of the blue.
“It’s like I woke up one morning and I was possessed with this idea,” she recalled. “Everyone was on this get healthy, eat healthy kick and I thought the emus would be the ‘new best thing.’ I was blinded by enthusiasm and knew in my heart how wonderful this bird was—the Australian Aborigines have known for years.”
She bought her first birds in 1993 and began raising them on her Virginia farm.
Emu oil is made up entirely of essential fatty acids.
Emu oil is made up completely of essential fatty acids and is most like the oil our bodies produce, explained Ms. Geller.
“These essential fatty acids have proven to be the nutrition your skin needs,” she said. “It also has anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, anti-aging and healing properties which expedite recovery from stiff, swollen joints, burns and chronic skin conditions. Loaded with antioxidants, emu oil slows down the aging process and in some cases actually reverses it.”
Emu oil is rendered from the bird as its meat is processed. Emu fat is flash frozen and sent to an American Emu Association-certified refining plant renders the fat into oil.
“All of the oil distributed by Thunder Ridge Emu Products is refined to an edible grade and is completely safe to use on wounds, for skin care or to take internally,” said Ms. Geller.
The Thunder Ridge personal care line ranges from a signature bar soap ($5.50) and Lip Refresher ($3.50), to Neat Feet for dry cracked feet (4oz., $12), Moisturizing Lotion (2 oz., $7), and Intensive Pain (2 oz., $9.25), a topical liquid emu oil, aloe vera and MSM blend for relief from muscle pulls, sprains and joint/muscle pain. The line also includes topical emu oil (2oz., $14) as wells as ingestible Gel Caps (90 capsules, $30). Ms. Geller said she has three more products in her R&D pipeline that she hopes to introduce later this year.
Thunder Ridge Emu Products recently underwent a complete reformulation process.
“We were fortunate to connect early on with a company in Oklahoma that is one of the largest producers of organic aloe vera in the country,” she said. “Emu Oil, other essential oils and aloe vera blend well together and make outstanding products.”
Thunder Ridge Emu Products are currently sold through national and international distributors, health food stores, mass marketing, medical professionals, salons, spas, catalog and internet sales.