HYDERABAD: Time and again, people have turned to unconventional options to treat various ailments. These treatments might not have the approval of doctors, but that has not deterred enthusiastic or desperate users from giving such products a try. Some of these components have been touted to be beneficial for skin care and beauty, and are in demand in specific countries. Here is a look at some animal oils available in the city which purportedly have a range of benefits - from treating body aches to removing unwanted hair. However, none of them are said to be clinically proven, and they create demand for unethical products that use animal fats.
Emu Oil is said to treat body aches, minor wounds and is also used as a moisturiser. It is extracted from the fat deposits present in the bird. Sheetal Kumar, manager at RK Emu Farm, says: “Emu oil is used for joint pains, and even as hair oil. But a lot of people do not know about this. Also, the demand has gone down in the city in the past few years. Its demand is more in the international market.”
Explaining the oil extraction technique, he says: “Meat and oil can be extracted from the same bird. After the bird is killed, their fat is extracted and then processed into oil. One bird, which might weigh between 35-40 kg, will give 15-20 kg meat and 5-6 litres of oil. We pack the oil in 50ml and 100 ml bottles and sell them to dealers.”Sri Lakshmi Kolluri, a dermatologist at Continental Hospital, says: “Emu oil is supposed to treat body aches, but am not sure. It definitely has use for the skin. People should consult doctors before using such products.”
When you step into the recently-opened Miniso stores in Hyderabad, which is a Japanese brand, you cannot help but notice the rows of beauty products with horse oil in them. According to Elle.com, “Horse oil and horse oil products have been used for centuries in the Far East for treating mild skin complaints, such as burns, cuts and eczema. Being derived from fat, it’s no surprise that horse oil contains an essential fatty acid called linolenic acid – but more so than in cows and sheep.
Linolenic acid is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and helps to maintain and repair the barrier of the skin. By doing this, it’s going to keep moisture in, and the bad stuff out, which in turn should contribute to healthy, glowing skin.” Brands selling the product maintain that the oil is extracted from horses which are killed for meat, and no animal is killed exclusively for the oil.
Ant egg oil
Ant egg oil, which purportedly removes body hair permanently, is sold by a few retailers in the city and is widely available online. The use of this oil is said to have originated in Turkey, where it was used to reduce the appearance of body hair for men, women and children.
Pravallika N, founder and chairperson,Compassionate Society for Animals, says: “From its name, it’s easy to guess that this new wonder beauty product (with horse oil) is derived from our four legged friends, specifically from the fat of the horse, which may sound gross but using fat from animals isn’t a new idea. Animal byproducts have been used in beauty for centuries with ingredients like gelatin and lanolin common in many commercial formulas. Unlike lanolin, which can be extracted from sheep wool without harming the sheep, horse oil is solely a byproduct from horse meat production, in countries that eat horse meat (quite a few!).
Horse oil and horse oil products have been used for centuries in the Far East for treating mild skin complaints, such as burns, cuts and eczema. Mexico, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Indonesia, Poland and China are among the nations where many people eat horse meat without a second thought. The products, however, are not clinically tested or proven to be helpful. Though the brands say that the animal components are mere byproducts, they undoubtedly create a market for products that may lead to animal cruelty.”