In a 2001 U.S. patent application for products derived from turtle oil and tortoise oil, the Hainan Life Nourishing Pharmacy Company says both oils have various health benefits, mostly relating to skin conditions. There is only one purported benefit of turtle oil for the lungs: general improvement of cardiovascular health, according to the patent application. Possible health benefits of turtle oil have only been tested in mice, not humans.
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Taking Turtle Oil
Turtle oil can be taken orally as a solid capsule or in liquid form. Additionally, you can use it externally through the topical application of skin products that contain turtle oil. Turtle flesh is commonly used in cooking in areas of Asia, but is not traditionally part of the North American diet. Therefore, no recommended daily doses or limits on turtle oil have been established as of September 2010.
According to Hainan Life Nourishing Pharmacy Company's patent application, the only suggested effect of turtle oil on the lungs is as part of its wider purported cardiovascular benefits. In supporting cardiovascular function and possibly preventing the development of cardiovascular disease, the patent application claims turtle oil may improve the functioning of the heart and circulatory system and this could benefit the lungs. Improved cardiovascular fitness and functioning helps the lungs to function more efficiently. However, the purported cardiovascular benefits of turtle oil have not been proved scientifically.
An individual may have an allergic reaction to turtle oil whether taken orally or externally. As turtle oil has not been tested in humans, little is known about the likelihood of allergic reactions. Signs of a serious allergic reaction include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, hives and skin rash. If you suspect an allergic reaction to turtle oil, seek immediate medical assistance.
Turtle oil is extracted from the muscle and genital tissues of the giant sea turtle. Vegetarians and vegans will typically wish to avoid turtle oil for this reason—in cosmetics, vegetable-based emollients are suggested as an alternative to turtle oil. The giant sea turtle is considered an endangered species in many areas of the world. Purchasing turtle oil encourages the hunting of sea turtles and may hasten the extinction of the species.