I must be getting old because one of my favorite stations on XM radio is the channel that plays the old time radio shows. I like it because I get to hear programs that my parents and grandparents listened to when they were around. One night, driving home and listening to this station, a commercial for an arthritis cream called Australian Dream. The spokesperson for the commercial was Chuck Woolery, who many may remember from TV game shows like Love Connection. I’ve never heard of Australian Dream, so I decided to review it. As I drove home, eager to learn more about this product, I thought for sure I knew exactly what its active ingredient was. I couldn’t have been more wrong―which made me want to review it even more.
Australian Dream Research
From what I can tell, Australian Dream has no published peer reviewed evidence to show it reduces arthritis pain or any other kinds of pain, better than a placebo or better than other similar products on the market. That’s too bad considering the product has been around for over a decade. Because of that, let’s now look at the ingredients in the product and see what we can figure out.
Australian Dream Ingredients
According to the product website, the active ingredient in Australian Dream is histamine dihydrochloride (at a concentration of 0.25%)—which, they tell us, is an external analgesic.
- Butylene Glycol
- C13-14 Isoparaffin
- Chondroitin Sulfate
- Emu Oil
- Ethylhexyl Stearate
- Glucosamine Sulfate
- Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil
- Laureth-7, Methylisothiazolinone
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
- Polyacrylamide, Potassium Sorbate
- Sodium Polyacrylate
- Tetrasodium EDTA
- Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin-E)
Since none of these ingredients are listed as active ingredients, I will assume that they are inactive and play no role at all in the effectiveness of Australian Dream. That said, if you look closely you’ll see that this list includes 3 ingredients that people with arthritis pain are probably familiar with:
- Glucosamine sulfate
- Chondroitin sulfate
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
These 3 ingredients show up in A LOT of joint pain supplements, many of which I’ve already reviewed. That said, I want to point out that the evidence purporting they may help arthritis pain is based on taking them by mouth―not rubbing them on the skin. For example, I’m not aware of any proof that rubbing glucosamine on the skin helps arthritis pain.
So, I have to ask the question: Why are glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM in this product? The only reason I can think of is for marketing purposes. In other words, people expect to see them in a joint pain supplement, and they might not buy unless they see them. As proof of this, I even noticed websites specifically touting the glucosamine in Australian Dream. Whether they are present or not, I don’t feel they contribute anything to how well Australian Dream works.
For more on these ingredients, see these reviews:
Since histamine dihydrochloride is listed as the only active ingredient, let’s now talk about it more and see what it does.
Histamine dihydrochloride (pronounced hiss-ta-mean dye-hide-row-klor-ride) is a form of histamine—a compound that does many things in the body. For example, histamine is released by immune system cells during allergy season and is the reason for runny noses and watery eyes. Some people may take antihistamines, which block the action of histamine.
Tip. In other products, histamine dihydrochloride may be called histaminum hydrochloricum.
On the product website, they say histamine dihydrochloride is an “external analgesic.” An analgesic is something that relieves pain.
As an aside, in some countries (not in the US), histamine dihydrochloride may also used to treat some forms of leukemia; although in this instance, it is injected rather than being rubbed on the skin. Rubbing it on the skin does not do the same thing as injecting it.
This stuff is also a vasodilator, which means it expands blood vessels. I think this is at the heart of its pain-reducing effects. As blood vessels open up more, there is greater flow of blood to the area to which it is applied. The improved blood flow to the area might give the sensation of warmth, which temporarily masks pain sensations.
I think this is how histamine dihydrochloride works, because I’m not able to find any evidence that it directly reduces pain. I think the pain reduction is a byproduct of improved blood flow.
If anyone can find evidence that histamine dihydrochloride directly blocks pain receptors, let me know and I’ll update this part of the review.
Who Makes Australian Dream?
Nature’s Health Connection is the company that makes Australian Dream. This company is located at 230 Plummer Street, Campton, KY 41301, according to the Better Business Bureau file. I called Nature’s Health Connection and was told this is the address of the company headquarters but is not where Australian Dream is made. There was no rating on the BBB website when I checked.
The BBB lists a website for the company as: “NHC123.com”; although when I checked, this address did not appear to be working. This may be the original company website that is no longer being used. The website for Australian Dream and Nature’s Health Connection is: AustralianDream.com.
During my review, I discovered another address for Nature’s Health Connection: 121 Pelfrey Drive, Campton, KY—which is about 3 miles from the Plummer Street address. When I spoke to the representative at Nature’s Health Connection, I was told this address is no longer valid. I wanted to mention this because some websites still list the Pelfrey drive address.
How to Contact Australian Dream
According to the AustralianDream.com website, the customer service number is 888-600-4642. The contact page of the product website also has an email option; however, I recommend calling them if you have a question. The BBB also lists another contact number of 606-668-6533.
How to Return the Product?
To their credit, the makers of Australian Dream have an “Empty Jar Guarantee.” For those who are not satisfied, they can return the empty jar along with their sales receipt and get a full refund. To return Australian Dream send the jar to:Australian Dream Refunds PO Box 609 Campton, KY 41301.
Where Is Australian Dream Made?
Australian Dream is made in the United States. When I called Nature’s Health Connection, they told me that the product is made in Florida. They would not tell me the name of the company that makes it.
Where Did the Name Come From?
I was curious about where the name “Australian Dream” came from, so I asked Nature’s Health Connection, the makers of the product, who told me that the name was chosen because the product contains emu oil, which comes from Australia. I located one online source which notes that emu oil used to be the primary ingredient in the product until the year 2000, when another ingredient―presumably histamine dihydrochloride―was added to the product.
As an aside Blue Emu Oil is another product marketed to help pain
As it happens, my friend and fellow blogger, Bill Sukala, lives in Australia, so I asked him if he’s heard of Australian Dream. He said he hadn’t. Nature’s Health Connection also informed me that the product is not currently sold in Australia.
Australian Dream and Migraines?
This is not related to Australian Dream specifically, but as I was researching this product I uncovered an interesting clinical trial related to whether histamine dihydrocholoride could help migraine headaches when its placed under the skin. As I wrote this review, the clinical trial had not yet begun, but I wanted to address it for those who may be searching for whether Australian Dream (because of its histamine dihydrocholoride content) might help migraine headaches.
While I am unable to find any evidence it helps, I did locate a study from 1985 where intravenous histamine dihydrocholoride caused headaches. That’ doesn’t necessarily mean rubbing Australian Dream on the skin does the same thing. I have no proof it does or doesn’t.
Australian Dream Side Effects
From what I can tell, I think Australian Dream is safe for most people who use it appropriately. Searching online for side effects does not turn up much in terms of people saying bad things about it either. That said, there are some who say they have had side effects. For example, if you read the comments below, one person said Australian, while it worked, also made his skin itch. I think most of these complaints may be linked to histamine dihydrochloride, which is the product’s active ingredient. With that in mind, here is a list of potential / theoretical side effects based on the active ingredient in the product. How likely any of these are to occur, I do not know.
Because histamine dihydrochloride vasodialtes (expands/enlarges) blood vessels, it’s possible that it may decrease blood pressure. This effect might be most noticed by those with low blood pressure or those who take medications for high blood pressure. When I searched online for side effects, I did see some people talking about how Australian Dream lowered their blood pressure, causing them to feel dizzy.
Histamine may be related to headaches but that doesn’t necessarily mean rubbing a histamine dihydrochloride cream on the skin causes headaches. Still, headache-prone individuals should consult their doctor or pharmacist for more up to date and in-depth information.
Some people online reported having an allergic reaction shortly after using Australian Dream that resulted in itching, difficulty swallowing, and blisters. My guess is that this may be due to a histamine sensitivity/intolerance where some people may lack the ability to breakdown histamine.
For those who may be sensitive to histamine dihydrochloride, it may be best to do a test, using a very small amount on a small area of the skin to see if any side effects occur.
People who have skin conditions should ask their doctor or pharmacist before using the product.
The glucosamine sulfate in the product – because it comes from shell fish – may cause an allergic reaction in those who have a shell fish allergy.
Wash hands thoroughly before touching the eyes, as it may cause eye irritation.
Do not use Australian Dream on areas of the skin that have cuts, scrapes, or open wounds. This may give histamine dihydrochloride access to your bloodstream, where it may have different effects than when placed topically on the skin.
Don’t use Australian Dream if you are pregnant or nursing without consulting your doctor first (inform the doctor what the active ingredient is too).
Ads for Australian Dream say it is odorless, but some people online have noted that it has an odor. Again, some people may be more sensitive than others on this issue. People with lung problems (asthma, COPD, etc.) should refrain from smelling the compound if they use it, and also use it in a well-ventilated area, just to be safe.
All that said, I think most people will probably not notice any unusual side effects from the product, but when in doubt, ask your pharmacist or doctor just to be sure. For more info, see this summary of the product.
Does It Work?
Looking at what research I could find―which was not much, by the way―I think it’s possible some people may notice temporary relief of aches, pains, and joint stiffness. That said, my question is: Does Australian Dream work better than other pain relief creams like Ben Gay or Aspercream? I’m not sure, so if you’ve tried and it helped―or didn’t―do leave a comment and let me (and others) know what you think. I hope this review helped clear up questions you may have had about this product. If you have additional questions that I missed, leave a comment and I’ll see if I can help you.
Here is Australian Dream on Amazon on Amazon for those who want to see what others have said about it.
What do you think?