I must be getting old because one of my favorite stations on XM radio is the channel that plays the old-time radio shows (XM 148). I like it because I get to hear programs that my parents and grandparents listened to when they were around. One night, driving home, I heard 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 0.025%)—which, they tell us, is an external analgesic.
Other ingredients in Australian Dream include:
- 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 the product 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. another name for histamine dihydrochloride is 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 a 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.
The BBB gave the company an “A +” rating when this review was created. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
The BBB previously had another website for the company: “NHC123.com” (where NHC probably refers to Nature's Health Connection). This may be the original company website which is no longer being used.
The website for Australian Dream and Nature’s Health Connection is: AustralianDream.com.
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.
Contact Australian Dream
The customer service number is 888-600-4642. The contact page of AustralianDream.com also has an email option; however, I recommend calling them if you have a question. They have helpful customer service reps. The BBB also lists another contact number of 606-668-6533.
Is Australian Dream Sold In Australia?
Australian Dream is made in the US. As it happens, my friend and fellow health investigator, Bill Sukala, lives in Australia. 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.
Buy Australian Dream
This arthritis cream is popular. I've seen it at many stores. You can purchase it at Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club, Bed Bath and Beyond.
How To Return Australian Dream
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.
Australian Dream Back Pain Cream
The company also makes a Back Pain Cream too. The Back Pain Cream contains the same active ingredient as regular Australian cream (histamine dihydrochloride) but at a higher concentration – 0.5%. Here's the concentration of the active ingredient for the regular cream, back pain cream and Australian Dream Hand and Wrist cream side by side:
- Australian Dream (regular): 0.25%
- Back Pain Cream: 0.50%
- Hand and Wrist Cream:0.25%
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 maker 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 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 joint and arthritis pain.
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 dihydrochloride could help migraine headaches when it's 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 does Australian Dream might help with migraine headaches. For more on migraines see these videos on my Youtube channel:
What supplements help migraines
Why I don't like butterbur for migraines
Can CoQ10 help migraine headaches?
To play devil's advocate, one study from 1985 noted intravenous histamine dihydrochloride caused headaches. That doesn't mean rubbing Australian Dream on the skin does the same thing.
Australian Dream Side Effects
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, some have said they have had side effects. For example, in the comments below, one person said Australian Dream worked but also made his skin itch.
I think most of these complaints may be linked to histamine dihydrochloride, which is the product’s active ingredient. Here is a list of potential / theoretical side effects based on the active ingredient. How likely any of these are to occur, I do not know.
This list is not complete.
Because histamine dihydrochloride vasodilates (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 break down 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 shellfish – may cause an allergic reaction in those who have a shellfish 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, 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.
Australian Dream Experiment
I do not have arthritis and so trying it on myself would not work. I did however purchase Australian Dream for a relative who is a 90-year-old WWII / Korean war veteran and formal postal worker whose route required he walked 13 miles a day for over 20 years. That's over 60,000 miles walked – just for the post office. That doesn't include his time in WWII or Korea.
Needless to say, he's got knee arthritis and while he walks, he's in some pain.
He tried Australian Dream and while he thought it might have worked after the first night, told me shortly thereafter, it was not helping him. Of course, it could be that his arthritis was too far advanced for the product to work? Walking all that distance for years plus being in the military will take its toll on anyone.
There are many nameless people on the web who give testimonials about products. I wanted to provide these insights for what they are, just a non-scientific experiment from someone I know and trust so you would have something to compare testimonials to.
Take it for what it is.
Does Australian Dream Work?
Looking at what research I could find I think it's possible some people may notice temporary relief of aches, pains, and joint stiffness. How does Australian Dream compare to other pain relief creams like Ben Gay or Aspercream? I'm not sure. The good news is Austrliam Dream is not expensive so it may be worth a try. If you've tried and it helped―or didn’t―do leave a comment below and let me (and others) know what happened.
Do You Have Any Questions?
Patricia C. Boylan says
THANK YOU!!! Factually based information is exactly what I was looking for. As a retired podiatrist, when patients would tell me that they swear by a product, with no ingredients that could produce the results that are being advertised, I always remember learning that the placebo effect is about 2 months. If you ask them about the product a year later, they are usually on to something else.
Joe Cannon says
Patricia, I’m glad I was able to help! If patients ever ask you about other products you’d like me to review, just let me know 🙂
Manuel Aboytes says
My wife bought for me a 2 oz. jar for shoulder, hand and back pain and it didn’t work at all. I was upset because I thought it was a scam: she kept trying to push me into using it, but every time it FAILED TO RELIEF PAIN.
IT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME
I searched and couldn’t find the receipt, but it’s disappointing to find out WE GOT SCAMMED OUT BY THIS FAKE PRODUCT. I jut took it as a LOSS.
I found a good use for this cream: RUB IT ON THE FLOOR WHERE YOU HAVE SKID MARKS OR CHEWING GUM AND ALSO CLEANS CRAYON MARKS FROM THE WALL.
It is EXCELLENT TO POLISH YOUR TOILET SEATS AND TUB IN THE BATHROOM.
it is NOT GOOD FOR CUSTOMERS, BUT IT’S GREAT FOR THE COMPANY THAT MAKES IT.
I will never buy it again.
Manuel, sorry Australian Dream didn’t work for you but do thank you for sharing your experiences. I’ll you are being sarcastic about the chewing gum and toilet seats.
P.S. this super duper guarantee is a bit of a trick. Since you have to pack it up and mail it for your refund, most people wouldn’t bother and the company avoids having to pay you. This is an old mail order gimmick calculated for our lazyness. If the cost was $200. you’d go through the trouble of boxing it, wrapping it and paying the $5. postage. For a $20. or $30. refund, netting you $15. for your trouble you’d probably just forget about it. A refund at the store would be more legit. That’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.
MR, I hear ya. I say same thing about mail in rebates we get at stores too. The good news is if you get Australian Dream at a local store, I’m sure they would honor the companies empty jar policy.
Thanks for your scrupulous review. Refreshing in our world of phony reviews and phony products.
I tried this stuff once and it gave me a little brain fog and a bit of a headache so I’m slightly paranoid about trying it again, but i will anyway in case the side effects quiet down.
$31.00 at a drugstore chain. A third of the jar was empty when i first opened it. Brought back to the store before trying it. At $31.00 that’s $10.00 for an air pocket. Exchanged it for another jar that had the same 1/3 missing. Is this Australian dream’s way of shorting us for a few dollars?
If it turns out to be useful I
ll buy it again out of desperation. And I’ll buy it on amazon for $10. less.
MR, thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it. That is fascinating what you said about having 1/3rd of the jar being empty twice – and you got it at a local drug store. I dont think I’ve heard of that happening before. I also dont think Ive heard of brain fog with Australian Dream either. Could it have been a coincidence? Do let us know if it works if you try it again.
Laura Hulsey says
It helps. I’m very critical of this type of thing, but tried it anyway. My shoulder started to hurt for no reason, in the joint and down through my humerus. Radiograph showed a little arthritis, disproportionate to the intensity of the pain. The cream relieves the pain completely, lasts several hours. Thanks.
Thanks Laura for sharing that. Im very glad to hear Australian Dream has been helping your pain.
Karen Post says
Just rubbing/massaging an area with your hands will often bring some temporary pain relief. Topical products are optional.
My therapeutic yoga instructor (not other styles of yoga, which can even make things worse) has rapidly rubbed areas near my sore knees, bringing blood to the area. My knee cartilage has increased, shown on MRI’s.
She rubbed her hands together first, to warm up her hands. (Palms get red from increased blood. More proof. Plus, look up studies on therapeutic massage.)
Increased blood flow over time may help healing/repair. Same idea as platelet-rich plasma injections. (My spouse got those. It helped. He later began yoga with my instructor and got custom orthotics. He now has no knee pain. Plus instructor fixed his shoulder problems. He’s very active now, 65+. Golf, skiing, biking, etc.)
I suspect this is one reason why many studies show OTC topical pain relievers help no more than placebos… any massage action may help, depending upon what is the underlying cause. Besides blood flow, moving the muscles, tendons, fibers, etc. can have at least short term benefits.
Find a good therapeutic yoga instructor (trained at a minimum in the Iyengar yoga style) for life-changing and potentially permanent relief. And get custom orthotics from a good podiatrist. Proper posture and alignment are key to relieving many pain problems. (I’ve been in 5 car wrecks, none my fault. Serious neck and back problems for 40 years. Endless physical therapy and other treatments. Plus knee and hip problems due to skeletal shape… but my legs are straight now!) Therapeutic yoga has me now pain free, as long as I maintain my alignment and yoga stretches.
Joe Cannon says
Karen, thanks for sharing those insights and that is fantastic news to hear how your knee cartilage increased! I wonder what your doctors had to say about that? No doubt yoga has many benefits. Ive tried it myself and really enjoyed how I felt afterward. So happy to hear about how well your husband has responded as well. pain-free is always a good place to be. 🙂
Amy G. says
I’m diabetic and have used it without any problem. Keep in mind, though, that I’m a type 2, not on insulin, and under pretty good control of my A1C. Your situation may be different.
Carole Kent says
Is Australian Dream safe for diabetics?
Hi Carol, I’ve never heard of any problems with diabetics. Because Australian Dream temporary blocks pain, the only issue I might see is if you put it on your feet and then accidentally injured your feet. Sometimes diabetics loose feeling in their feet so I’d wonder if that might be a potential problem. Granted its a worse possible scenario. Its just something that occurred to me.
Does anyone else have thoughts on the safety of Australian Dram for diabetics?
Bonnie C. says
Like others, I heard the Australian Dream commercial on XM radio back in 2014, & since back then I was suffering due to some shifted hardware in a fractured wrist, figured I’d give it a try. Didn’t do anything to assuage that pain, so tucked the jar away.
However, just recently I developed some serious inflammation & arthritic changes in both of my knees, & my usual go-to – Advil – wasn’t cutting the mustard. Just on a lark, I dug out the old jar of Australian Dream & figured I’d give it a try.
All I can say is – WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! It was like night & day. Within 10-15 minutes I was walking normally instead of tottering/limping around like a combination of Robby the Robot & Walter Brennan. Have been applying it as needed (about twice a day), but definitely no more than the instructions (3-4 times daily) & can’t even begin to say how pleased I am at how it is working. I’ve even been able to seriously cut back on my Advil intake, which is definitely a good thing.
I think that the problem re: so many poor &/or mixed reviews about the product (here & on other sites), is that, for starters – everyone’s reaction to any topical product is going to be individual & different. And for another – the actual cause of one’s pain is also individual & different. Take my case in point – product did absolutely zero for my wrist pain (due to internal shifting hardware), but now has me almost dancing for arthritis & joint inflammation in my knees.
Yes, it could be a pricey test, but frankly I’m extremely glad I bought it back 2014 & kept it (even though it technically expired last year), because I couldn’t be more pleased now.
Linda Brooks says
After an auto accident in my 20s, the doctor warned me I’d have problems with my left knee when I reached my 50s (didn’t break anything, just bruised up knee lining badly). He was so on the money! The knee started aching badly and having twinging pains, particularly when navigating staircases.
I tried every over the counter topical pain medication I could find. None of them worked for me (including Bio Freeze which everyone touted). One day as I was scanning the shelves for something else, a CVS employee asked if she could help. After I described the situation, she pointed to Australian Dream and said “many people swear this is great even though it’s more expensive.” She told me that it was suppose to work differently from other products… that it “made the blood rush to the area”. Since I already knew about blood elements that help with healing, I decided to try it.
It took a few days to really start working but for me it’s FABULOUS!! For my situation, I’ve found that a semi-regular regime of applying just a small amount every 3 days keeps the pain away on a regular basis.
I’ve had no bad side effects as a result of using Australian Dream.
Hi Linda, thanks for sharing. Sorry the doctor was “on the money” but glad Australian Dream is helping ease your pain.
Art Joyce says
Over the years, I have succumbed to the marketing ploys of countless snake oils, and itch appointments. Yes, I admit it. ?
None of them ever worked. I think I usually bought them just to try to be a nice guy, for my ex-wife who had lots of back pain, in my current girlfriend who also has had lots of back and leg pain, so consciously knowing in advance that it’s a bunch of hooey.
So, yeah, I bet the date yet again, today. (And expected the same results, honestly).
My girlfriends legs have been aching pretty bad for the last few days. When I got home, she was asleep. Well, my right shoulder and arm had been a little stiff for the last day or two, and a little achy. So I figured what the heck; and put some on there.
To my surprise, within about 15 minutes or so, I experienced very notable reduction in pain. When my girlfriend woke up after a few hours, I put some on her legs and lower back, and she is well experienced significant, and unmistakable reduction in pain. I can assure you that, on my part at least, this was not a placebo effect, because I’m honestly about to skeptical as one can get about these kinds of products, even though I do waste my money on them from time to time.
The morning on tonight was only the first time we’ve used said product, but if this wasn’t just a fluke, and it continues to work the way there tonight, then we will be using it in the future, and would recommend people who have and muscle and joint pain to give it a shot and see if it works for them.
I used Australian Dream for an arthritic thumb and after the first application, nothing. The directions said it may take a little while to work for some people. A couple of hours after a second application, almost no pain! Worked well for a long time until it got to the point that I needed a cortisone injection due to the tendon developing a “trigger finger, unrelated to the arthritis or the cream.
Only side effect was a little swelling (not painful) due to the vasodilation. Now the arthritis in my foot is acting up and Australian Dream is back to working great!
Mark, thanks for sharing your experiences. Glad Australian Dream is helping your foot 🙂
Have bad plantar fasciitis for about three months now. Started using Australian Dream along with the Blue Emu I already used. Note: Emu is actually a transport mechanism which helps penetrate the skin. Have found some relief (not miraculous) from the Dream, possibly from vasodilation. Refuse pain pills, unable to take NSAIDs due to stomach irritation. So, a little is a lot.
Hi Ronnie, glad you have been getting some relief for your plantar fascitis. Question, have you been doing any stretching exercises for this? That is usually the preferred treatment. stretching the calf. If you search YouTube for “plantar fascitis stretches” you should see how to do them. Ice the bottom of your foot too as that is where your pain is really coming from. freeze a bottle of water, put it on the floor and roll your foot over it as you watch tv. Hope some of that helps.
sharon wuerschmidt says
This is the second time I have found helpful reviews on your website. Just a note to thank you for this website. I research stuff for my DH and friends, and have found your website helpful. You always ask the questions that the pro-product sites don’t answer: How does it work, and is it better than other products.
Hi Sharon, that is so kind of you to say! I am very glad Ive been able to help you and your friends on more than one occasion 🙂
little star says
i bought australian dream today after my husband heard of it on late night radio, i have had intense back pain and artheritis for 30 years, first day on aussie dream and i noticed some relief, i cant wait to see what a week of every other day does for me, thank you for giving me some hope, maybe surgery can be avoided!!
Little star, I hope it continues to work for you. Some people have said its worked so its worth a try. The only person I know – personally – who tried it, said it did not help him. He’s a WWII /Korea vet and was a postman for 30 years, walking 15 miles a day, so maybe his arthritis was too advanced? Either way, let us know how it continues to work for you.
Frank Vrba says
I have a compressed nerve in my neck. Probable surgery in the near future. However, in the short term, I have been using hydrocodone for pain and Prednisone for inflammation. While that provided lots of relief, the constant pain and discomfort, even using the drugs, was causing me to have much shortened sleep durations. This has been going on for several weeks.
I was browsing through a drug store and saw the Australian Dream and decided to give it a try. At first, I didn’t think it had any effect. Then I tried putting it on the most painful parts of my arm and shoulder before bed. I have done that the last two nights and I have slept all night. If I did wake up for a bathroom run, I noticed the discomfort was virtually gone.
I think the idea of the increased blood flow is probably contributing to the effect because a few nights ago I did a strenuous exercise hike on the incline treadmill and I had virtually no pain or discomfort after that, as well.
Hi Frank, thanks for sharing. Im happy Australian Dream has been helping you. Hopefully you won’t need that surgery too. Keep us posted.
I was having pain and stiffness in my hip and knee. I bought Australian Dream. It went on like a faintly sticky heavy lotion. I could decern no scent. I noticed no difference after application and up to hours afterwards. A couple days later a gave it another go, because it was spendy and I threw away my receipt, and same results. Nada! I say Tigerbalm or Lidocaine Patches. This stuff is completely placebo. But if it works for you, that really is all that matters.
Hi Jody, Why dont you try calling the company for the refund. They seem like honest people to me and I would not be surprised if they honor the refund even if you did not have a receipt. Let us know what happens.
Sharon Chalmers says
I’m doing research for a friend of mine. Her mother recommended Australian Dream to help with the pain in my friends knee. Her mother uses it for her arthritic hands, and swears by it. I don’t know if her mother has tried other-less experience-products.
Thank you for researching this product and sharing your information.
Hi Sharon, you are very welcome. I’m happy Australian Dream is helping your friend.
D. Anderson says
I’m still trying to decide if it’s placebo or really making me feel better. I’m a 42 year old flight attendant, and about 2 1/2 years ago, my knee started getting stiff, swelling and hurting during flights. I bought Australian Dream about 4 days ago. It felt better after the first application. When I’ve woken up, I feel stiffness and use the cream. It’s no longer painful to stand up from bed.
I continue to experiment and keep it close by when I’m inactive for periods to make sure it’s not working it out as I stand up to get it or the massaging that makes it feel better. I used it in flight last night, and it seemed to instantly feel better. Time will tell, but at the moment, I really do think I’m liking it.
Thanks D, I’m glad it is helping the stiffness in your knee.