Although the olive tree originated in Asia, it has been cultivated for over 3,000 years in Mediterranean countries, where much of the olive crop is used to make olive oil. In this process, olives are pitted and ground to a thick pulp. The pulp is then pressed to remove the juices, which are placed in a centrifuge to separate the water from the oil.
One tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories and 14 grams of fat, but the fat is mostly monounsaturated; it has a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels, and is easily digested. In those countries where olive oil is consumed extensively, such as Greece, Italy and Spain, there is a low incidence of cardiovascular diseases. The mild vegetable mucilage in olive oil protects the body's digestive tract.
Ancient civilization used olive oil to heal wounds. Today it is considered a good remedy for skin problems and an effective moisturizer. Olive oil benefits are surprisingly simple yet extremely effective.
Choose the Highest Quality of Olive Oil Use only olive oil that is labeled "extra virgin". This guarantees that the oil has been cold pressed from freshly harvested olives and does not contain chemicals. Extra virgin olive oil supplies the best flavor, and oil that is green in color is the higher quality than golden-yellow oil. See Olive Oil Grades for more information.
Olive Oil Benefits
Therapeutic Effect: Taken internally, olive oil stimulates metabolism, promotes digestion and lubricates mucous membranes. It can also be applied externally to treat dry skin. Warm olive oil applied to the skin and help relieve internal or external inflammination caused by an injury or disease. See Home Remedy for Dry Skin.
Components: Olive oil contains 77 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, 14 percent saturated fatty acids and 9 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids, plus vegetable mucilage and vitamin E.
Help for the digestive tract Take 1 tablespoon of olive oil on an empty stomach to stimulate digestion and relieve upset stomach, flatulence and heartburn.
Olive oil for constipation In the morning, take 1 teaspoon of olive oil mixed with lemon juice on an empty stomach. Or try an enema made from 5 ounces of olive oil in 20 ounces of boiling water, cooled to lukewarm.
The antioxidant benefit The vitamin E in olive oil is an antioxidant. In addition, monounsaturated fatty acids are less easily damaged by oxygen than other types of fat. They are therefore less likely to produce free radicals, which damage cell membranes and contribute to several diseases. Read about the amazing benefits of olive leaf extract.
To Lower Blood Cholesterol Levels The monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil help lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels without affecting HDL ("good") cholesterol or triglyceride levels. To lower your cholesterol at least 15 percent of your daily calories should come from monounsaturated fatty acids. Whenever possible use olive oil in place of butter or other vegetable oils in cooking, in preparing dressings for salads or vegetables and in making sandwiches.
To Treat Ear Complaints To clear stopped-up ears, put a few drops of lukewarm olive oil in the affected ear. Lie for 5 minutes on the opposite side, then turn over, so that the olive oil can flow out again. (Do not put any liquid in your ear if you think you may have a perforated eardrum!) For earaches, soak a cotton pad in olive oil, then add 5 drops of lavender oil. Place it loosely in your outer ear until the pain abates. I recently put a few drops of olive oil in my cats ears to relieve her of an ear infection. It's also great for drowning any ticks that may be inside your pets ears.
To Prevent Hair Loss Massage the scalp with olive oil every evening for eight days. Let it work overnight and wash it out in the morning. Read more about the olive oil benefits for hair and Home Remedy for Dandruff.
To Moisturize Skin Apply olive oil daily to dry spots or stretch marks. For more information on the Olive Oil Benefits for Dry Skin click on the link.
Build Strong Fingernails To help build strong fingernails and soften cuticles, soak your nails each night in a mixture of 3 parts lukewarm olive oil to 1 part freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Put on cloth gloves and let the oil penetrate overnight. Your nails will gradually become more resistant to breaking and chipping.
As you can see olive oil benefits are endless. It's one ingredient that is fun, safe, and inexpensive to experiment with. I'm sure you can find many of your own safe olive oil health benefits, when you do send your tips to Grandma's Wisdom to share with the world.
The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.