- Olive oil is a fat obtained from the olive of a traditional olive tree of the Mediterranean Basin.
- Olive oil is used to prevent heart attack and stroke (cardiovascular disease), breastcancer, colorectal cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and migraine headache.
- Some people use olive oil to treat constipation, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood vessel problems associated with diabetes, and pain associated ear infections, arthritis, and gallbladder disease. Olive oil is also used to treat jaundice, intestinal gas, and meteorism (swelling of the abdomen due to gas).
- Some people also use olive oil to boost bacteria in the gut and as a “cleanser” or “purifier.”
- Olive oil is applied to the skin (used topically) for earwax, ringing ears (tinnitus), pain in the ears, lice, wounds, minor burns, psoriasis, stretch marks due to pregnancy, and for protecting the skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage after sun exposure.
- In foods, olive oil is used as a cooking and salad oil.
- In manufacturing, olive oil is used to make soaps, commercial plasters and liniments; and to delay setting in dental cements.
- Olive oil is classified, in part, according to acid content, measured as free oleic acid. Extra virgin olive oil contains a maximum of 1% free oleic acid, virgin olive oil contains 2%, and ordinary olive oil contains 3.3%. Unrefined olive oils with more than 3.3% free oleic acid are considered “unfit for human consumption.”
- Olive leaf is used for treating viral, bacterial, and other infections including influenza, swine flu, the common cold, meningitis, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), encephalitis, herpes, shingles, HIV/ARC/AIDS, and hepatitis B. Olive leaf is also used for pneumonia; chronic fatigue: tuberculosis (TB); gonorrhea; fever; malaria; dengue; “blood poisoning” (bacterial infections in the bloodstream); severe diarrhea; and infections in the teeth, ears, and urinary tract, and infections following surgery. Other uses include high blood pressure, diabetes, hay fever, improving kidney and digestive function, and increasing urine flow.
- Water extracts of olive fruit pulp are used for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Breast cancer: People who consume more olive oil in their diet seem to have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
- Heart disease: Replacing saturated fats in the diet with olive oil can reduce risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. Adding olive oil to the diet seems to help prevent a first heart attack. Some research shows a high dietary intake of olive oil (54 grams/day; about 4 tablespoons) can reduced the risk of first heart attack by 82% when compared with a low intake of 7 grams of olive oil or less per day. Including 1 liter per week of extra-virgin olive oil in a Mediterranean diet for around 5 years also seems to help prevent heart attacks and strokes in people over age 55 who have diabetes or a combination of heart disease risk factors (smoking, high blood pressure, high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, overweight, or with a family history of heart disease). A Mediterranean diet has high intakes of fruit, nuts, vegetables and cereals, moderate intake of fish and poultry, and low intake of dairy products, red meat, processed meats, and sweets.
- Colorectal cancer: Research suggests that people who consume more olive oil in their diet have a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- High cholesterol: Using olive oil in the diet instead of saturated fat can reduce total cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol. However, some research suggests other dietary oils such as sunflower and rapeseed (canola) might reduce “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and another type of cholesterol called apolipoprotein B better than olive oil.
- High blood pressure Adding generous amounts of extra virgin olive oil to the diet and continuing with the usual treatments for high blood pressure can improve blood pressure over 6 months in people with high blood pressure. In some cases, people with mild to moderate high blood pressure can actually lower their dose of blood pressure medication or even stop taking medication altogether. However, do not adjust your medications without your healthcare provider’s supervision. Taking olive leaf extract also seems to lower blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure.
- Constipation: Taking olive oil by mouth is effective for reducing constipation.
- Skin Moisturizer: Whether applied to face or body, olive oil will penetrate deep into the skin and provide a long-lasting shield of moisture to keep skin smooth and supple. Used either as a night cream or daily moisturizer, it is best applied to damp skin, when water can help reduce any feeling of greasiness. We recommend using extra virgin olive oil. Expect the natural benefits of olive oil to take a bit longer to be absorbed into the skin than most lightweight packaged skin products. But the advantages can be longer lasting too.
- Exfoliator: If dry and scaly skin is a problem, mix olive oil and sea salt in a rub and massaging it into the affected area to slough off dead skin and enrich the healthy layer beneath it. Or add a few tablespoons of olive oil with a drop or two of lavender essential oil in a bath. This is a luxurious way to relax, soothe and moisturize the whole body.
- Nail and Cuticle Care: Extra virgin olive oil makes the perfect, simple solution for dry nails and cuticles. Simply rub a few drops into the cuticle area and around the nail. Cuticles stay plump and moist, and nails respond with a natural shine.
- Eye Makeup Remover: Just a drop or two of extra virgin olive oil on a cotton pad is all it takes to gently and effectively remove eye makeup without irritating the delicate skin around the eye area. The biggest added advantage is that when used consistently, olive oil can soften the skin around the eyes and smooth out wrinkles.
- Hair Care: When used on hair and scalp, olive oil can be considered two products: a deep conditioner and a dandruff controller. After shampooing, massage a mixture of equal amounts of olive oil and water into your hair. Leave on for 5 minutes, then shampoo and rinse. Your scalp will benefit from healthy conditioning; your hair will respond with more shine and strength.
- Olive trees produce pollen that can cause seasonal respiratory allergy in some people.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking olive products if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Do not use amounts greater than the amount commonly found in foods.
- Diabetes: Olive oil might lower blood sugar. People with diabetes should check their blood sugar when using olive oil.
- Surgery: Olive oil might affect blood sugar. Using olive oil might affect blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking olive oil 2 weeks before surgery.
Moderate Interaction – Be cautious with this combination
- Medications for diabetes (antidiabetes drugs) interact with Olive Oil
- Medications for high blood pressure (antihypertensive drugs) interact with Olive Oil
- Source: WebMD, web article, www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-233-olive.aspx?activeingredientid=233&activeingredientname=olive
- Source: Carol Firenze: The Passionate Olive: 101 Things to Do with Olive Oil
- Source : web article, www.oliveoilsource.com/page/beauty-and-olive-oil