Discover the amazing powers of nature’s liquid gold
From ancient times to present-day, olive oil has been used for everything from health ailments to beauty and the home, and so much more. Now evidence shows that a diet based on olive oil can add years to your life and may even prevent some diseases.
Most important, the quality of olive oil matters for your health’s sake. Natural, organic, and cold pressed are recommended by olive oil producers to medical doctors. Take a close-up look at why and how olive oil is one of the world’s first—and most prized— natural medicines.
Health virtues of olive oil
For thousands of years, people around the Mediterranean Sea, including the residents of the Holy Land, have had lower rates of heart disease. The consensus is that olive oil is the common thread.
Studies show that daily intake of olive oil lowers the risk of heart disease of all kinds, including heart attack. Olive oil has been shown to thin the blood, lower the blood pressure, and regulate cholesterol by reducing the “bad” kind (LDL) while maintaining the “good” kind (HDL). A healthy diet and lifestyle are key weapons in the battle to prevent heart disease—America’s number-one killer for both men and women, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
The good news is that olive oil may come to the rescue worldwide as it has for centuries in the Mediterranean world. Virgin olive oil may be more heart healthy than other vegetable fats, according to new research. European scientists have discovered that virgin olive oil may lower heart disease risk because of its high level of antioxidant plant compounds, revealed in a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
In a study of 200 young and middle-aged healthy men, three kinds of olive oil were used for three weeks. The first oil was a virgin olive oil rich in polyphenols (healthboosting nutrients). The other two were processed with moderate to low polyphenols.
The findings: Researchers discovered that polyphenol-rich virgin olive oil showed stronger heart-health effects than the more processed “non-virgin” types. Virgin olive oil is more than just a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Polyphenols, claim the authors, may be the key to some of the health benefits linked to this healing oil.
So, in moderation (olive oil is high in calories and fat) adding olive oil to your daily diet (drizzled on salads and whole grain breads and pasta, vegetables, and used in baking) may help to lower your blood cholesterol and blood pressure when you use it in place of saturated fats in your diet, reports the AHA. And that’s not all…
The golden secrets to remember
Olive Oil Keeps the Doctor Away
How Olive Oil Works: Polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil act as disease-fighting antioxidants to hinder the cancer process; oleic acid may reduce the growth of tumors.
How Olive Oil Works: Omega-3s in extra virgin olive oil may play a role in reducing aches and pains because they may have an anti-inflammatory effect.
How Olive Oil Works: Olive oil may cut the amount of “bad” LDL cholesterol as triglycerides in the blood, which may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
How Olive Oil Works: Oleocanthal in olive oil can stop inflammation similar to the way painkillers do.
Disease: Impaired Memory
How Olive Oil Works: Monounsaturated acids maintain cell structure and membranes in the brain.
How Olive Oil Works: Olive oil helps calcium absorption, which is needed to beat bone loss.
How Olive Oil Works: Maslinic acid (a natural product derived from olive-pomace oil) may help to slow down HIV.
Cures from your kitchen: 10 amazing oil remedies
While olive oil boasts health improvements, it also provides DIY home cures. Did you know that olive oil is considered one of the most popular folk remedies? Well, if this doesn’t surprise you, read on, and you’ll see why olive oil remedies are good to have in your home, wherever you live. But note, use common sense, and consult your doctor, before starting any new treatments—folk remedies or not.
Baby skin burns
What Oil Remedy to Use: Apply extra virgin olive oil on your burn three or four times daily.
Why You’ll Like It: Not only is it natural, but olive oil doesn’t have a strong medicine smell. Also, its antibiotic effect does the job. If you burn your mouth or lip, olive oil is gentle and edible.
Cure a cough
What Oil Remedy to Use: Take 1 tablespoon of olive oil as needed.
Why You’ll Like It: It may be just what you need to help you chase away that cough because it will lubricate a tickle in your throat. A bonus: Olive oil doesn’t contain undesirable ingredients (for example, codeine) that commercial syrups do, and it may even taste better than some.
Ease an earache
What Oil Remedy to Use: Put a few drops of olive oil in the ear canal. Repeat as needed.
Why You’ll Like It: For one, if it’s a minor earache, olive oil, which is believed to have mild antibiotic properties, can and does get rid of the ache and heal the pain.
Good-bye, gallbladder problems
What Oil Remedy to Use: Try approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil chased by ½ grapefruit or lemon juice each morning for one week.
Why You’ll Like It: It works in conjunction with your new gallbladder diet and lifestyle, you may not be haunted by developing gallstones or needing surgery.
Hang up a hangover
What Oil Remedy to Use: On the Internet, you can find a variety of references to a “prairie cocktail,” which is a concoction of olive oil, tomato ketchup, and vinegar.
Why You’ll Like It: It is believed that the olive oil cleanses the gallbladder and liver, as well as soothes the tummy.
Hit illness with antibacterial hand soap
What Oil Remedy to Use: Pour 3 parts antibacterial dish soap and 1 part extra virgin olive oil in a handy soap dispenser.
Why You’ll Like It: It works double duty. Not only do you clean your hands well each time you wash them, but you get a soothing, all-natural moisturizer, too.
Massage muscle aches
What Oil Remedy to Use: Warm 1 cup of olive oil in the microwave. Apply it as a massage oil. (If you have a significant other, this can be even more delightful. But doing it solo can work, too.)
Why You’ll Like It: The warmth of the oil immediately relaxes stiff muscles, and the massage motion also loosens up tight muscles and tendons.
Soothe stomach ache
What Oil Remedy to Use: Take ¼ teaspoon every four hours.
Why You’ll Like It: If you are nowhere near a pharmacy or a doctor but you are feeling queasy, you’ll love this olive oil cure.
So long, sad
What Oil Remedy to Use: Each day, for lunch or dinner or both meals, drizzle olive oil on a dark, leafy green salad with plenty of fresh vegetables. To sleep like a baby, take 1 tablespoon of flaxseed before bedtime.
Why You’ll Like It: If you eat lots of veggies teamed with olive oil, which can fill you up, you may not fill out. Also, if you get a good night’s sleep, you will be less likely to overeat when your energy fizzle throughout the day. Better sleep will make you feel better, and you’re more apt to exercise, which can help burn calories and fight winter weight gain and depression.
What Oil Remedy to Use: Purchase a large can of extra virgin olive oil (or two), and store it with your emergency supplies. (Note: Bottles can break during a disaster; plastic can react with oil in time.)
Why You’ll Like It: Olive oil has healing powers. Rather than trying to put every type of ailment remedy in your emergency supplies box, it’s more practical and cost effective to have one cure that works for many ailments such as burns, cuts, scratches, and sore muscles.
Excerpted from The Healing Powers of Olive Oil: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Liquid Gold (Kensington).
Cal Orey, M.A. is an accomplished author and journalist specializing in topics such as health, science, pets, and relationships. Her hugely successful Healing Powers book series include: The Healing Powers of Honey, The Healing Powers of Chocolate, The Healing Powers of Coffee, and The Healing Powers of Vinegar. She lives in Northern California. www.calorey.com