Friday, April 20, 2012

Olive Oil: Your Health and Beauty

Olive oil has been revered since antiquity for its culinary uses and health benefits. It is even mentioned in the texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam for healing, strength, and consecration. Modern evidence further validates our belief that the oil of the olive is valuable both in our kitchens and as a health and beauty product. President Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "The olive tree is surely the richest gift of heaven."

Olive oil is a central ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, which has long been suggested as an optimal and healthful way of eating. Though it is high in fat, olive oil contains the “healthy” kind of fat; monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Medical science is currently researching these potential health benefits of olive oil:

Reduced risk of coronary heart disease, High antioxidant content, Cancer-protective properties, Balanced cholesterol, Anti-inflammatory properties, Antithrombotic effects (helps block the formation of blood clots), Blood pressure reduction and Positive effects on blood sugar.

Other health benefits:

*   A spoonful of olive oil taken at bedtime may lubricate the palate and throat and help prevent snoring.

*   Treat an earache with a few drops of olive oil in the ear.

*   Use as a natural treatment for head lice.

*   Tickle in your throat? Try a sip of olive oil to lubricate and sooth it away.

As a health and beauty product, olive oil is hard to beat. Consider the following uses:

Exfoliate: Mix oil with salt and scrub face to remove dead skin cells.

Bathing: Add a splash of olive oil to bathwater for softer skin. Moisturizer: Apply olive oil directly to the skin, especially after bathing. It’s very good for rough areas such as hands, elbows and feet.

Shaving lubricant: Apply before and after shaving.

Remove sticky stuff: Ever get paint in your hair? How about gum? Rub on the olive oil and give it a few minutes to remove either one. It’s even useful in removing stickers and labels from things around the house.

Hairballs: If you have a cat you probably know about hairballs. A quarter-teaspoon of olive oil a day can help prevent them.

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