Olive Oil is more than just the love interest of Popeye the Sailor Man. It’s great stuff that can be used in cooking, in foods, as a health remedy, and even around the house for improvements and cleaning. It’s definitely one of nature’s most wonderful products.
In the past, we’ve mentioned olive oil to relieve earaches, constipation, and more. Here’s more information on olive oil itself and more of its medicinal uses as well.
Kinds of Olive Oil
There are several types of olive oil available on the market. All of them come from olives, of course, and most come from regional Italian variants of olives. Most of these olives have roughly the same properties and differ only in their size, shape, and flavor. Be aware that, nutritionally, there is a big difference between the common black olives you see in cans at the store and the larger, green olives usually used to make oils.
Olive oil marked “extra virgin” is generally useless for all but the most mundane of household uses. It’s usually heavily processed and filtered and is mostly just oil without much of the olive essence left in it. This oil is good for lubricating squeaky door hinges, preserving iron cookware, and the like, but is nutritionally nearly empty.
Most of the good olive oils available in the U.S. are likely from American and Mexican olive groves rather than shipped in from the Mediterranean. At least, the ones that are affordable and eco-friendly will be.
The “chunkier” the olive oil is, the better it is nutritionally. Straight-filtered (single filtered oil) is also much less expensive and is often available by the gallon. Once you see how many things it’s possible to use it for, you will probably see that buying by the gallon isn’t s a bad idea.
Medicinal Uses for Olive Oil
Earaches and constipation, as mentioned, have already been covered here on our blog. One thing to remember with olive oil: do not feed it to young children (toddlers and infants) or to small animals (small dogs, cats). It can cause diarrhea and make them sick.
Olive oil can be taken before bed to reduce or eliminate snoring. About a teaspoon’s worth will not affect digestion, but will lubricate the throat so that breathing comes easier. Many singers and orators use olive oil in this way to loosen and medicate the throat before or after a performance.
The same remedial use can help with heart burn and indigestion. Just take a teaspoon and lie down for a few minutes and it will coat your esophagus on the way down, removing the heartburn.
As a shampoo for humans or animals, olive oil is great stuff. Rub it in while washing to pull out tangles, ad extra shine, and give it a better condition for management and sheen. Rinse thoroughly when done to leave behind only a finite coating of it for better hair management. This does wonders for dogs and cats and can nearly eliminate even the worst pet dander.
On rashes and dry skin, it works similarly and can be rubbed in to hydrate and soothe the hurt. Rub it in liberally, let it soak in well for a few minutes, then use a moist cloth to wipe it off. Eating olive oil on salads and so forth gives even more skin benefits. It can also be applied, warm, after shaving or even as a blade lubricant during shaving to help with razor burn.
There are a lot of uses for olive oil, not the least of which are medicinal. It’s definitely a “must have” for every household. What are your uses for it?
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