|Source: Alex Ex|
Olive trees were planted in abundance in many parts of the Mediterranean and its oil used in food and applied on different parts of the body to maintain healthy hair and beautiful clear skin.
It was a common practice for Greek athletes to rub their bodies with the oil while they trained. Today, Greece, Spain and Italy are the leading global producers of olive oil.
Olive oil is extracted from the fruit ‘Olea europaea’ by taking ripe olives and grinding it into a paste using large millstones or steel drums. The use of millstones is the traditional way of extracting the oil whereas the use of steel drums is the modern way.
Care is taken to only choose ripe olives for producing olive oil since overripe ones may produce oil which is stale and green olives usually turn out oil which is bitter in taste.
The main varieties of olive oil used are:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Extra Virgin Oil is the highest quality of olive oils since it’s only pressed to extract the oil and not heated or sent through the filtering and refining process. Extra Virgin Olive oil is best consumed raw and should not be used in cooking since it can lose its flavor when heated. It’s a popular oil drizzled on salads, pasta and pizza.
- Virgin Olive Oil is heated and pressed to extract the oil.
- If the olive oil which is extracted is of low quality it’s sent through the filtering and refining process to improve it. Olive oil produced in this way is called Pure Olive Oil.
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and can repair damaged cells and strengthen the immune system. It contains Vitamin E which is needed for healthy hair and skin. Women from the Mediterranean have always been admired for their beautiful skin and hair. The main reason for this is said to be due to the olive oil which they regularly consumed and applied on their hair and skin.
Some people drink 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil daily for longevity and healthy arteries.
Olive Oil Hair Conditioner
Mix together ½ cup olive oil and a few drops of lime/lemon juice. Set aside.
Shampoo the hair with mild baby shampoo and rinse in warm water. Then massage the olive oil mixture into the hair. Leave on for 5 minutes.
Wash the hair again using the baby shampoo. Towel dry. Use this treatment twice a week for clean healthy hair.
Olive Oil to treat Dandruff
Olive oil is a popular home remedy used to treat dandruff.
Warm ½ cup olive oil. Massage into hair while still warm. Leave on hair for 20 minutes. Comb the hair and then wash it using a baby shampoo. Do this treatment twice a week.
Olive Oil to Exfoliate and Moisturize Skin
Mix together ¼ cup olive oil with ½ cup sugar and ½ cup kosher salt. Using a loofah massage the scrub onto the wet skin. Rinse of with warm water. This body scrub is ideal to remove rough skin from the body leaving it soft and supple.
Olive Oil for Ears
To remove excess ear wax heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Bend your head to one side and using a dropper place a few drops into the ear. Stay in this position for 10 minutes. Do this treatment twice a day for 3 to 5 days. The warm olive oil helps to soften and loosen the wax inside the ear.
© Suranee Perera 2012