TYPE OF PLANT: Olea Europea, Oleaceae
ORIGIN: Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Greece and Italy
USES: Antibacterial, Anti-Oxidant, Moisturizing, Anti-Wrinkle, Rich in Vitamins.
Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olives (the fruit of Olea europaea; Oleaceae family), a traditional plant from the Mediterranean basin. The oil is produced by pressing whole olives.
It is commonly used in cooking, for frying foods, or as a salad dressing. It is also used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps, and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps, and has additional uses in some religions. There is limited evidence of its possible health benefits.
The olive is one of the three main food plants of Mediterranean cuisine; the other two are wheat and grapes. Olive trees have been grown throughout the Mediterranean since the eighth millennium BC.
The top five olive oil producers by volume are Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Greece and Italy. However, national per capita consumption is highest in Greece, followed by Spain and Italy.
The composition of olive oil varies according to the cultivar, altitude, harvest time and extraction process. It consists mainly of oleic acid (up to 83%), with smaller amounts of other fatty acids including linoleic acid (up to 21%) and palmitic acid (up to 20%). Extra virgin olive oil must have a free acidity not exceeding 0.8% and is considered to have favorable aromatic characteristics.
Uses in history
Olive oil has a long history of use as a home care remedy. The Egyptians used it together with beeswax as a cleanser, moisturizer and antibacterial agent since Pharaonic times.
In ancient Greece, olive oil was used during the massage to prevent sports injuries and relieve muscle fatigue. In 2000, Japan was the main importer of olive oil in Asia (13,000 tons per year) because consumers believe that both ingestion and topical application of olive oil are beneficial for the skin and Health.
Olive oil is popular for the massage of babies and young children, but the scientific evidence of its effectiveness is conflicting. An analysis of olive oil compared to mineral oil found that, when used for infant massage, olive oil can be considered a safe alternative to sunflower, grape seed and fractionated coconut oils. This is especially true when mixed with a lighter oil such as sunflower, which "would have the additional effect of reducing the already low levels of free fatty acids present in olive oil". Another study stated that olive oil reduced the risk of dermatitis for babies at all stages of gestation compared to cream emollient. However, yet another study in adults found that topical treatment with olive oil "significantly damages the skin barrier" compared to sunflower oil and could worsen Atopic dermatitis existing. The researchers concluded that due to the negative result in adults, they do not recommend the use of olive oil for the treatment of dry skin and infant massage.
Applying olive oil to the skin does not help prevent or reduce stretch marks.
Benefits and Uses
Olive oil has been shown to have antibacterial properties. However, there are very few studies on the ability of olive oil to control bacteria on the skin.
A small study examined the effects of using olive oil and coconut oil on Staphylococcus aureus bacteria on the skin. The results found that both oils had antibacterial properties, but virgin coconut oil was more effective in killing bacteria.
However, sometimes olive oil can be used to treat bacterial skin infections. It can also improve healing in people with foot ulcers caused by type 2 diabetes.
Olive oil is a popular natural moisturizer that is often used to soften both skin and hair. However, there is very little research on its effectiveness.
Olive oil acts as an antioxidant, a substance that prevents oxidation. Oxidation is a process that can produce free radicals, which are chemicals that can potentially damage cells and can contribute to the development of cancer.
When applied to the skin, antioxidants can prevent premature aging. In addition, some research suggests that applying olive oil to the skin after sun exposure can fight cancer cells.
In the study, the scientists applied the oil to the skin of mice that had been exposed to potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Tumor growth was significantly lower in mice that had olive oil on their skin than in those that didn't.
Scientists need to carry out further research in this area to understand the effects of the antioxidant properties of olive oil on human skin
Olive oil contains the vitamins fat soluble A, D, E and K. Some of these vitamins may be beneficial for the skin.
For example, people have used vitamin E oil topically throughout history to treat a variety of skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema.
Thanks to its antioxidant content, olive oil can reduce skin aging and wrinkles. The oil can be dabbed around the eye area at night or after sun exposure.
Regenerating Anti Scarring
The vitamins and other antioxidants in olive oil can fade scars by helping skin cells to regenerate.
Just massage the undiluted oil into scars or mix it with a squeeze of lemon juice to treat areas of hyperpigmentation, where the skin has darkened due to scars.
Olive oil can also be used to prevent or treat stretch marks, although studies on its effectiveness have found conflicting results.