Olive Oil - 2
Folk-lore and Traditional Plant Uses
The leaves have antiseptic, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, diuretic and hypotensive properties. The oil has traditionally been taken with lemon juice in 5 ml doses to treat gallstones (Chevalier 1996).
The yellow and freshe olive is better for the stomach, bu it is hard for the belly. The blak that is ripe is disposed to corruption and is evel for the stomak...it is good to wash the goumes that are vexed with filthy moysture, with the pyle of the wild olive. It maketh fast louse tethe. Take ye oyle and put itin to woll, or fyne cloth and lay it hote unto the waterische goumes. William Turner 1562 A New Herbal, Part 11 p.67
There are indications that olive oil lowers the blood pressure more than other highly publicised polyunsaturated oils and this is borne out by the findings of Finnish vs southern Italian investigation into the effect of diet on heart/circulatory diseases and deaths. It was shown that the Finnish high animal fat diet was responsible for their high levels of blood cholesterol. The southern Italian diet is practically meatless and, although the amount of olive oil consumed cause some weight problems. It appears that olive oil lowers the amount of LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol in the body (Bartram 9196) , and perhaps high cholesterol levels may be reduced more by ingesting olive oil than by following a fatless diet.
- Olive oil has also been recommended for disorders of the liver and hyperacidity(it reduces the amount of acid produced in the stomach), and it is mildly purgative.it is considered a healthy food oil because it increases the secretion of bile and acts as a laxative through its contracting effect on the muscles of the bowel. Recommended as part of a diabetic diet, the oil has also been used as a preventative agent for osteoporosis in the St Louis hospital in Paris.
- Culinary Use
- Olive oil of first quality is nutritious and easy to digest. It is often used in salads and ideal for low temperature cooking, as it does not smoke under 200C, although the flavour begins to change at 140C. Choosing an olive oil can be confusing . Extra virgin oil denotes oil produced at the beginning of the first pressing, with an acidity of <1% and a strong flavour. Virgin oil is taken from the middle stage of the first pressing and it has a good flavour with an acidity of <2%. There is even another virgin oil from the last stage of the first pressing which has an acidity of <3.5%.
At one time this oil was frequently adulterated with cheaper cottonseed oil which is known to cause allergies. Dandruff is made worse if olive oil is applied to dry scalp, and the oil may cause an allergic reaction (Malmkvist Padoan 1990). The oil may also sensitise when applied topically (Sutton 1943, van Joost et al 1981) Smarting occurs if the oil gets into the eyes (Winter 1984).
References: Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy & Massage: Len Price with Ian Smith & Shirley Price