Olive oil (Botanical Name: Olia Europa) is common in every household because of its aroma and flavour. It is also good for health and has many medicinal properties. Earlier people used this oil for cooking but after finding out about its medicinal properties, it is increasingly being used in manufacturing health care products, hair, skincare, and many other purposes.
Olive is a type of medicinal tree. People use its fruits, and seeds to extract oil and leaves for medicine. The preparation of olive oil is done with the fruits and seeds of a plant called olives by the process of steam distillation.
Importance of Olive oil in Ayurveda
Because of its rich medicinal properties, this oil has great importance in Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, it is cold in potency. It contains high amounts of nutrients and minerals, which are beneficial for our health and beauty.
People use Olive oil for multiple purposes such as health and beauty. This includes cooking food, body oil for body massage, hair oil to keep hair healthy, and applied directly to the skin to cure skin problems.
Uses of Olive oil
- We use Olive oil in various food preparations.
- The oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin, hair, or body.
- People sprinkle Olive oil over salads to add flavour.
- Apply the olive oil to the bread and eat.
- We can also use olive oil as a hair pack and face pack.
Types of olive oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil -
Fresh olives are used to make extra virgin olive oil. Extra Virgin oil is the oil extracted from the first pressing of the olive fruit within a day of plucking them. It is the purest oil. No chemical substances are used to make this type of oil.
In this technique, the manufacturer obtains the oil by cold pressing method of extraction in which the temperature does not go above 25° C. It is rich in vitamins and minerals. This oil has the lowest acidity level due to which people consider it as the best quality oil in terms of taste, aroma, and nutrients.
Virgin Olive Oil-
Virgin Olive oil is also prepared by pressing olives for the first time. The extraction process does not follow the stringent standards for extracting such oil. It is slightly lesser in quality than Extra Virgin in terms of taste, aroma, and nutrients. The amount of acidity in this oil may be slightly higher than extra virgin.
Refined olive oils -
People sell such oils in markets with names like Pure, Light, and Classic. The leftover fruits after pressing for the first time, are again used to extract oil by heating them or with the help of chemical substances.
This is refined olive oil. Refined olive oil has an exorbitant amount of acid and fats. Its taste and aroma are also not very pleasant. It is also low in nutrients and antioxidants. People add extra virgin or virgin olive oil to this oil to make it tasty, aromatic, and colourful.
Pomace olive oil -
This olive oil is of the lowest quality which is extracted from the residue left in making extra virgin olive oil. The oil is separated from the seeds and peels with the help of a solvent called hexane at high temperatures.
Benefits of olive oil
Beneficial for inflammation-
Olive oil has inflammation-reducing properties. It contains Oleocanthal, which acts as an anti-inflammatory drug. This mainly helps in preventing the enzyme causing inflammation in the body. Besides, it also helps in curing diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
Help in reducing weight-
The monounsaturated fat present in olive oil proves effective in reducing belly fat and weight. Using this oil in the right amount helps in reducing weight. Consuming one to two teaspoons of olive oil every morning helps to avoid obesity.
Beneficial for hair-
Olive oil has plenty of fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E. All the ingredients present in it play an important role in treating dry and damaged hair.
Helpful in reducing cholesterol-
It contains a fair amount of monounsaturated fat. It helps in the formation of good cholesterol (HDL). Also, because of the presence of polyphenols in it, it reduces bad cholesterol (LDL). Using olive oil strengthens a person's heart and reduces the chance of an attack.
Helpful in the treatment of cancer-
The antioxidants present in olive oil reduce the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. These help to reduce inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of cancer. For this, use one to two teaspoons of pure olive oil daily.
Beneficial for face-
People consider olive oil, a better option for moisturizing skin. It contains vitamin-A, vitamin-E, and fatty acids, which reduce the formation of wrinkles in the body’s skin. It also prevents the occurrence of fine lines on the face.
Helpful in high blood pressure-
Olive oil controls hypertension. Olive oil used in the food also improves the blood circulation of the body. It is also good for controlling blood pressure.
Strengthen bones -
Eating food made with olive oil or massaging with its oil strengthens the bones of the body. This oil has a substantial amount of osteocalcin which helps in increasing the cells that make up the bone. Also, the use of olive oil reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Beneficial for the mind-
Olive oil is extremely useful to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, the most common brain disease. In this disease, beta-amyloid plaques forms in the brain cells. Using olive oil works to remove these plaques of brain cells. The phenolic ingredient found in olive oil prevents brain-related illnesses like Alzheimer's and Dementia. Olive oil also works to relieve stress.
Helpful in the treatment of diabetes-
Regular use of olive oil prevents diabetes. According to research, food that has an exorbitant amount of mono and polyunsaturated fats protects the body from diabetes. We find these fats in high amounts in olive oil due to which olive oil protects the body from diabetes. Olive oil regulates sugar in the body and increases sensitivity to insulin. It helps to prevent type-2 diabetes.
Side-effects of Olive oil
- Eating pickles made of olive can cause stomach cramps or constipation.
- Excessive use of olive oil can cause blackheads in the face.
- The high-fat content of olive oil can cause digestive disorders. It can also cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea.
- Excessive use of olive oil can also reduce blood pressure.
- Olive oil can cause irritation, rashes, and redness too.