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Health Benefits of Olives, Olive Leaves and Olive Oil

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

General Information

Latin Name: Olea europaea

This hub will focus on the benefits of olive oil. But before I get down to this, I would like to give you some information about the olive tree and olives.

The olive tree is an evergreen tree thought to have been existing for over 8000 years. The tree lives for hundreds of years and some have been verified to have been living for over 2000 years. The tree is native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa.

Olives are plucked when they are green to dark purple in colour. The colour of the olive fruit does not indicate its ripeness. Many olives start off green and turn black when fully ripe while some olives start green and remain green when ripe while some others start black and remain so when ripe. Olives are picked both unripe and when ripe.

Olives in their natural state are mostly bitter, due to the chemical glycoside that they contain naturally. To overcome this, they have to be processed or cured. There are 5 ways to cure olives viz water curing, brine curing, oil curing, lye curing and salt curing which is also called dry curing.

Green Olives

Uses Of The Olive Tree

The olive tree has been cultivated for a variety of purposes some of which are as given below :

  • For the olive fruit which is used in cooking and for extracting oil.
  • For the olive oil which is used in cooking and as salad oil. It is also used in making soaps, commercial plasters, liniments and dental cement which delay setting time of artificial dentures.
  • For the fine wood, it provides which is used for making pieces of furniture, as it has a beautiful grain and the wood is hard.
  • For the olive leaves that are used in making medicines & medicinal teas etc.
  • The water extracts of the fruit pulp are used in treating rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • The waste of the olive tree has been found to give 2 and 1/2 times the energy given by burning other types of wood. Its smoke has no negative impact on the environment and the ash can be used as fertilizer for plants.

Black Olives

Is Olive Oil Good For You ?

Olive oil is a light green to golden yellow coloured oil obtained by cold pressing of the olives. Green olives yield the bitter green oil while the black olives yield the less pungent yellow oil.

If you are not sure whether olive oil is good for you or not I place before you some facts!

Olive oil contains 77% monosaturated fatty acids, 14% saturated fatty acids and 9% polyunsaturated acids. It also contains vitamin E, K and vegetable mucilage

1 tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories and 14 gms of fat but because most of this fat is monosaturated, it is beneficial to the body and helps to reduce cardiovascular diseases, lowers cholesterol and is easily digested.
Countries like Spain, Italy and Greece have a low incidence of heart disease because these people consume olive oil a lot.

Olive oil can be washed away easily if you spill it on the hands and doesn't need a lot of water and soap. This property of olive oil benefits the body in that it is digested very fast and uses very little energy.

As you can see from the above, the benefits of olive oil are quite amazing.

Olive oil is used in cooking, cosmetics, medicines and soap making. It is also used in religious rituals.

Types Of Olive Oil

Olive oil is available in the following varieties :

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    This is the best in quality obtained from the first pressing of the olives and is the least processed. It has less than 1% acidity.
  • Virgin Olive Oil.

    It is the second pressed oil. The acidity is about 1.5%.
  • Pure & Light Olive Oil

    After pressing some filtering and refining is done. A little Extra virgin Oil is added to the refined olive oil.
  • Extra Light Olive Oil

    Considerable processing is done. It retains a very mild olive flavour.

How To Use Olive Oil For Beauty

Olive Oil Nutrition Facts

Olives contain a variety of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Some of them are phenols, terpenes, flavons, anthocyanidins, flavonols, hydroxybenzoic acids and hydroxyphenyl acetic acids. They also contain vitamin E and Vitamin K in good amounts.

Olive Oil Nutrition

 Olive oil (Olea europaea) 

 

Nutritional value per 100 g.

 

 

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

 

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy

884 Kcal

44%

Carbohydrates

0 g

0%

Protein

0 g

0%

Total Fat

100 g

500%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

0 g

0%

Vitamins

 

 

Folates

0 mcg

0%

Niacin

0 mg

0%

Pantothenic acid

0 mg

0%

Pyridoxine

0 mg

0%

Riboflavin

0 mg

0%

Thiamin

0 mg

0%

Vitamin A

0 IU

0%

Vitamin C

0

0%

Vitamin E

14.39 mg

96%

Vitamin K

60.2 mcg

50%

Electrolytes

 

 

Sodium

2 mg

0%

Potassium

1 mg

0%

Minerals

 

 

Calcium

1 mg

0%

Copper

0 mg

0%

Iron

0.56 mg

7%

Magnesium

0 mg

0%

Manganese

0 mg

0%

Phosphorus

0 mg

0%

Selenium

0 mcg

0%

Zinc

0.01 mg

<1%%

Phyto-nutrients

 

 

Carotene

0 mcg

--

Crypto-xanthin

0 mcg

--

Lutein-zeaxanthin

0 mcg

--

Phytosterols

221 mg

--

 

 

 

Olive Oil Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

  • Olive oil stimulates the metabolism, helps digestion and soothes the mucous lining of the skin.
  • It relieves constipation and other stomach ailments, has antioxidant benefits, lowers cholesterol and controls ear problems.
  • Olive oil controls dandruff and hair loss, moisturizes the skin, reduces stretch marks and makes bones strong.
  • It helps in controlling diabetes, obesity, hypertension and blood pressure.
  • It also helps in prevention of gall stones, cancer especially colon cancer, soothes ulcers and acts as a natural pain reliever.
  • It helps in reducing bone loss due to its vitamin K content.
  • Vitamin K also helps in limiting brain damage in Alzheimer's.

Olive Oil Health Benefits

For Digestion

Take 1 tsp of olive oil on an empty stomach to stimulate digestion and remove flatulence and heartburn and correct stomach upsets.

For constipation

In the morning take 1 tsp olive oil in a glass of lemon juice on empty stomach.

Also, take enema made from 5 ounces of olive oil in 20 ounces of boiling water after cooling to lukewarm state.

For Ear Problems

Put a few drops of warm olive oil in the blocked ear. Lie for 5 minutes and then turn over so that the oil flows out. Do not do this if you have a perforated eardrum.

In Earache

Soak a cotton pad in olive oil. Put 5 drops of lavender oil on this. Place the pad in the outer ear loosely till the pain subsides.

In Hair Loss

Massage the head with oil daily for a week at night. Wash in the morning.

In Dandruff

Warm a little olive oil and massage into the scalp. Wrap a towel around and leave for 1/2 an hour then wash the hair.

For Dry Skin

Apply olive oil daily. Can also be applied on stretch marks to lighten them.

For Weak Nails

Add 1 tsp lemon juice to 3 tsp lukewarm olive oil. Soak the nails in this. Wear gloves and keep overnight. It helps in making nails stronger.

In Lowering Cholesterol

The monounsaturated fatty acids lower the LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels but do not affect the HDL levels. Try to use olive oil in place of butter or other oils in cooking. Minimum 15% of the daily calories should come from unsaturated fatty acids to lower cholesterol.

Olive Oil Uses

Other than it being used in cooking and the health benefits of olive oil, it has many non-conventional uses as well.

  • It helps in taming tangled hair as it moisturizes the hair.
  • It can ease snoring. Taking a sip of the oil before going to bed helps in lubricating the throat muscles.
  • Silverware, copperware, and other metals can be given a final rub with olive oil to prevent streaks and tarnish.
  • To clean furniture add a few drops on a cloth and wipe.
  • Stuck zippers can benefit from a rub of some olive oil on the teeth of the zipper.
  • It can also help in preventing squeaky hinges when lubricated.

Safety Factor

Olive oil can be used daily. It has no allergic agents, unlike some other oils.


Olive Oil Care

  • Do not place olive oil a lighted and hot place. The oil will oxidise and become rancid fast.
  • Refrigeration is not advised as condensation in the bottle may affect the flavour of the oil.
  • Cold weather can make the oil turn cloudy or it can solidify. It turns back to its liquid state when kept at room temperature.
  • Dark coloured glass containers, porcelain or stainless steel are best for storing olive oil.
  • Never store olive oil in plastic or metal containers.
  • Always keep the cap of the bottle firmly closed.

Olive Leaf

Medicinal uses of Olive Leaf

About Olive Leaf

The leaves of the olive tree are used in alternative medicine. The leaves contain primarily the antioxidants oleuropein, and hydroxytyrosol, other polyphenols and flavonoids.

The leaves have the ability to inhibit the reproduction of many natural pathogens. They are also used in getting relief from cold, flu, yeast and viral infections. They also reduce LDL, the bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, help in post-stroke recovery, reduce brain oedema, treat some tumours and cancers.

The leaves can be consumed as a liquid concentrate, a dried leaf tea, as powder or capsule form.
The fresh leaf extracts in liquid form are the most healing due to the wide range of healing compounds contained in it.

Conversion Chart Source http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/conversion-chart

ConversionChart

Use olive oil instead

of butter or margarine

Butter/Margarine

Olive Oil

1 teaspoon

3/4 teaspoon

1 tablespoon

2 1/4 teaspoons

2 tablespoons

1 1/2 tablespoons

1/4 cup

3 tablespoons

1/3 cup

1/4 cup

1/2 cup

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons

2/3 cup

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon

1 cup

3/4 cup

Other Hubs on Olive Oil

  • Put Olive Oil on your Skin Today
    When you knоw thе benefits оf Olive Oil tо your skin, you will bе іn a hurry tо put thіs valuable oil оn your skin today. Sіnce very long time, Ancient Egyptians uѕed thіѕ blessed oil аs a remedy fоr ѕo mаny ailments, аnd іt іs...
  • The Many Uses of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can use. It can be a key ingredient in many home remedies, from beauty treatments to pet care. You can even use it to clean your house. Read this hub to find out how.
  • Natural way to induce labor using olive oil
    The natural ways to induce labor are safe, effective alternatives to invasive medical inductions but should only be used for valid reasons. But before you use any natural labor induction variation listed below, you must consult your doctor or homeopa
  • 8 Uses for Olive Oil (That Have Nothing to do with Food)
    Olive oil is something that you almost certainly have in your kitchen cupboard. Most of us use it to fry up the foods that we love or to top off salads. However, cooking isn't the only thing that olive oil can be used for. In fact, it can be used...

Some of my Other Hubs on Healthy Foods

  • Health Benefits Of Ajwain Or Carom Seeds
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  • The Health Benefits Of Cloves And Clove Oil
    Cloves, one of the oldest spices in use today, were at one time, worth their weight in gold. The most traded spice in ancient times, cloves are a veritable treasure house of healing properties. To know the health benefits of cloves and clove oil and
  • 15 Must Have Foods To Eat When Pregnant
    Pregnancy is the time in a woman's life when she has to be very particular about what she eats because she now has to eat for her increasing bodily needs as well as the growing fetus that she is carrying. To know which foods will provide the extremel
  • Tomatoes Health Benefits And Benefits During Pregnancy
    Tomatoes are a phytonutrient rich food that are available the year round and are very healthy.To learn about the benefits of tomatoes in gout, diabetes and other diseases, read on ....

Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer for you.

  1. Did you know about these benefits of olive oil?
    • yes
    • no
    • most of them
    • some of them
  2. Are you using olive oil?
    • yes
    • no
    • sometimes
  3. Would you change over to olive oil usage now?
    • yes
    • no
    • don't know
    • maybe
  4. Did you find the hub informative?
    • yes
    • no
    • somewhat

Scoring

Use the scoring guide below to add up your total points based on your answers.

  1. Did you know about these benefits of olive oil?
    • yes: +5 points
    • no: +0 points
    • most of them: +4 points
    • some of them: +2 points
  2. Are you using olive oil?
    • yes: +5 points
    • no: +0 points
    • sometimes: +3 points
  3. Would you change over to olive oil usage now?
    • yes: +5 points
    • no: +0 points
    • don't know: +0 points
    • maybe: +2 points
  4. Did you find the hub informative?
    • yes: +5 points
    • no: +0 points
    • somewhat: +3 points

Interpreting Your Score

A score between 0 and 6 means: You are not much aware of the health aspects of olive oil.

A score between 7 and 12 means: you need to be more aware of the healthy oils. Try to include olive oil in your food.

A score between 13 and 16 means: You are marginally aware of the benefits of olive oil and must try to use it to find out for yourself its benefits.

A score between 17 and 18 means: you are aware of the the benefits of olive oil and congratulations for using it.

A score between 19 and 20 means: You are very aware of the benefits of olive oil and congratulations for using it.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.

Kalamata Olive Butter Recipe

Marinated Olives Recipe

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2011 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 03, 2014:

Thanks and I appreciate the read and comments, living abroad.

livingabroad from Wales, UK on May 26, 2014:

I usually drizzle a bit over my salad but never thought of having a tablespoon on an empty stomach, or an enema driven by olive oil (please seek professional advice!). Although, suffering from dry skin, I think I'll stick to moisturizers!

Excellent read. Up and things

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 14, 2013:

I would suggest that olive oil not be used for deep frying. It is better to use as little heat with olive oil to maintain its health benefits. Nowadays at Easyday you get 1+1 schemes on olive oil. Keep a watch and you can buy then. But purchase pure olive oil, not the one with pomace oil.

Thanks for stopping by.

sweetie1 from India on April 14, 2013:

We have been trying to cook more and more in olive oil but since it is very costly still In India so we do not deep fry in it.. rest we make in olive oil.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 05, 2012:

Hi susan, I'm glad you liked the post. Thanks for stopping by and posting your comments.

susan on May 05, 2012:

This is such a great blog post! I am so pleased it came out well! Appreciating the hard work you put into your site and detailed information you present. It’s awesome blog.

http://all4payday.com

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 26, 2012:

Did you hear me chuckle, sholland! You'd better be careful!!

Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on February 25, 2012:

LOL! I will Rajan... I will have to be sneaky about it. He will probably shut his mouth just as I am about to drop some olive oil in. That would be a mess! LOL :-)

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 25, 2012:

@ sholland10. Thanks for stopping by. I'm heartened you found it worth to share and link. Do keep me posted on the bit about snoring. Thanks.

@ robie2. Great to learn that you found this hub useful. Many thanks for reading and the votes and the bookmarking of course.

@ AudreyHowitt. Nice to read that you could find this informational. Thanks for being here and appreciating.

@ fpher48. Well, you already are one up on me in that olive oil use has been a tradition in your family. Thanks for sharing all the information. Glad to see you visit and leave your appreciation. Thank you.

Suzie from Carson City on February 25, 2012:

rajan...I have a gallon of pure olive oil in my kitchen at all times. It's all my grandmother and mother ever used....so it was just a matter of following family habits.

Olive oil is all that you say it is. The info you have provided is invaluable.

Olive oil and wine vinegar is all I ever use as a dressing for my salads. I am so emphatic about this, I carry tiny bottles of each when we go out to dinner, in case they are not available. I never ruin a salad with bottled dressing. Great hub! 3 cheers for olive oil and OLIVES!!

Audrey Howitt from California on February 25, 2012:

Great hub! I did not know that olive leaves were also used--Thank you!

Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on February 25, 2012:

I knew olive oil was good for you, but had no idea just how good until I read this-- great info and I'm really interested as I use olive oil almost exclusively for cooking and salads yayyyyyyy. Voting up and bookmarking this for sure.

Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on February 25, 2012:

Rajan, this is wonderful information! I like the part about olive oil helping with snoring. I told my husband I was getting a dropper to put a drop of oil down his throat when he snores! :-) Votes and shared and linked to my Olive Obsession hub! :-)

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 24, 2012:

Thanks and hope you got the needed info. thanks for stopping by.

Tricia from Scotland on February 24, 2012:

Thanks for this hub. I was on a business start up course this week where one of the other participants is starting olive oil importing business, so its rather timely that I read this thanks.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 23, 2012:

Hi kaliskadavis, thank you for putting in so many nice words. I sincerely hope you benefit from this read. Thank you so much for appreciating.

Kaliska Davis from United State on February 23, 2012:

I am very glad to found such useful and interesting post. I have never seen before, I gained a lot of knowledge after read this post and appreciate your task which will be advantageous for me.

Thanks for sharing this.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 26, 2011:

spsingh, nice to have a new reader. thanks for reading and finding it informative.

spsingh from iwebeffects.com on December 26, 2011:

nice hub very informative i was unaware about benefits of olive !!!! Thanks

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 14, 2011:

@ rjsadowski, Thanks for stopping by and appreciating. researching took quite some time.

@ Ruchira, glad to see you again. We in India, are not used to consuming olives or olive oil more because of the high cost and the low awareness of their health benefits. Researching about this topic opened up much new information to me. I am glad I could share it here.

Thanks for appreciating.

@ imkd, thanks for being here and leaving your comments.

imkd on December 13, 2011:

nice.. i didn't know more about the Minerals but i have to know and this is perfect to know about olive oils.

Ruchira from United States on December 13, 2011:

Such an informative hub Rajan.

Your widget was a new addition and I liked it :)

you always keep me informed on the things that I use daily but, do not know the MANY uses of it. Thank you!!

rjsadowski on December 13, 2011:

I was poing to rate this hub as useful until I saw all of the work that you put into it. Awesome!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 13, 2011:

@ awordlover. Thanks for stopping by and leaving appreciative comments. I'm glad you found this useful. Thanks for voting it up.

@ JCielo. Nice to have a new reader who is health concious as well. Really happy to note you are a regular user of this excellent fruit. thanks for stopping by.

@ Hello, hello, nice to see you here again. Thanks for all the appreciation. maybe you could try using a little of olive oil. I agree its expensive but good stuff never comes cheap. Thanks for stopping by.

@ GClark. Thanks for stopping by. The point you have raised is very pertinent. Extra Virgin olive oil has a low smoke point as compared to the Extra light olive oil which has a high smoke point making the latter ideal for frying, baking or cooking. The lower smoke point of the extra virgin oil would make it more likely for the fats in it to break, the flavor to reduce and the generation of cancer causing compounds. the extra virgin olive oil is best used for salad dressings or as a topping.

@ Crescentmoon, thanks for being here, appreciating and the vote up.

Cresentmoon2007 from Caledonia, MI on December 13, 2011:

Voted up. This is great information that I didn't know before about olive oil.

GClark from United States on December 13, 2011:

Voted Up! Another useful and interesting hub. I was left with a question - My choice in olive oil has always been the Extra Virgin Olive Oil - had no idea there were so many other choices such as the one you mentioned that has very little olive oil in it. Why would someone want that one? As it seems to have been processed the most would think that would make it the least desirable.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on December 13, 2011:

A great article with comprehensive information. I would love to use olice oil but it is so expensive which. at the moment, can't afford it. Thank you for a brilliant hub.

JCielo from England on December 13, 2011:

I live in Spain and consume a lot of olive oil as most Spaniards do. I fact we have 4 very productive olive trees in our garden. We put olive oil on vegetables, salads, fish, meat, etc. One of the things I really like with my coffee in the morning is lightly toasted bread with olive oil on top plus a VERY LITTLE salt. It's really tasy!

awordlover on December 13, 2011:

Another excellent hub. Very useful info. Voted up, useful & interesting. :-)