Health Benefits Of Olives

What is Olive?

Olive is a tree. People use the oil from the fruit and seeds, water extracts of the fruit, and the leaves to make medicine.

Olive oil is used to prevent heart attack and stroke (cardiovascular disease), breast cancercolorectal cancerrheumatoid arthritis, and migraine headache.

Some people use olive oil to treat constipationhigh cholesterolhigh blood pressure, blood vessel problems associated with diabetes, and pain associated ear infectionsarthritis, and gallbladder disease. Olive oil is also used to treat jaundiceintestinal gas, and meteorism (swelling of the abdomen due to gas).

Some people also use olive oil to boost bacteria in the gut and as a “cleanser” or “purifier.”

Olive oil is applied to the skin (used topically) for earwax, ringing ears (tinnitus), pain in the ears, lice, wounds, minor burnspsoriasisstretch marks due to pregnancy, and for protecting the skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage after sun exposure.

In foods, olive oil is used as a cooking and salad oil.

In manufacturing, olive oil is used to make soaps, commercial plasters and liniments; and to delay setting in dental cements.

Olive oil is classified, in part, according to acid content, measured as free oleic acid. Extra virgin olive oil contains a maximum of 1% free oleic acid, virgin olive oil contains 2%, and ordinary olive oil contains 3.3%. Unrefined olive oils with more than 3.3% free oleic acid are considered “unfit for human consumption.”

Olive oil that is mixed with a gas called ozone (ozonated olive oil) is promoted for everything from bee stings and insect bites to bacterial and fungal skin infections to cancer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows the use of ozone to fight bacteria on food, including meat and poultry, but the food industry has been slow to adopt it. Ozone is extremely unstable and must be produced on site. Topical olive oil products that are claimed to contain ozone are unlikely to remain stable during shipping. There are no clinically proven medical uses of ozone or ozonated olive oil. Antibacterial agents that are applied to the skin are a better choice.

Olive leaf is used for treating viral, bacterial, and other infections including influenzaswine flu, the common cold, meningitis, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), encephalitisherpesshinglesHIV/ARC/AIDS, and hepatitis B. Olive leaf is also used for pneumoniachronic fatiguetuberculosis (TB); gonorrheafevermalaria; dengue; “blood poisoning” (bacterial infections in the bloodstream); severe diarrhea; and infections in the teeth, ears, and urinary tract, and infections following surgery. Other uses include high blood pressurediabeteshay fever, improving kidney and digestive function, and increasing urine flow.

Likely Effective for…

  • Constipation. Taking olive oil by mouth is effective for reducing constipation.

Possibly Effective for…

  • Breast cancer. People who consume more olive oil in their diet seem to have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Heart disease. Replacing saturated fats in the diet with olive oil can reduce risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. Adding olive oil to the diet seems to help prevent a first heart attack. Some research shows a high dietary intake of olive oil (54 grams/day; about 4 tablespoons) can reduced the risk of first heart attack by 82% when compared with a low intake of 7 grams of olive oil or less per day. Including 1 liter per week of extra-virgin olive oil in a Mediterranean diet for around 5 years also seems to help prevent heart attacks and strokes in people over age 55 who have diabetes or a combination of heart disease risk factors (smokinghigh blood pressure, high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, overweight, or with a family history of heart disease). A Mediterranean diet has high intakes of fruit, nuts, vegetables and cereals, moderate intake of fish and poultry, and low intake of dairy products, red meat, processed meats, and sweets.
    The FDA now allows labels on olive oil and on food that contains olive oil to state that limited, but not conclusive evidence, suggests that consuming 23 grams/day (about 2 tablespoons) of olive oil instead of saturated fats may reduce the risk of heart disease. Read More

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