Olive oil for Herbal Naturopathy: properties, benefits, uses, side effects

Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat composed almost entirely of triglycerides; the most represented fatty acids are oleic, linoleic and palmitic. Food with multiple virtues, it contributes to body growth, to the process of myelination of the brain and to the formation of bones. Let’s find out better.

Characteristics of olive oil

Olive oil is obtained from the fruits (drupes) of the olive tree, which belongs to the Dicotyledons, family Olacee , genus Olea , species Olea Europaea L.  The olive oil is obtained by cold pressure of the pulp of olives and, as we all know, it is a fluid-looking oil with a characteristic scent and a color ranging from golden yellow to green.

It is one of the richest in oleic acid (about 62%), the most abundant of the long-chain monounsaturated fatty acids present in our body, with great nourishing and emollient properties for the skin.

In addition to oleic acid, olive oil contains about 15% linoleic acid, 15% palmitic acid and 2% stearic acid.

It also contains an unsaponifiable fraction ranging from 1 to 2% and which provides this oil with a significant concentration of  antioxidant active ingredients  including: phenolic compounds, chlorophyll, Vitamin E, phytosterols with restorative and anti-inflammatory action and squalene, one of the main components of the skin surface.

They say about him

According to a study the monounsaturated acids of olive oil have a protective action against the breasts of women.

The women underwent mammograms, completed a self-administered frequency questionnaire and were followed up. with care and zeal.

Data was collected by the Swedish Cancer Registry to determine who in the group developed breast cancer during the study period. The data obtained led the researchers to highlight a potential protective action of monounsaturated fats : the study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine .

Olive oil, ally of

Cardio- circulatory system , bones, skin

Properties of olive oil

Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat composed almost entirely of triglycerides ; the most represented fatty acids are oleic, linoleic and palmitic. It is a food with multiple virtues.

Indispensable during childhood as it contributes to body growth, the process of myelination of the brain and the formation of bones, the oil is also an adjuvant in resistance to infections.

During adulthood it is effective in preventing arterial and heart disorders , and lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood. In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease, it has an anti- aging function for the skin and bones as it is rich in vitamin E, which protects against decalcification , osteoporosis and fractures. Among the constituents, together with vitamin E, beta- carotene (provitamin A) and a whole series of antioxidant substances such as phenolic compounds.

Curiosities about olive oil

For the Greeks, oil was precious. Not only did the athletes anoint themselves with olive oil before fighting hand-to-hand, but the winners of the Olympics received a wreath of olive branches and obtained amphorae of oil as a prize, in addition to the hatred of poets and priceless respect. by citizens. 

The oil harvesting process passes through very delicate phases: from placing the olives in special racks to washing and pressing. From the first pressing come the two most precious olive oils: the extra virgin olive oil and the superfine virgin olive oil. From the second pressing of the same olives, fine virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil are obtained. The phases of oil extraction are instead three: pressing, kneading, extraction.

Among the Phoenician and Cretan peoples, oil had initiatory functions and was above all a source of light, not only in a metaphorical sense: it was the Phoenicians who spread the use of the oil lamp.

Homer, in the Odyssey, tells of the offer that the goddess Athena made to Ulysses: a vial of olive oil, through which the hero regained strength and beauty. Pliny the Elder instead dedicated an entire chapter of his Naturalis historia to the olive tree and its virtuous properties ( Chap. XVII ).

A recipe up your sleeve

Essential for preparing saut√©es, dressing vegetable salads, grilled toasted bread, in the oven or in the toaster, soups and soups, olive oil is the prince of the typical recipes of the Mediterranean gastronomic tradition. We suggest a very simple, very traditional recipe: the so-called pan bagna with olives .

You need homemade bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, capers, anchovies and, of course, olive oil. Slice a loaf of homemade bread, about a couple of slices per person. On top of each slice, arrange slices of tomatoes and cucumbers, alternating them, and add olives, capers and anchovy fillets. Season with salt and let golden strands of olive oil fall.


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