- What is Olive Oil and its Types
- Benefits of Olive Oil for Hair
- Benefits of Olive Oil for Skin
- Benefits Of Olive Oil For Health
What is Olive Oil and its Types
Olive Oil is a liquid fat which is extracted from Olives (a fruit of Olea europaea) from family Oleaceae. It is the traditional crop of Mediterranean region. This oil is obtained by pressing whole olives. Olive Oil is very beneficial for your skin, hair and overall health as Olive Oil is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin E and K, monounsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) and carotenoids. It has got antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory properties. Olive Oil exhibits anti-inflammatory properties because of the presence of Oleic Acid.
The composition of Olive Oil may differ depending upon the time of harvest, altitude and extraction process. Based on these factors Olive Oil can be classified into 5 types:
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is considered as the highest grade Olive Oil. The term ‘Extra Virgin Olive Oil’ is referred to Olive Oil depending upon its production method, taste and chemical composition:
- It must come from the first pressing of fresh Olives within 24 hours of harvesting.
- Olive oil must be extracted without the use of any chemicals and by mechanical means without using excessive heat (i.e below 28 C).
- The acidity level should not be more than 0.8%.
- It should have the perfect taste and aroma of fresh Olives.
2. Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin Olive Oil also comes from the first pressing of fresh Olive whose acidity level is less than 2%. The flavour and the aroma of Virgin Olive Oil may vary from that of Extra Virgin Oil. Therefore Virgin Olive Oil is regarded as of inferior quality than that of Extra Virgin Oil
3. Refined Olive Oil
This Olive Oil is of inferior quality as it is extracted from the Olive pulp that remains after first pressing by using excess heat to extract Olive Oil. The oil thus obtained it refined further by using acids and alkalis, which results in fattier and more acidic oil which lacks the original flavour, colour and aroma of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
4. Olive Pomace Oil
It is the lowest grade of Olive Oil which is extracted from the remains or the byproducts of extra virgin olive oil production such as the seeds, olive skin and pulp which is heated and the oil is thus extracted using a solvent-hexane. The Pomace Oil thus extracted is then put through the process of refining to gain pure or light Olive Oil which lacks the distinctive characteristics of Original Olive Oil and is also very low in antioxidants.
5. Lampante Oil
Lampante Oil is the lowest grade Olive oil which is made from low-quality olives and poor processing practices. It is not fit for human consumption unless refined.
Benefits of Olive Oil for Hair
Olive Oil is beneficial for your hair growth and it effectively treats all your hair problems because of the presence of chemicals like oleic acid, palmitic acid and squalene. Olive Oil is also rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants which provide nourishment to the hair follicles and rejuvenate your hair giving it a natural shine, softness and elasticity. Let’s discuss the benefits of Olive Oil in treating various hair problems:
1. Moisturizes Your Hair
Olive Oil has an emollient property which helps to make your hair soft and smooth and keeps it moisturized. It adds shine and brings back life to your dull and lifeless hair due to the oil smoothing of the outer cuticle of the hair. Mix 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil, ½ tablespoon of honey and protein-rich egg yolk and make a smooth paste. Apply to your hair and wash off after 30 minutes. This is an excellent moisturizing pack for your hair.
2. Treats Dandruff
Dandruff is mainly caused due to dry scalp conditions. It is the white flaky substance which is found on the irritated, itchy scalp and Olive Oil is considered a very beneficial oil for treating dandruff. Olive Oil moisturizes your scalp and hair. It has got strong anti-inflammatory property due to which it helps to reduce the scalp irritation, which in turn helps reduce dandruff. Mix few drops of Lemon juice to 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil and massage well on your scalp. Lemon juice helps to loosen dandruff and Olive Oil helps to moisturize the scalp, thus treating dandruff. Leave it for 30 minutes and wash off with a mild shampoo.
3. Promotes Hair Growth
Olive Oil is very beneficial for hair growth. DHT hormone (dihydrotestosterone) is responsible for hair loss as it tends to make your hair follicle shaft narrow and Olive Oil helps to prevent this. Olive Oil also helps to maintain a healthy scalp as it fights bacterial and fungal infections, improves blood circulation which helps the essential nutrients to reach the hair follicles and thus promote hair growth. Regular massage with Olive Oil will help in hair growth.
4. Prevents Split Ends
Dry hair and scalp conditions make it easy for your hair to split off. These split ends make your hair messy and lead to an unkempt look. You can use Olive Oil on your hair to smoothen and add moisture to your hair, thus preventing breakage and split ends.
5. Manages Frizzy Hair
Olive Oil is rich in Vitamin A, E and antioxidants which helps to bring moisture back to your hair and emollient property of Olive Oil make your frizzy hair more manageable. It has a natural and deep conditioning effect on your hair which makes your frizzy or dull hair softer and smoother. Giving a hot oil massage for 30 minutes will definitely help to tame your frizzy hair.
Benefits of Olive Oil for Skin
Olive Oil is rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants which help to nourish your skin, helps to repair the damaged skin cells and forms a protective barrier on your skin. The emollient property of Olive Oil helps to make your skin soft and smooth by moisturizing your skin.
1. Reduces Wrinkles
Antioxidants present in Olive Oil helps to fight off free radicals thus helping in reducing the oxidative stress which is one of the main reasons for causing wrinkles and premature ageing. Add a few drops of Lemon juice to 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil and pinch of sea salt. Massage gently on your face. Leave it for 20 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water.
2. Moisturizes Your Skin
Olive Oil is rich in Vitamin E which helps to keep your skin moisturized and healthy. This light oil is easily absorbed by the skin and keeps it hydrated, thus making your skin soft and smooth. Regular massage with Olive Oil will help to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
3. Makeup Remover
Instead of using harsh chemicals on your skin to remove makeup, try Olive Oil as a makeup remover, which is all natural and with no side effect. Simply dab a cotton ball in Olive Oil and use it to remove makeup. Also, here are some DIY remedies for naturally removing makeup from your skin.
4. Lip Scrubber
You can get soft, supple and rosy lips with the help of Olive Oil. It also helps to treat chapped lips. Take crushed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of Olive Oil and 2 drops of Lemon Juice and apply on your lips. Leave it overnight. Olive Oil helps to moisturize your lips, and lemon juice and brown sugar help to exfoliate it.
5. Heals Cracked Heels
Olive Oil also helps to treat cracked heels. Use hot lemon water to exfoliate your heels and then massage Olive Oil on your heels to moisturize and smoothen your heels.
Benefits Of Olive Oil For Health
Olive Oil is rich in Vitamin E, K, Antioxidants, Monounsaturated fatty acids and Carotenoids which are very beneficial for your overall health.
1. Healthy Cooking
Olive Oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants which makes it healthy for cooking. Olive Oil does not oxidize while cooking whereas other vegetable oils oxidize when exposed to heat, which is not good for your health. Olive Oils is generally used in dressing salads, drizzled over fish, baked vegetables. Olive Oil has a relatively lower smoke point as compared to other oils during cooking
2. Healthy Heart
Olive Oil is rich in MUFAs (Monounsaturated Fatty Acids) which help to fight of heart diseases, maintains the level of cholesterol and controls your blood pressure, thus ensuring a healthy heart. It helps to lower the bad cholesterol in the blood and helps to prevent strokes. Olive Oil is loaded with heart-protecting polyphenols that help to lower the level cholesterols.
3. Improves Digestion
Olive Oil stimulates your digestive system as it helps the food to move smoothly through the colon. It improves your bowel movement.
4. Promotes Good Cholesterol
Olive Oil is rich in Monounsaturated Fatty acid which helps to build good cholesterol in the body and lowers the impact of bad cholesterol (i.e LDL) in the blood.
5. Helps in Depression
As per the recent study, Olive Oil is known to increase the level of Serotonin, a brain chemical also known as Happiness Hormone. It also works in the same ways as many antidepressants do towards stimulating the production of serotonin to fight depression.
6. Pain Reliever
Olive Oil also acts as a pain reliever as it has a chemical compound Oleocanthal, which is responsible for its strong anti-inflammatory properties. It can give relief from minor headaches. For body pain, massage your whole body with Olive Oil for 15 minutes and then take a hot water bath. It will make you feel rejuvenated.
7. Brain Health
Olive Oil is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and Antioxidants which are good for your brain and enhances your memory and learning power.
8. Strengthens the Bones
Olive Oil is known to strengthen your bones. A study showed that people having olive oil rich diet had a high level of Osteocalcin (chemical compound for healthy bone formation) and reduced the chances of brittle bone disease called Osteoporosis.
9. Relieves Constipation
Olive Oil acts as a mild laxative. The fats present in Olive Oil helps to smooth the sides of the bowel, making it easier for the food to move through the colon and thus prevents constipation. Taking 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil on empty stomach in the morning can relieve constipation.
10. Reduces Stretch Marks
Olive Oil is also very beneficial for pregnant women as it effectively reduces stretch marks that appear during the last 3 months of pregnancy. It gives elasticity to your skin making it easier to expand.
Thus, Olive Oil is a versatile oil which has numerous benefits for your skin, hair and health. So switch to Olive Oil and enjoy its full benefit.
So go on, include olive oil in your diet and beauty regime. Stay beautiful, stay healthy, stay strong!!
Honey has been used since ages for heath as well as skin care and hair care. Check out this snapshot of the top benefits of honey for skin & hair. Another great set of natural ingredients with versatile benefits are the essential oils. Read up on the top essential oils for your skin and the best brands that sell them.