Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Benefits of Olive Oil

Although the olive tree originated in Asia, it has been cultivated for over 3,000 years in Mediterranean countries, where much of the olive crop is used to the olive crop is used to the olive crop is used to make olive oil. In this process, olives are pitted and ground to a thick pulp. The pulp is then pressed to remove the juices, which are placed in a centrifuge to separate the water from the oil. One tablespoon of olive oil. One tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories and 14 grams of fat, but the fat is mostly monounsaturated; it has a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels and is easily digested. In those countries where olive oil is consumed extensively, such as Greece, Italy and Spain, there is a low incidence of cardiovascular diseases. The mild vegetable mucilage in olive oil protects the body's digestive tract. Ancient civilizations used olive oil to help heal wounds. Today, it is considered a good remedy for skin problems and an effective moisturizer.

Choose The Highest Quality Olive OilUse only olive oil that is labeled "extra virgin." This guarantees that the oil has been cold-pressed from freshly harvested olives and does not contain chemicals. Extra virgin olive oil supplies the best flavor and oil that is golden-yellow in color is of higher quality than green.

Extra Tip

Olive oil can help build strong fingernails and soften cuticles. Before bed, soak your nails in a mixture of lukewarm olive oil and lemon juice.Put on soft cloth gloves an let the oil penetrate overnight. Your nails will gradually become and chipping.

Therapeutic Effect:

Taken internally, olive oil stimulates metabolism, promotes digestion and lubricates mucous membranes . It can also be applied externally to treat dry skin.

ComponentsOlive oil contains 77 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, 14 percent saturated fatty acids and 9 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids, plus vegetable mucilage and vitamin E.

Help for the digestive tract
Take 1 tbsp. of olive oil on an empty stomach to stimulate digestion and relieve upset stomach, flatulence and heartburn.

Olive oil for constipation
In the morning, take 1 tsp. of olive oil mixed with lemon juice on an empty stomach. Or try an enema made from 5 oz. of olive oil in 20 0z. of boiling water, cooled to lukewarm.

The antioxidant benefit
The vitamin E in olive oil is an antioxidant. In addition, monounsaturated fatty acids are less easily damaged by oxygen than other types of fat. They are therefore less likely to produce free radicals, which damage cell membranes and contribute to several diseases.

  • To lower Blood cholesterol levels
    The monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil help lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels without affecting HDL ("good") cholesterol or triglyceride levels. To lower your cholesterol, at least 15 percent of your daily calories should come from monounsaturated fatty acids.Whenever possible, use olive oil in place of butter or other vegetable oils in cooking, in preparing dressings for salads or vegetables and in making sandwiches.

  • To treat ear complaints
    To clear stopped-up ears, put a few drops of lukewarm olive oil in the affected ear. Lie for 5 min. on the opposite side, then turn over, so that the olive oil can flow out again. (Do not put any liquid in your ear if you think you may have a perforated eardrum!) For earaches, soak a cotton pad in olive oil, then add 5 drops of lavender oil. Place it loosely in your outer ear until the pain abates.

  • To prevent hair lossMassage the scalp with olive oil every evening for eight days. Let it work overnight and wash it out in the morning.

  • To moisturize skinApply daily to dry spots or stretch marks.


A part of the same botanical family as onions, scallions and garlics, chives grow from small bulbs and have a long history of culinary and medicinal uses. In the Middle Ages, chives were promoted as a cure for melancholy and believed to drive away evil spirits. Today, we know that chives and chive flowers are high in vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. Therefore, they should be routinely added to recipes to help restore vital nutrients lost in cooking. This herb's tangy, aromatic taste comes from its high concentration of sulfur compounds and other essential oils, which are also partly responsible for its healing properties. Chives ease stomach distress, protect against heart disease and stroke and may help the body fight bacteria that can cause disease. In addition, the herb may increase the body's ability to digest fat.

Therapeutic Effect:
  • The medicinal properties of chives are as varied as their uses in the kitchen.
  • Chive simulate the appetite and promote good digestion.
  • They can be used to ease stomach upset, clear a stuffy nose, reduce flatulence and prevent bad breath.
  • Combines with a low-salt diet, they help lower high blood pressure.
  • Plus, they have a mild diuretic effect, as well as some antibacterial properties.
  • Chives are valued for their many essential minerals, including cardiac-friendly potassium, bone-strengthening calcium and blood-building iron.
  • And unlike most other members of the onion family, chives are high in folic acid (a B vitamin), vitamin A and vitamin C.
  • In fact, just 3 1/2oz. of chives supplies enough vitamin C meet your daily requirement of 60 mg.
Extra Tip
  • If you like the oniony flavor of chives, make your own chive salt to add zip to all sorts of dishes. First, add some chives to some salt. Then bake the mixture in the oven to dry the leaves and blend the flavors. Store in an airtight jar.
Kitchen Hints
  • cut chives just before you are ready to use them to preserve their vitamins, aroma and flavor. Chives are delicate; to prevent the loss of essential oils, snip them with kitchen shears rather than chopping or grinding them.

  • Don't heat chives or they will lose their digestive properties.

  • Grow chives at home in a pot on the windowsill. Wait until the plant reaches about 6 inches in height before cutting. Harvest the chive leaves frequently to prevent blooming unless you specifically want to use the flawers. Once the plant blooms, the leaves become much less flavorful.

  • Freeze chives for future use. Frozen chives tend to retain more flavor than dried chives. Snip fresh chives into small pieces, then place them in an ice-cube tray and fill it with water. To thaw, put a chive cube in a strainer.


The thread-like, feathery leaves of the dill plant make it easy to spot the herb growing in the garden. A member of the botanical family Umbelliferae, dill is related to carrots and parsley. In ancient civilizations, this herb was so prized that it was even accepted as a means of payment. Today, the leaves and the seeds of dill are highly valued both for their culinary appeal. The essential oils found in dill seeds make it a versatile naturopathic remedy, especially for stomach and intestinal problems, mild insomnia, nervous ailments, flatulence and heartburn. Moreover, dill is widely prescribed for many diseases of the liver and gallbladder and is often recommended to treat gastric problems in children because of its mild but effective action. In the kitchen, this familiar herb becomes a flavorful addition to many dishes, nicely accenting fish and poultry, as well as potatoes, cucumber and cheese.

Therapeutic Effect:
  • The essential oils in dill help calm a nervous stomach and alleviate bloating, flatulence and some liver and gall bladder ailments.

  • They also kill intestinal bacteria that can cause diarrhea.

  • A tea made from dill seeds stimulates milk production in nursing mothers and soothes colic in babies.

  • Eat dill in moderation, however, because excess amounts can impede kidney functioning
  • Dill leaves contain some vitamin C, folic acid, beta-carotene and potassium.

  • The seeds are rich in calcium and iron and provide some dietary fiber.The curative effect of the seeds is greater than that of the leaves because the seeds contain more essential oils.

  • The oils are also responsible for dill's flavor, which is similar to that of fennel-spicy and a little sweet.
For Insomnia:
  • To make a natural sleep aid, pour boiling water over 1 teaspoon of crushed dill seed and 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs; steep and strain. Drink this soothing liquid before bedtime.
Extra Tip
  • Dill seeds make excellent breath fresheners. The essential oils disinfect the mouth, helping to kill the bacteria that contribute to bad breath. Chew on a small amount of seeds between meals.
Kitchen Hints
  • Freshly cut dill can be stored in perforated foil fouches in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. When frozen, dill completely retains its flavor and aroma.
  • Dried dill is frequently used to pickle cucumbers, cabbage and other vegetable s and to flavor steamed vegetables. Because dill loses much of its flavor in drying, dill in its dried form must be used in much greater quantities than when fresh.
  • Fresh dill makes a tasty vinegar. Pour 1 qt. of white wine over 2 oz. of fresh dill; let stand for 3-4 weeks.
  • Dill adds zip to mayonnaise. Blend some mayonnaise with dill seeds or fresh dill, a few drops of lemon juice, black pepper and a little mustard.
  • Dill leaves or seeds can prevent bloating. They are an ideal addition to cabbage dishes because dill can prevent the bloating that cabbage causes.