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Uses for olive oil beyond the kitchen

5 April 2016

Which common foodstuff can also relax your muscles and soothe migraines and earache? Olive oil, of course! Ever since it was discovered, olive oil has revealed a whole series of medicinal properties that have helped create medicines and pharmacological products for treating a wide range of ailments, in the form of ointments, drinks and patches, among others. We’ve known about these properties for a long time—in Babylonian culture, physicians were referred to as “experts in oils”—but over the centuries we’ve lost the knowledge of these healing properties. So here are some of the most popular, and effective, remedies that make use of olive oil.

Tone your muscles. Olive oil has been used as a massage oil from time immemorial, because it helps relax muscles and nerves. To help combat muscle fatigue in general (back, chest, feet…), apply a balm of olive oil, camomile flowers, two cloves of garlic and brandy. Simply mix the ingredients together, leave for nine days and store in a small bottle. Shake well before use. Another great recipe for muscle pain calls for 250 ml of olive oil and 100 g of jasmine flowers: mix together well and leave for 15 days. Strain before use.

Stop migraines. If you suffer from recurring splitting headaches, mix 50 g of camomile flowers with 500 ml of virgin olive oil and leave in the sun for 15 days. Use this highly effective ointment to rub into your neck and forehead.

Strong bones. Olive oil is also a wonderful balm for weak bones. There’s even a recipe for easing (though not for curing) the pain of arthritis. Simply mix 500 ml of extra-virgin olive oil with 80 g of camomile flowers and leave in the sun for 20 days. Strain and use the emulsion as a massage oil. An olive-oil rub along the nerves in your backbone does wonders for aches, pains and backaches.

Say goodbye to constipation. A number of folk remedies use olive oil as a key ally against constipation. One of the simplest is to take two spoonfuls of olive oil religiously every morning with a couple of drops of lemon juice. Or you can drink camomile tea with a soupspoonful of virgin olive oil. Stir well before use.

Fighting rheumatism. To help soothe your arm and leg joints, make an ointment for external use by mixing olive oil together with some camphor. Massage the affected area to banish the pain. There’s also an oral remedy that involves boiling some cabbage leaves, onion, carrot and lemon juice in water; add some drops of olive oil and drink a cup every hour.

Loud and clear. Last but not least, one of the best-known medicinal uses of olive oil is to treat earache. Simply put a few drops of lukewarm olive oil into your ear and cover with a piece of cloth soaked in olive oil. Try it out at home and you’ll see that olive oil can work wonders outside as well as inside the kitchen.

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