BY JAMES HENRY COOK.
IF there can be any question regarding the statement that “All foods are medicine and all medicines are food,” there is certainly no question that olives and olive oil are both food and medicine. Olive oil provides the purest fat obtainable and in it bacteria cannot live. Those who recognizes its wonderful medicinal properties and the many uses to which it can be put will never fail to keep a bottle of pure olive oil in the house. One cannot be made acquainted with olive oil too young.
In olive growing countries many children, as soon as born, are anointed with olive oil. This provides a far safer cleanser for infants delicate skin than soap and water and they have been known to thus gain weight prior to food of any kind being administered by the mouth. It also provides for them the best possible preventative for constipation where dairy milk is given. It is far preferable also to dusting powder to prevent chafing after the bath.
For adults also it is far superior to the nauseating cod-liver oil; or when emulsified with malt extract (Olivhonie) to the much advertised cod-liver oil and malt. Dr. A.B. Olsen says, “A very wholesome preparation for those who are in decline or lacking in flesh, is olive oil combined with barley malt.” Unlike mineral oils, such as refined paraffin, that are merely mechanical in action, pure olive oil mixes with other foods and assists their digestion and the natural disposal of waste matter.
A spoonful of olive oil sipped by speakers who suffer with throat troubles will be found very beneficial. For gastric catarrh and like digestive troubles, olive oil will be found of great service -use one tablespoonful of olive oil and one of honey in a glass of hot water twice a day.
To most it is highly palatable taken by itself, but for those who find it otherwise, it can be taken with orange, lemon or grape juice. There is nothing like it for coughs, colds and sore throats – a teaspoonful kept in the mouth as long as possible becomes thoroughly emulsified, and is easily assimilated by the weakest digestions. Swimmers have found it excellent for keeping out the cold, when their bodies have first been well rubbed with it.
It is quickly absorbed by the skin, and if rubbed over the body it is said to have the power of sustaining life for long periods, even when no food is taken by the stomach. Many persons given up by physicians to die of consumption have regained health and life form the use of pure olive oil.
Those who desire a clear complexion should use it freely. The warm complexion of the Italian and Sicilian women and their clear skins are a standing testimony to the virtues of the oil which holds so important a place in their national dietary.
In all cases of want of assimilation, emaciation, or where there is a consumptive tendency, the oil is invaluable. The journal of the American Medical Association, quoting from Dr. Paget in The Lancet, states that “Splendid results are derived in treatment of typhoid fever by slowly administering every twelve or fifteen hours an enema of a pint of olive oil. The daily administration is discontinued after one week, and then may be given only when the temperature is elevated, or the bowels constipated.
If diarrhoea is present olive oil should always be given.” He claims that the death rate under this treatment is nil. These are but a few of the many uses pure olive oil can be put to, for it is not only the finest fresh former known, but also the most easily digested. In addition it has many uses for external purposes.
Lord Walsingham wrote in the daily press, “A few drops rubbed on a wasp sting will immediately stop the burning sensation and prevent swelling. I have tried it with invariable success, notably in the case of a keeper in an almost fainting condition, with some thirty stings in the back of the neck.
All other remedies I have tried are distinctly inferior to olive oil.” For burns, sores, cuts, scratches, sore feet, chapped hands, rough, broken or sunburnt skins an application of olive oil will have a wonderful healing effect. Sufferers from earache find a few drops of warm olive oil work wonders.
When “safety” cycles first came into general use, following the “penny-farthing” machines, the writer used to spend most of his holidays cycling. In those days saddles were not as comfortable as they are to-day. Many of his holidays would have been curtailed but for the wonderful healing properties of olive oil applied to the affected parts. Amateur gardeners, of both sexes, find a spot or two of olive oil rubbed in to the hands smooth and white, while dirt and grime will be much more readily removed.
The same treatment applied to rough hands will soon render them smooth and of presentable appearance. For lumbago and similar troubles olive oil mixed with cayenne pepper and applied to the affected parts by means of a woollen bandage will do much to create the circulation necessary to remove the trouble. One of the best possible exercises to prevent lumbago and similar troubles is to rub the body all over after a bath, with the hands, using the minimum drops of olive oil with the maximum of rubbing.
No olive oil should, when rubbing has ceased, be left on the skin to grease the clothes. Rubbed into the scalp the day previous to the hair being shampooed will produce growth and silkiness. Rubbed well into the skin prior to sunbathing will prevent burns and blisters. The rubbing of olive oil into the back and chest of a delicate child will do much to ensure robust health and fitness.