The olive tree, from its scientific name Olea europaea, is a tree that grows mainly in Mediterranean countries. It belongs to the botanical family of Oleaceae and produces a fruit called olive. From the pulp of this fruit, an edible vegetable oil with interesting health properties is extracted. Below are the details.
How to recognize olive oil?
That vegetable oil has an oily liquid appearance and a fluid texture. It has a limpid yellow or green color.
Its taste and smell are fruity and are specific to olives.
What is its biochemical composition?
The chemical composition of theolive oil depends on production conditions. The main compounds are fatty acids.
Then, we note the presence of vitamins as well as other active constituents with antioxidant properties.
What is the fatty acid composition?
Olive oil has a high content of monounsaturated fatty acid. Indeed, oleic acid represents 60 to 83% of total fatty acids. Here is the distribution of the rest of the fatty acids present:
- Linoleic acid: up to 21%
- Alpha-linolenic acid: about 1%
- Stearic acid: 2 to 12%
- Arachidic acid: about 0.5%
- Palmitic acid: up to 20%
The other active components are vitamins E, K, D as well as provitamin A. We also note the presence of phenolic compounds, squalenes, phytosterols, selenium and chlorophyll.
How to use this vegetable oil?
For external use and in combination with essential oils or other vegetable oils, olive oil is used as massage oil. In combination with surfactants such as shower gel or liquid soap, it is then used in the bath.
For internal use (oral route), it is used as a cooking or seasoning oil. Moreover, this vegetable oil constitutes one of the bases of the mediterranean diet.
For administration for therapeutic purposes, this oil also exists in the form of capsules.
What are its uses in cosmetics?
Olive oil helps maintain healthy hair, nails and skin.
First, it restores softness and hair shine. Also, it nourishes them and prolongs their coloration. It also strengthens the scalp as well as brittle nails.
Secondly, due to its richness in antioxidants, it protects the skin from the effects of free radicals and limits the signs of aging. Furthermore, it allows combat dry skin, because it contributes to its hydration and nutrition. Finally, it reduces skin irritation and redness and is suitable as a treatment for sensitive skin.
What are its health benefits?
Olive oil exerts a positive action on the cardiovascular system. It contributes in particular to the prevention of stroke, diabetes, hardening of the arteries and arteriosclerosis.
It also stimulates digestive functions as well as the secretion and evacuation of bile.
Finally, it is a preventive measure against cognitive disorders.