For many thousands of years, oil has been one of the most prized compounds to
human life. Oil benefits are far reaching, extending from medicinal, culinary
uses, to skin care, to hair care and relaxation. For this special Hannuka
edition I have carefully selected questions below to highlight just some of the
'miracles' of oil today...
Q. I read that it is healthy to consume olive
oil every day. The sheer number of different kinds of olive oil in the
supermarket is overwhelming! How do I know which one to select and how much
should I be consuming a day?
A. Both extra light and light olive oils are the
lowest-quality olive oils. Pure olive oil is different than the name implies; it
has actually been subjected to chemical solvents and heat. This oil is often
used in commercial applications, such as restaurant use. Virgin olive oil is a
higher quality oil, and extra-virgin olive oil is considered to be the highest
quality of olive oil. These two varieties retain the most olive nutrients and
are regarded as the healthiest types. Flavored olive oils contain garlic, herbs
or other ingredients to alter the smell and taste of the product. Women between
the ages of 19 to 30 should consume 6 tsp. of oil per day, while women over 30
should consume 5 tsp. Young men between the ages 19 to 30 should get 7 tsp. of
oil daily, while older men are advised to ingest 6 tsp. Children ages 2 and
older should get 3 to 6 tsp. daily, depending on age and gender. No matter how
old you are, use olive oil for at least 1 tbsp. of your daily allotment, the
equivalent of 3 tsp., for maximum health benefit.
It might take you a
short while to acclimate yourself to the taste. You can add olive oil to stir
fry's, soups and many other dishes, such as spaghetti sauce and lasagna. After a
week, you can begin to mix it into your salad dressing. Once you are accustomed
to the taste, you can then use olive oil to replace your usual oil in all
recipes and use it as a butter substitute when appropriate. I recommend using
3/4 tsp. of olive oil to replace 1 tsp. of butter or margarine.Q. What
are the benefits of Clove Oil? Does it rid the body of free radicals?
(Syzygium aromaticum) is an ancient oil used by man. It is the highest
antioxidant oil ever measured and is greatly recommended for digestive upsets
for intestinal parasites and most notably for tooth aches. In Chinese medicine,
the oil is used for diarrhea, hernia, bad breath and bronchitis. It is excellent
for anti-aging, anti-tumoral, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, analgesic,
anesthetic, antioxidant, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant and
anti-worms properties. This is why it is considered such an effective anti-aging
oil. It is good for cardiovascular disease, arthritis, rheumatism, hepatitis,
intestinal parasites, throat, sinus and lung infections, cataracts, ulcers,
lice, toothaches and acne. Clove is also good for raising blood pressure and for
impotence. The emotional message of clove is to move forward, make things
happen, achieve as much as your spirit can without harming others. Clove assists
in the awakening of the senses. It gives us the confidence we need to be
unafraid. The fragrance discourages inhibiting thoughts and makes it easier to
weather the storms of life. For emotional healing it is used to encourage
stimulation, regeneration, inspiration, trust, and inner warmth. The main effect
of clove oil is antiseptic, having a broad spectrum of action against bacteria
and viruses. It is considered a strengthening oil and an oil for
Clove oil can be diluted one part essential oil with four
parts mixing oil; it can be applied neat on gums or mouth, diffused or taken as
a dietary supplement. For a tickling cough or the hiccups, place one drop on
back of tongue
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Q. I am a massage therapist and have noticed that the oil I use
is leaving my clients rather greasy. Which massage oil is the best?
A. There are
indeed some oils that are more likely to leave you feeling greasy after the
massage, while other massage oils go rancid quickly and take on an unpleasant
smell. Worse, some oils might irritate skin or cause allergic
Here are my five top choices. They can be used alone or in
1. Sweet almond oil
is one of the most popular massage oils
among massage therapists. Extracted from almonds, sweet almond oil is pale
yellow in color. It is slightly oily, which allows hands to glide easily over
skin. Sweet almond oil is absorbed fairly quickly, but not so quickly that you
need to keep reapplying it. Compared with other oils, sweet almond oil is
reasonably priced. It usually does not irritate skin. People with nut allergies
should not use almond oil.
2. Fractionated coconut oil
is actually a
light, non-greasy, liquid oil. It is called fractionated coconut oil because it
contains only a fraction of the whole oil. The long-chain triglycerides have
been removed, leaving only the medium-chain triglycerides.
coconut oil is less pricey than many other oils (it's comparable to sweet almond
oil) and like jojoba oil, has a very long shelf life. But perhaps the top
feature of fractionated coconut oil is that it tends not to stain sheets, a
problem with many massage oils.
3. Apricot kernel oil
is a good
alternative to sweet almond oil for people with nut allergies. Apricot kernel
oil is similar in texture and color to almond oil, but costs slightly more. It
is rich in vitamin E, a quality that gives it a longer shelf life than the
Like almond oil, apricot kernel oil is absorbed into the
skin, so it won't leave people feeling greasy afterwards.
a wax extracted from the seed of the jojoba plant. Jojoba is a good option for
most people prone to back acne because it is thought to have antibacterial
properties and contains long chain wax esters that closely resemble skin sebum.
Jojoba has a very long shelf life, so it's a good choice if you don't use it
regularly. It is very well-absorbed, which makes it a favorite carrier oil for
aromatherapy. Jojoba is usually not irritating to skin.
There is one
drawback - jojoba oil is rather silky and quickly absorbed, you may need to
reapply it often or mix it with other oils listed here. It is also more
expensive than sweet almond oil.
5. Sesame oil
is prized in Ayurveda, the
traditional medicine of India. It is used in a daily Ayurvedic self-massage.
According to Ayurveda, sesame oil is especially useful for nourishing and
detoxifying and for ailments associated with the vata type, such as anxiety,
poor circulation, constipation, bloating, and excessive dryness.
oil is a rather thick oil that may leave skin feeling oily, so it can be blended
with lighter massage oils. The unrefined oil has a strong aroma.This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated
otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This
column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical
conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a
If you have a health query and would like an
alternative answer then email Natalie with your question at firstname.lastname@example.org
'Advice is like castor oil, easy enough to give but dreadfully uneasy
to take'. - Josh Billings
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