10 Ancient Uses of Olive Oil

August 4, 2013 Updated: November 8, 2013

Olive oil has long been the most important ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. It is an age-old health product. In recent years, people from around the world have gained an increasing awareness of its benefits, and sales in United States as well as in Asia have been increasing dramatically.

The World Health Organization officially recommends that people across the world adopt the Mediterranean diet for better health, and specifically suggests olive oil as the healthiest source of fat on the planet.

Besides dipping bread in it and using it to dress salad, there are many ways people from the Mediterranean use olive oil. Here are 10 traditional ways to use olive oil for better health.


1) To bathe a newborn and soothe a new mother

Bathing a newborn baby in olive oil calms the baby and cleans the baby’s delicate skin gently. A new mother can also use olive oil to ease pain, such as skin irritation from breast feeding.


2) As a morning beverage

Some olive farmers drink a bottle of olive oil every morning. Many live a long life. Drinking one spoonful of olive oil every morning can soothe the stomach. Swishing it in the mouth for a few minutes can improve dental health.


3) To nourish hair

For dry and damaged hair, wet it a little, apply olive oil, cover it with a shower cap and stay in a hot shower for 15 to 20 minutes, then wash out the oil. This treatment is recommended weekly.


4) As a cleanser and makeup remover

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans had no soap. They massaged olive oil into their skin, then scraped it back off, along with dirt and dead skin.

Olive oil can serve as a face wash and eye makeup remover if massaged over the face and wiped away.


5) As a skin moisturizer

Gently rub olive oil on dry skin areas, including hands, body, and feet. It works better than most lotions.


6) To polish furniture

Use a cloth dampened with olive oil and apply the oil to wood furniture to clean it and make it shine.


7) As lamp oil

In ancient times, olive oil was used in lamps. It has a pleasant, sweet scent when burned, and it is the cleanest oil for lamps.


8) To clean leather

Olive oil can clean and waterproof leather coats, boots, belts, et cetera.

9) To shine dinnerware

Olive oil can be used to shine brass utensils and silverware.


10) As bath oil

A little olive oil in the bath is like a spa treatment, leaving skin silky and fresh.