From the heart of the Mediterranean
The Puglia region of Italy is awash with millions of olive trees carpeting the countryside in vast green swathes. And whilst on a recent Back-Roads Touring holiday I found myself thinking of my lovely nan Lily Fay. I adored her and she passed on so much of her home spun wisdom onto my brother Jon and I.
She always bathed in olive oil, at least once a month “as a treat for my skin”. The olive tree has been a blessing to the folk living around the Mediterranean. It’s a complete beauty and first aid kit in a bottle. Health giving properties too. The polyphenols in olive oil are antioxidants and help protect against heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and slow down the ageing process.
So follow in the footsteps of Lily and Sophia Loren and step into a warm olive oil bath. Simply add 30ml of olive oil to the warm water and relax – a great way to add moisture to skin. You could be extravagant and add a glass of milk to 10ml of oil and do the same.
Apply olive oil to the skin after a hot shower or bath to get the same result – sensational looking skin. Massage all over the body and allow to soak in.
30ml of honey and a similar amount of olive oil and a pinch of salt all mixed together makes a superb body scrub.
For dry, damaged hair, massage the oil into the hair and scalp. Leave for one or two hours and shampoo out. A mix of egg, oil and lemon will soften and give hair an extra shine.
Mix an egg yolk with 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the juice of a lemon – about 5ml or so – and use to shampoo and condition the hair.
Baby cradle cap and flaky scalps can be solved easily by rubbing olive oil onto the stubborn plaques of skin and ideally leave over night and then shampoo out.
Two tablespoons of honey and two of olive oil plus an egg yolk is a quick and effective face mask. Apply to face and leave for 30 to 60 minutes, hoping that no one comes to the front door. Wash off with cold water.
Warm oil twice a day for up to a week will ease impacted ear wax. Over time the wax will soften and can then be removed easily. But if pain does occur stop and seek medical advice.
Massaging a bruised area will help reduce and bring out the bruise.
Warmed olive oil is a fabulous way to help with arthritic pain. Apply to the painful area and massage well. Let it soak in. Adding crushed black pepper into the oil will give the treatment a wow factor.
Athlete’s foot is often treated with equal amounts of tee tree and olive oil. Rub onto the area up to three times daily. Athletes often keep muscles and joint supple by rubbing olive oil into the skin.
Use olive oil to soften and moisturise chapped lips. Apply daily to improve skin texture and elasticity especially good for stretch marks.
Dab olive oil around the eyes to revitalise and soften the skin. Best applied as a cold compress, so keep some in the fridge.
Use slightly warm oil this time to strengthen nails. Soak for 15 minutes.
Dab olive oil onto a cotton bud and use to remove make up.
Olive oil is so versatile. Thanks once again Lily for the tip.
Read Dave’s article about his trip to Puglia