Monday, March 9, 2009

Memories Monday + The Olive's Healing Nectar

The mystery of bottle number 2 revealed: Olive oil.
The second change made lately in my bathroom is the end of commercial lotion.
When my grandmother, was about 5 years old (1924ish), she stepped into the kitchen behind her mother right when her mother was turning with a skillet full of boiling fry oil in her hands. Her mother stumbled and dumped the full vessel of boiling oil down the front of my grandmother, right over her face, neck and chest. The doctor said she was unlikely to survive. He said that if she did survive, she would be severely disfigured.

Skin grafting surgery was not an option because it was not yet widely practiced, it would have been prohibitively expensive even if it could have been done, and the survival rate of skin donors was almost zero. Additionally, there was no donor available. As the burns began to heal, hopes were rising that she would, in fact, live. But her head was drawn so far to the left that her ear was almost touching her shoulder. The healing process was creating thick lumps of scar tissue that would never again allow her to look forward with her head upright.

Luckily, the family knew a woman who understood the healing properties of olive oil. This woman taught the family how to massage my grandmother's face, neck, and chest several times daily with warm olive oil. They were to use long, firm strokes to slough off the dead skin, and to loosen the bunching of scar tissue. This treatment went on for many months. Gradually, the skin continued to heal, and the scar tissue began to loosen until my grandmother was finally able to hold her head upright. The olive oil massages continued until sometime after the skin was completely healed, and the physical signs of the injury were greatly reduced.

When I knew my grandmother, she was always wearing long sleeves in public, and always wore turtlenecks or blouses with collars that were buttoned up tight. I always thought she was a little nuts because she looked fine to me! I would have never known of her accident if I had not asked her about the high button-necked shirts and turtlenecks. The telltale sign that remained in her older years was a simple discoloration of the skin. A portion of her face, neck, and chest were somewhat lighter in color than the skin on the rest of her body. She then related to me the story, and the miraculous properties of olive oil.

According to an article on Healing Daily, olive oil is a "healing fat" and may be internally beneficial in preventing heart disease and colon cancer, if taken daily. While I do use olive oil (organic, extra virgin, cold pressed) in the kitchen, I have for some time also used it to soothe burns, aid in healing skin abrasions, and as carrier for various home remedies. Now, I am also using it in place of lotion.

Recently, as you know if you follow my posts, I have been really looking at the chemicals that make up our household products, and I have found some offending chemicals in most commercial lotions. [Remember, do a search for (chemical name + MSDS) on the web to check individual ingredients.]

So, I decided to use my consumer voice to say NO

again to harmful chemicals.

To say YES to the healing properties of olive oil

and all the miraculous results it has to offer.

It likes a dark, cool environment, so is in a lovely brown bottle on my bathroom counter. The bottle has a dropper, which makes application quick and mess free. Olive oil makes my skin feel soft and nourished in a way that lotion never has. It seems to last much longer as well, and I don't need to reapply.

Are you on board?


SLColman said...

Wow! I had no idea about this kind of use for olive oil. What a wonderful story!
- Stephanie from

Rumpleteazer said...

It seems that we are slowly finding out that our grandparents and great-grandparents knew far more about the healing properties of a number of things than we previously gave them credit for!

RainGardener said...

That was a wonderful story and Rumpleteazer is right - back to the old ways. I read sometimes where they say new is better and then they end up going back to what they taught us in the 60s. I love when that happens!

ClayItAgain / 12MidnightOils said...

I have been using olive oil for a few years now for patches of eczema that break out from time to time. The Dr. Rx'd steroid creme; it literally made me nauseous after I rubbed it on my skin. It got to the point, that the creme would spread the eczema and make it painful. I stopped using the creme and decided that I would rather suffer with the rashes. Then I heard about the healing properties of olive oil, and I've used it ever since.

Splendid Little Stars said...

on board! That is a wonderful story.
I have used grapefruit seed extract for various ailments, and most recently to heal an infection on my finger. Try it with the eczema. Perhaps mix it with some olive oil.

Sinclair said...

@SplendidLittleStars: I have not used grapefruit seed extract. I will certainly pick some up to have around. I sometimes use apricot kernel oil, and I really like that as well.