Olive oil is a fruit oil obtained from the olive (Olea europaea), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps, and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps. Olive oil is a healthful oil because of its high content of monounsaturated fat (mainly oleic acid) and polyphenols.
There is evidence from epidemiological studies to suggest that higher proportion of monounsaturated fats in the diet is linked with a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. This is of significance because olive oil is considerably rich in monounsaturated fats, most notably oleic acid.
Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about two tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil should replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.
In addition to the internal health benefits of olive oil, topical application is quite popular with fans of natural health remedies. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the preferred grade for moisturising the skin, especially when used in the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM). OCM is a method of cleansing and moisturizing the face with a mixture of EVOO, castor oil (or another suitable carrier oil) and a select blend of essential oils.