Olive oil… not just for cooking and lubing up wrestlers anymore.
It all began in ancient times with the Greeks and was revived in 1896 in Athens as the modern Games. Even now 118 years later, the Olympic Flame is first lit in Greece and then makes it’s way around the world to the chosen host city. The Greek team is always the first to enter the stadium during the openingceremony.
The Greeks have sent seven athletes to the Sochi games who are competing in the following:
Alpine skiing Cross-country skiing Skeleton Ski jumping
The 2004 Olympic Games took place in Athens and they decided to bring back the tradition of using olive sprays to crown the medalists. It took over 2500 olive branches crown them all.
As epic as the Olympic story may be, there is an unsung hero that has been at it’s side since the days of the Ancient Games. It allows Greek women to age with grace and helps get gum out of your hair when you need it. Olive Oil.
It is said that the olive tree was a gift from Athena to the Ancient Greeks. The athletes of Greece and Sparta used to rub themselves in olive oil before entering the gymnasium. Let’s stop and take a minute to visualize that… You can burn it for light and even use it to ward off the smell of death if rubbed on a corpse ( I honestly cannot think of a time where I have needed that information but some of you might have more experience with corpses than me).
How likely do you think the above depcition of the Olympians is to be promoted in Sochi?
Aside from the obvious cooking use, Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be used for a plethora of things both around the house and on your very self. Let’s examine some of those uses.
Skin- The obvious and widely practiced use for olive oil is as a skin moisturizer. It is rubbed on the hands and face (and frankly anywhere else you want to rub it) to both moisturize and ward off wrinkles. I keep a small bottle in my bathroom and apply a couple of drops of oil to my face after exfoliating in the shower. I also take advantage of the bottle in my kitchen to give my hands a quick coating after finishing with the dishes.
Hair- If you have found that your hair is getting increasingly dry and brittle during the winter months, then an oil mask might be the solution. I like to apply the oil to my clean hair before bed. Wrap your head in a shower cap and make sure that it is secure unless you want an oily pillow in the morning. When you wake up, wash it out and caress your locks.
Nails – Don’t forget your nails and cuticles while going through your moisturizing routine. Clean off all of your nail polish and heat up some olive oil in a little bowl (two bowls if you want to be clever and save time). Dip your finger tips into the oil and leave them submerged for 5-10 minutes. When they come out I like to give the cuticles and extra rub with the oil and voila!
Shaving Cream- I have to admit that I have never tried this myself but in theory it should work like a charm. I am also not sure when I would find myself in the shower without soap or shaving cream but with a bottle of oil but who knows!
Removes paint – If you have been painting and have paint dried on your hands, resist the urge to pick at it with your nails. Simply take some olive oil and mix it with an exfoliate like sugar. Scrub away and moisturize at the same time.
Get Gum out of Hair – I think that we have all heard of the peanut butter trick. As a young child I was subjected to my friend’s mother who attempted to remove gum from my hair through a combination of peanut butter and yanking. In the end she cut it out. All that you need to do is try your best to isolate the hair with the gum. Add a liberal amount of oil and then try to work it in with your fingers. The oil will allow the gum to release the hair and let you work it out. There is no need for yanking so please avoid this at all costs. It can clearly cause emotional scaring.
The Little Ones –
I recently gave infant massage a try. We were forced to leave the class early as my well mannered child first pooped in her cloth diaper and then screamed at the other babies. There was no consoling her and so we snuck out. As embarrassing as that was, I did pick up a couple of techniques and so have been trying them out. Infant massage is a great bonding technique and I find really gives me the chance to look over the baby to make sure that her skin looks good and there are no areas of concern. I do not use any scented products on her and so the olive oil is the perfect massage oil (it works well on adults as well…).
Good luck Team Greece at the Sochi Games! To prevent injury, I suggest rubbing yourselves in olive oil prior to competing as did your ancient compatriots but really what do I know?