Over and over again I see people refer to their use of coconut oil in place of olive oil on their dry and itchy skin. Many ask what’s the difference? They are both good moisturizers after all… But there is a huge difference in the two. Using olive oil is not just about the moisturizing. It’s about the healing.
Now let me just say that I love coconut oil too. It has many healthful qualities I look for in a food. For one thing it’s antibacterial. So for those of you who want to take a look at why coconut oil should still be part of your healthy lifestyle, take a look at this article.
That being said, olive oil is far superior at helping to heal histamine intolerance on many different fronts. For one thing it helps promote the production of DAO in the gut. DAO is an enzyme that helps break-down histamine. If you’re lacking this enzyme, which is produced in your intestines, your body doesn’t handle the histamine in foods properly and your histamine bucket tips over.
But olive oil (and olive leaf extract) have way more to offer than just that. The main component in olive oil’s ability to heal is oleuropein. Coconut oil does not contain this component.
If you are like me and like to read medical abstracts, take a look at this information from the National Library of Medicine.
I knew that olive oil healed my damaged, itchy, histamine ravaged skin. In my early posts I attributed it to polyphenols without being specific. It’s only recently that I zeroed in on oleuropein.
From the abstract:
Ancora et al.  have shown that the phenol components of olive oil have a direct antioxidant action on skin, especially oleuropein, which acts as a free radical scavenger at the skin level.
Oleuropein is also in olive leaf extract. I’ve been taking it for two years and have had great results with that too. I began using it before I’d eat to help limit reactions to foods when my histamine intolerance was at its worst, and I use it now to help keep hot flashes away. It’s also an amazing antioxidant. I truly believe I haven’t had a cold in a year because of it. (Actually, I’ve been wanting to explore antioxidants specifically too and will post when I finally do gather the information.)
If you want a concise look at the healing abilities of olive leaf extract without all the science, take a look at this article.
This is a good link to information on oleuropein too.
Quite a while ago I was asked to do an interview with a gal over in Germany who is also trying to get the word out on the healing powers of olive oil. She managed to heal herself, and her children, of eczema. She has a lot of information on olive oil on her site and provides a breakdown on which country’s oil is the best for healing because of the high amount of polyphenols. Tunisian, it seems, has the highest amount. (Some day soon I’m going to buy a bottle.)
I hope I’ve encouraged you to add it to your healing regimen if you haven’t already. Even though coconut oil is good for you, olive oil, in the case of histamine intolerance, is even better.
Dale, please keep educating your readers about the benefits of olive oil! Your blog is a wealth of information. I’ve been taking a tbsp at night of EVOO and noticed a difference in both my skin and sleep. The link to Evelin Ayadi-Krenzer’s info about olive oil properties has excellent data.
Oleuropein also enhances nitric oxide production (http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0074-02762005000900002&script=sci_arttext): something else to explore. In a world where we’re used to taking a drug and expecting an instant reaction, it may seem the use of food as a medicine takes too long. However the results are better for lifetime health and longer lasting. Using olive oil in place of canola/sunflower/corn/soybean oils for cold food prep, and coconut oil/ghee (butter with milk solids removed) for hot food prep is a good way to consume healthy fats.
That being said, just one food (olive oil) is not the complete answer–healing requires a holistic approach: looking at stress; how much sugar & processed foods are eaten; and sleep, are among the factors to consider.
I completely agree. Just using olive oil isn’t going to do it all. It’s a lot of work to be healthy!
Thanks so much for recommending olive oil! I tried it based on your suggestion months ago and it DOES get rid of the itchies! Plus olive leaf extract has been helping me fight Lyme disease too!
Yay! It’s a miracle elixir!
I want to express you a BIG BIG thankyou from the readers of my blog. There are a lot of German women who read again and again our interview and feel inspired to give it a try.
It’s been a while since I have been on your blog and I will browse it in order to get an update of your recent findings. But already this article about the difference between coco nut and olive oil is great. May I translate it, put it on my blog and refer to your blog like last time??
Greetings from Germany
Absolutely! So happy to hear from you again.
I made a short “best of” of 3 of your articles. Here it is
Wow I love that. Thank you so much. You should join the Facebook group and come talk about the virtues of olive oil there and tell your story. I need all the help I can get convincing women to use it.
Great idea! I will join your group…
I was at my wits end, hot sweats every 1/2hour night and day and then after that started to subside, intense itching that nothing can tame, and then I found your blog. I went out and bought olive leaf liquid, I drunk some this morning and for the first time I’ve not had a hot flush or itching all day. Thank you so much for putting that advice out there, it’s changed my day and hopefully my life. Linda in Brighton uk
That’s great! I still use olive leaf extract every day. I think it makes a huge difference to my health.