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The Italian/Catholic Headache Remedy – Olive Oil

One folk remedy that has been practiced throughout many generations is the use of olive oil for headaches.

One folk remedy that has been practiced throughout many generations is the use of olive oil for headaches. When an individual had a headache, another person would get a basin of water and add a few drops of olive oil to it. They would then make the signs of the cross and say a prayer. This is intended to chase evil spirits away.

Apart from this folk remedy, there is evidence that shows that olive oil contains a compound that mimics the effects of ibuprofen. Research led by Paul Breslin of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia found that a daily dose of 50 g or 4 tablespoons of olive oil is 10% of the recommended ibuprofen dose for adult pain relief. The compound is called oleocanthal which has an effect similar to that of ibuprofen. It inhibits components of pain pathways called the prostaglandin system.

So, the next time you feel a headache coming on you can resort to either method or just have a bowl of aglio e olio! (Great recipe below)

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