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Olive oil is also widely used as a skin ointment for its healing properties and in perfumes and medicines.
Ancient oil lamps in Libya were also kept alight by a regular supply of olive oil; adding a bit of salt around the wick prolongs the life of the lamp and reduces the consumption of oil.
These are very ancient foods and their use must go back to neolithic times, when humans first began to harvest their produce and make use of the natural surrounding ingredients.
Grains are roasted, ground, sieved and used for making bread, cakes, soups, , and other dough-based dishes.
A good shake and a couple of whacks renders the bread clean and ready to eat (see photo below). Modern bread: the one on the right is made in the bakery, and the one on the left is home-made tajeen-bread, some of which is made of real wholemeal flour and thus very filling and tasty.The healing properties are found mainly in the extra virgin olive oil (and virgin olive oil), which is naturally produced, unrefined oil (also called "cold pressed"); while the active ingredients of the second type, known as "pure oil" or "olive oil", were badly destroyed by the chemical processes used to extract the oil.According to recent research extra-virgin olive oil contains a natural painkiller similar to does. Olive oil is the main ingredient of nearly any dish or meal in Libya, and it is almost impossible to prepare any Libyan food without it.Its use in North Africa goes back thousands of years, and its healing goodness and life-prolonging properties were well known to the ancient Libyans and Egyptians.