Sweet Oil: Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts

Use Sweet Oil for Ears and Around the Home

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Close-Up Of Olive Oil Pouring On Spoon From Container Against White Background
Michelle Arnold / EyeEm / Getty Images

Sweet oil is another name for olive oil. This common product can be utilized around the home, but one of the most popular applications is using sweet oil for ears. The product has a long history as a treatment for ear infections and ear pain. Sweet oil should not be confused with sweet almond oil, another product that is often used to boost beauty and health.

What Is Sweet Oil?

Sweet oil is another name for olive oil. You might find sweet oil (with a label that says "Sweet Oil") online or in health food stores as a treatment for common ailments. But many people who use the oil as a health treatment simply buy olive oil. Herbalists and other alternative medicine specialists who use sweet oil generally recommend that you buy cold pressed olive oil to get a pure product.

Sweet oil gets its name from the taste of the oil. Olive oil is considered to be sweeter than other types of oil like canola oil, or other vegetable oils. Olive oil has been used for dietary and health reasons for thousands of years. Olive oil is still one of the most common oils used for cooking in kitchens around the world.

Nutrition Facts

Sweet Oil Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 tablespoon (13.5 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 119 
Calories from Fat 119 
Total Fat 14g21%
Saturated Fat 1.9g9%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.4g 
Monounsaturated Fat 10g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 0mg0%
Potassium 0mg0%
Carbohydrates 0g0%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 0g 
Protein 0g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% · Iron 0%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Fats in Sweet Oil

The fats in olive oil—or sweet oil—are considered to be good fats.  Most of the fat in sweet oil is monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats are considered "good" fats because they can help boost your HDL or "good" cholesterol levels. Experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend that you choose foods with monounsaturated fat instead of saturated fat when possible.

You'll also consume a small amount of polyunsaturated fat if you cook with or consume sweet oil. Polyunsaturated fats are also considered healthy fats. Polyunsaturated fat can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol. For that reason, health experts recommend that you get 3-10 percent of your daily calories from polyunsaturated fat.

There is a small amount of saturated fat in sweet oil. This type of fat may increase your risk for heart disease, but experts are re-evaluating the role of saturated fat in a heart-healthy diet.

There is no carbohydrates or protein in sweet oil.

Uses

Sweet oil is often used as a moisturizer or a softening agent. Most people are comfortable using the oil because sweet oil is olive oil—a product that they are familiar with. Consumers might use sweet oil for health and beauty applications including:

  • Treatment for snoring when mixed with warm water and consumed before bed
  • To soften cuticles during a manicure
  • To soften and treat brittle hair
  • As a substitute for shaving cream
  • To reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles

In addition to its health and beauty applications, you may see household uses for sweet oil promoted. According to fans of the product, sweet oil can be used to:

  • Polish furniture
  • Restore color and luster to wood
  • Replace other forms of fat ((such as butter or lard) when cooking

The most widely known use for sweet oil, however, is the treatment of ear pain.

For Earaches

Many people use sweet oil for ear pain. Herbalists and those who practice alternative medicine have used warm sweet oil to treat ear infections for hundreds of years, with many people reporting success.

The oil is usually warmed slightly then applied to the ear using a small dropper. Scientific evidence to support the use of sweet oil for ear infections is lacking. And medical organizations don't acknowledge or recommend its use.

The University of Texas Department of Otolaryngology provides advice to patients who are suffering from ear pain. In a discussion about ear wax, they discuss the use of sweet oil and how it can cause problems in the ear.

"Fungal infections can also be a complication of many of the home remedies. One home remedy calls for the use of sweet oil drops in the ear. Many times a fungus will grow on the sweet oil and this type of remedy should be avoided."

The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery also provides advice to readers about managing ear wax. They recommend that you never insert anything into the ear for cleaning. They acknowledge that home treatments including the use of "mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, or commercial drops" may be effective to remove ear wax. They do not mention the use of sweet oil for ears.

In the organization's recommendations for the treatment of swimmer's ear (acute otitis externa), a common type of ear infection, they do not mention the use of sweet oil, instead recommending that "Mildly acidic solutions containing boric or acetic acid are effective for early infections." If you think you have an ear infection, your doctor can evaluate the condition and recommend a treatment that is both safe and effective.

Sources:

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Earwax and Care. Patient Information. 2018

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Swimmer's Ear. Patient Information.  2018

University of Texas. McGovern Medical School. Department of Otorhinolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. Ear Wax Discussion.