This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol2", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
These oils, of which the former is procured by expression from olives, the latter in the same manner from sweet almonds, may be considered, in their protective capacity, as identical in their properties and uses. They are both nutritious, and both in large doses mildly laxative; but with these properties at present we have nothing to do. The olive oil, as the least costly, is most frequently used.
Rubbed up with mucilage or the yolk of eggs, and loaf sugar, they form an emulsion, which, by sheathing the mucous membrane of the mouth and fauces, may prove useful in allaying cough, and moderating the uneasiness of stomatitis and angina. Almond oil is usually preferred for this purpose. A fluidounce may be rubbed with half a fluidounce of mucilage or the yolk of an egg, and two drachms of loaf sugar, and then mixed with five or six fluidounces of water.
They are sometimes applied, unmixed, to dry, harsh, cracked or excoriated, and inflamed or irritated surfaces, to soften and protect them; but much more frequently they are used for this purpose in combination with substances, such as wax or spermaceti, which give them more consistence. These combinations will be noticed in their proper places. Olive oil, rubbed over the surface of the body, is thought, in the East, to be a preventive and remedy of the plague.
Very often these oils are employed to serve as vehicles for other substances, which they also dilute when too acrid; but this application of them has been noticed under the several substances with which they are thus associated.
A mixture of equal parts of olive oil and lime-water, forming a kind of soap, is much and advantageously used as a dressing for burns and scalds, at their first occurrence. There is probably no better application for the first two or three days. it should be thickly applied, on cloth, so as to cover the whole surface. The U. S. Pharmacopoeia directs flaxseed oil, and it has the advantage of greater cheapness, but no other, and is rather less agreeable.