The History of Olive
The cultivation of the Olive trees is one of the oldest signs of civilization in the world. It even precededwriting. The Olive culture, derived from the benefits of Olive Oil, and the mythology linked to it spread through the Phoenicians to Greece, and from Greece to Rome, and then to the rest of the Western world. In the past few hundred years, the growth of Olive has spread to the Americas , Japan , Australia , and South Africa . Nevertheless, until this day around 99 percent of all olive oil still spills from the rim of the Mediterranean .
Ancestral devotion to the olive tree has carried down to later generations converting many into olive oil aficionados. Today, 6000 years after the spread of Olive cultivation from Syria to the rest of the Mediterranean , Syrians are still among the leading producers of Olive Oil (it ranks sixth in Olive Oil output). The Syrian soil and climate is still as always, the best accustomed for the growth of Olive Oil.
Mystical Olive Oil
Olive trees have a long life and are believed to live 300 to 600 years but perhaps even longer. Even when its trunk and branches may die, the olive tree sprouts once again bringing life into a new tree. Today it is estimated that approximately 800 million olive trees thrive on earth with approximately 400 different varieties of olive trees cultivated worldwide. But more impressive than the numbers is the divine air that seems to filter through the branches of the Olive tree.
The Mediterranean world has regarded the olive as sacred for thousands of years. In many religions and cultures throughout history, the olive tree has served some purpose and has been a symbol of peace, life, and fertility. Ebla , the first civilization proven to have known olive oil, offered the golden liquid to their gods. Later, the ancient Egyptian credited the Goddess Isis with teaching mankind its cultivation and wisdom. The Pharaohs also used olive oil to aid in building the pyramids. During modern excavations of Egyptian tombs, containers of olive oil were found among the graves. The Greeks believed that Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, bestowed the olive on mankind thereby winning a contest between the Gods for presenting the most useful gift. In Ancient Greece, athletes used olive oil to rub over their bodies. The first Olympic torch was a burning olive branch. The Bible is brimming with references to olive oil, from the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (oil as lamp fuel) to the story of the Good Samaritan (oil as unguent) to the Prophet Elisha’s rescue of the destitute widow (oil as item of trade). All in all, the Bible contains 140 references to Olive Oil and the Koran and Hadith mention the value of Olive Oil several times. In one Hadith, the Prophet (saws) was said to have stated that Olive Oil has in it a cure for seventy diseases. Today the king of Saudi Arabia gives it as a traditional gift to pilgrims to Mecca .
Olive Oil Benefits
• The inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea basin, who use olive oil in their diets, are the most immune nations against cardiac and artery diseases.
• Olive oil contains unsaturated binary fat acids, which are the most suitable for the human nutrition.
• Olive oil is completely free of the health damaging cholesterol (BDL-VBDL), and it is the best among other fats to be used in various kinds of cooking; frying; pastry; cakes and others.
• Olive oil contains a high percentage of vitamin E and polyphenole, which is a useful anti-oxidant that delays the symptoms of aging; also, it reduces the percentage of sugar in the blood and it plays a major role in cell anabolism to quicken blood production.
• Olive oil preserves the cholesterol level in blood and guards against the danger of cardiovascular infarction.
• Olive oil is an external cure to protect against skin rash, cracks, eczema and reddening of the skin in small children.