Hidden Secrets of Olive Oil & the Olive Plant

Olive Oil

Botanical name (Latin): Olea europaea
Plant family: Oleaceae
Aroma:Fruity, slightly peppery.
Extraction method:Mechanical pressing
Native region/origin: Eastern Mediterranean
Growing habit: The olive is a drupe that is on average0.8-1 inch (2-2.5 cm) long.
Parts used: Fuit and seeds

Benefits of Olive Oil

Used topically, Olive Carrier Oil can be applied in skincare for its ability to clean, moisturize, and eliminate bacteria by deeply penetrating pores without clogging them. In a massage, it can prevent sports injuries, relieve muscle aches and joint pain, and eliminate the buildup of lactic acid. Its antioxidant properties help prevent skin from showing signs of premature aging by restoring its smoothness, creating a protective barrier against harmful UV rays, and preventing skin damage caused by free radicals. Adding Olive Carrier Oil to abrasive ingredients can enhance their exfoliation properties to leave skin looking rejuvenated and radiant. Olive Carrier Oil’s purgative property makes it an effective makeup remover for even the most stubborn waterproof products. Its lubricating quality not only plumps the skin to make it smoother and softer, but it also makes Olive Carrier Oil an ideal substitute for shaving cream, as it allows for a closer, more refreshing shave. It can also be applied as an invigorating aftershave. It can be used in nail care to soften and moisturize the cuticles, and it can be used to create a natural facial mask. Those with acne-prone skin or with skin sensitivities such as dryness, inflammation, and itchiness can use Olive Oil to hydrate skin while eliminating and preventing acne-causing bacteria from forming. Used in hair, Olive Carrier Oil coats the hair shaft to protect it from environmental pollutants while repairing damage caused by heat and dyes. It leaves hair looking and feeling stronger, smoother, sleeker, and healthier.

Used medicinally, Olive Carrier Oil’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial phenols prevent skin from becoming inflamed or infected while impeding the growth of harmful bacteria. Soothing and healing, it offers relief to sore, dehydrated, bruised skin as well as joints and muscles affected by sprains or arthritis. It works to repair skin that is damaged by sunburns and enhances skin’s appearance to maintain a youthful, radiant complexion.

COSMETIC:Antioxidant, Emollient, Collagen Boosting, Skin Brightening, Cleansing

MEDICINAL:Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, Detoxicant, Regulating, Stimulant

History of Olive Oil

According to Greek mythology, the goddess Athena offered Greece the gift of the Olive tree, which the Greeks preferred over the offering of Poseidon, which was a salt water spring gushing out of a cliff. Believing that Olive Oil was essential, they began using it in their religious practices as well as for culinary, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and lighting purposes. Olive Oil and the Olive tree have popular mention throughout religious scriptures and are often symbolic of divine blessings, peace, and offering an apology, hence the expression “extending an olive branch” as a way of conveying the desire for a truce. The cross-cultural symbol also represents beauty, strength, and prosperity.

Boasting a life span of up to 400 years, the Olive tree has been revered in the Mediterranean region for centuries. Although it is unclear where it originated, there is a belief that its cultivation began on Crete and other Greek islands around 5000 B.C.; however, the general consensus is that it originated in the Near East and, with the aid of the Egyptian, Phoenician, Greek, and Roman civilizations, its growth spread west toward the Mediterranean Sea.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Olive trees were introduced to the West by Spanish and Portuguese explorers. In the late 18th century, Olive groves were established in California by Franciscan missionaries; however, the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, with their mild climates and ideal soils, continue to be the finest areas for nurturing Olive trees. Countries outside of the Mediterranean that are major producers of Olive Carrier Oil include Argentina, Chile, the Southwestern USA, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Referred to as “liquid gold” by the Greek poet Homer, Olive Oil was so respected that the cutting down of Olive trees was punishable by death, according to the 6th and 7th century B.C. Greek Laws of Solon. Being highly valued, King David’s Olive groves and his Olive Oil warehouses were guarded 24 hours a day. As the Roman Empire expanded throughout the Mediterranean region, Olive Oil became a major article of trade, leading the ancient world to experience unprecedented progress in commerce. According to the historical accounts of Pliny the Elder, by the 1st century A.D. Italy had “excellent Olive Oil at reasonable prices — the best in the Mediterranean.”

The Romans used Olive Oil as a body moisturizer after bathing and would give gifts of Olive Oil for celebrations. They developed the screw-press method of extraction for Olive Oil, which continues to be used in some parts of the world. The Spartans as well as other Greeks moisturized with Olive Oil at the gymnasia, in order to accentuate the muscular forms of their bodies. Greek athletes also received massages that used Olive Carrier Oil, as it would avert sports injuries, release muscle tension, and reduce the buildup of lactic acid. Egyptians used it as an antibacterial agent, a cleanser, and a moisturizer for skin.

It is believed that the significant contribution of the Olive tree is evident in its Greek name, which is thought to be borrowed from the Semitic-Phoenician word “el'yon” meaning “superior.” This was a term used throughout the trade networks, most likely when comparing Olive Oil to other vegetable or animal fats available at the time.

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