Olive Oil

Olive oil is the oil of oil fruit. It is exported through pressing of olives, which must be collected before their final ripening, that is when their colour is green-aubergin,as the quality of their oil is much higher compared to the oil exported from completely ripe fruits .Olives

 

OLIVE OIL AS A COSMETIC THROUGH CENTURIES

During the ancient times, that there was no use of soap for personal hygiene purposes, people used to suffuse their hair and body with oil to clean, scent them and make them soft.

Olive oil was also known for its therapeutic capacities, especially for skin diseases.

Homers  called it «liquid goldι», Asclepius refers to it as the «cure» and Hippocrates called it as the «great therapist».

Today we know that olive oil is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E and polyphenols , as well as chlorophyll  (especially virgin olive oil). Furthermore, contains many significant and drastic components such as high concentrations of vitamine K, and minerals, such as sodium and potassium, which are beneficial fro the skin, and iron  benefiting the hair. Ηerbolive uses olive oil as a basic active ingredient in its cosmetics, based on studies presenting olive oil to posses the following capacities:

  • Moisturizing
  • Antioxidants
  • Anti aging

 

OLIVE TREE

The olive tree belongs to  the Oleaceae family.

It is known since the ancient times  in the Mediterranean area .

The Greeks were the first to cultivate the olive tree in the European Mediterranean area. As Plinios writes, around  580 B.C., neither Latio nor Spain or Tunis  knew olive tree and its cultivation.

It is believed that since the Neolithic Age  in the Aegian World among eatable fruits there was the collection of wild olive tree fruits (Olea europaea oleaster). Around the end of the Neolithic Age are also dated the oldest samples known today of olive pollen and come from Crete and Boeotia.

In Nisyros, Kimi and Santorini, were found fossilized leaves of European Olive Tree dating back to 50.000 years.

According to the Greek Ancient lore its  home  is |Athens and the first olive tree was planted by the Athena in Acropolis. The Olive tree was the symbol of the goddess Athena.

It is an evergreen tree, has opposite leaves, lanceolate, leathery, dark green on the upper surface and silvery on the lower side. Its leaves are whitish, unilateral and very small, forming small inflorescence appearing near the end of May, while the fruit is ripening and collected around the end of autumn and the beginning of winter.

Olive oil tree trunk is knobby and covered by ash-brown bark.

 

OLIVE OIL IN NUTRITION AND HEALTH

The olive fruit is basic as regards to Mediterranean food, both as edible as well as  in the form of olive oil.

The olive fruit  is an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Provides the organization with fiber and metals. It is a source of  vitamin Ε, a natural antioxidant.

Vitamin  Ε, is also considered as a retarder of cell membrane damages and fights osteoporosis. Its phenolic compounds have presented anti-inflammatory and chemo-protective capacities.

The European study EUROLIVE (The effect of olive oil consumption on oxidative damage in European populations) presented in 2006, documented proof concerning the protective role of phenolic compounds  of olive oil. The experiments of this study were. The experiments of this study were conducted on 200 healthy volunteers from all over Europe and showed  protection against oxidant stress, following a regular everyday  consumption of  25 ml of olive oil rich in phenolic compounds σε (virgin olive oil). An increase of  HDL (good cholesterol) levels was noticed, and reduced levels of lipidic oxidative after a three month consumption of virgin oil. Furthermore the same study, showed reduction of  DNA  oxidation levels of 13% – a percentage comparable to the amounts observed following cutting of smoking .

 

OLIVE OIL TREE AS A SYMBOL

Due to the significant role olive oil tree played through the centuries in everyday life of  Mediterranean populations, its branches, the fruit as well as olive oil, have a symbolic character and are honored in various everyday activities of Mediterranean populations. Therefore in ancient times we can see the branch of wild olive tree become a wreath, the so called  «κότινος» (kotinos, the olive branch) offered as a prize to the winners of  Olympic Games. Olive oil is also used to anoint the baptized, during the sacrament of baptism in Orthodox Church.

The Mediterranean populations through the centuries up to date have been decorating many objects of everyday usage, (objects made of clay or wood, linen, jewellery etc.) with patterns consisting of olive  branches and fruits.

Olive oil tree also inspired the work of many artists.