1400 years ago the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, advised his followers to apply
olive oil to their bodies, and himself used oil on his head. The use of oil is
found in many religions and cultures. It has been used during special ceremonies
and also as a general health measure. During baptism in the Christian church,
holy oil, which is often olive oil, may be used for anointment. At the Chrism
mass olive oil blessed by the bishop, "chrism", is used in the ceremony.
Like the grape, the Christian missionaries brought the olive tree with them to
California for food but also for ceremonial use. Olive oil was used to anoint
the early kings of the Greeks and Jews. The Greeks anointed winning athletes.
Olive oil has also been used to anoint the dead in many cultures.
trees on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem are reputed to be over 2000 years old,
still relative newcomers considering the long domestication of the olive.
We don't know the exact variety of the trees on the Mount. The olive tree has
been manipulated by man for so many thousands of years that it is unclear which
varieties came from which other varieties. Varieties in one country have been
found to be identical to differently named varieties in another. Some research
is now being done using gene mapping techniques to figure out the olive family
tree. Shrub-like "feral" olives still exist in the middle East which represent
the original stock from which all other olives are descended.
In the past several hundred years the olive has spread to North and
South America, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
Olive Oil Usage
Besides its numerous long term health
benefits such as reducing the rate of cardiovascular illness and
delaying the human aging metabolism, olive oil has some very valuable
instant remedies at home. Some of these remedies still in use in Lebanon
as well as throughout the Mediterranean region are
Strengthening finger nails: This
is achieved by soaking finger nails in warm olive oil for about 5
minutes, then message the nail bed by pushing back the cuticles. This
treatment can be repeated twice daily.
Dandruff treatment: This is done
by massaging the scalp with olive oil for 5 minutes. Let it sit for 15
minutes and then shampoo normally. This treatment should be done 2 to 3
times a week until symptoms disappear.
Treatment of dry skin: Apply
olive oil to skin and massage gently like you would do with any other
type of skin lotion. The results are absolutely amazing.
Relieving minor constipation: 1
tablespoon morning and evening is recommended for that purpose.
Relieving colic symptoms of babies:
Abdominal massages with warm olive oil provides instant relief.
Removal of head lice: Soaking
the hair and scalp with olive oil overnight will kill all the adults by
smothering them and it will facilitate the easy removal of eggs by
loosening them up.
For healthy and shiny hair: Mix
olive oil and egg yolk. Rinse off with lemon juice.
Acne treatment: Mix 2-3 oz.
Olive oil with 3 drops of lavender oil.
Treatment of burns: Mix equal
parts of olive oil and lime water.