The Olive cultivation first appears around 6000 BC in Syria. To my knowledge, the first olive trees were brought over by Franciscan Missionaries and were planted at nineteen of the twenty-one missions along 600 miles of the California coast in Late 1700 – Early 1800 AD. After that commercial olive oil production began in California around 1870 AD.
This is a little of the history that brought the olive tree to our American shores. Since the beginning olives have been used during special ceremonies as well as a general health measure. During baptism in the Christian church, holy oil, which is often olive oil, may be used for anointing. At the Christmas 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.
Today we use the passionate olive for the same things but have really focused on the health part of it and the uses to the outside and the inside of the body. They used it in the same way back then, but now we have the advantage of really seeing what the passionate olive can do because of technology.
For instance, olive oil has been found to reduce cholesterol, prevent cardiac disease, ease the pain of arthritis, and soothe intestinal disorders. In addition, ingesting in food or taking it by spoonful or glass is thought to slow down the aging process because of vitamins A, D, K, and E which are found in it. Olive oil also has Omega-3 and Omega-6.
Here is a piece from Julianne, a registered nurse, and nutritionist explaining Omega:
“Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids are 2 different classes of polyunsaturated fats. They are both important because they are made into powerful regulatory hormones. Omega 6 fats are primarily converted into a range of pro-inflammatory hormones and omega 3 into anti-inflammatory hormones. Perhaps it would help to think of the analogy of hot and cold taps. Hot being omega 6 and cold being omega 3. We need a balance of hot and cold to get the right temperature. Due to the abundance of omega 6 in our diets from chemically extracted vegetable oils and a lack of food sources of omega 3 like cold water fish and grass-fed / wild meat we have an imbalance. An ideal ratio is 4:1 up to 1:1 of omega 6 to omega 3. This is a long way from the standard American diet which gives 20:1. Imagine the hot tap (inflammation) on full and the cold tap (anti-inflammation) on a dribble. Inflammation is rampant.”
Added to the list of olive oil, are the benefits it gives to your skin. In Italy they say, “pelle di luna,” meaning, “Skin like the moon.” Because of the amazing benefits, you receive from taking olive oil your complexion, appearance and the texture of your skin is illuminated. Again “Skin like the moon.” I take 2 Tbls of olive oil per day and can tell the difference it makes in my skin.
That’s all on the inside. Let’s talk about some ways to use it externally. I use olive oil to make my home-made soaps, as a makeup remover, hair treatment, Oil Pulling: For Whiter Teeth, as a treatment for Earaches and in my body butter.
There are so many ways to use the passionate olive and we have barely touched the surface of a few. That being said, I promise to post more articles giving more attention and specifics to each one of these ways. For now, I encourage you to start using and or taking olive oil daily. You know it’s good for you, so why wait? If you click on the links above they will give you a good start on different ways you can use the passionate olive.
We are extremely fortunate in this country to purchase olive oil as we do. I can’t imagine not having it be a part of my routine and diet. It warms the body and feels incredible on the skin. Like a lot of natural herbals, it’s all around us. If we chose to use them we can’t help but reap the benefits.