According to the tradition and the legends the olive tree has symbolic value. The most common and interesting legend derives from Greek mythology.
It is said that Zeus, the father of all Gods, promised to gift peninsula of Attica to the goddess that would bring to him the most valuable and useful present. Competitors to this challenge were Poseidon, the god of sea and Athena, the god of wisdom. Poseidon captured with his trident the sacred rock of Acropolis and sea water sprang from the rock. From the other hand, Athena planted an olive tree. Those days people were unaware not only of the cooking with olive oil but of the use of oil for lighting as well. With this gift Athena beat Poseidon to this challenge and from that moment and then the olive tree is considered to be sanctuary.
Nevertheless, the challenge did not end as Poseidon got frustrated. For this reason he decided to leave peninsula of Attica without water. People were angry against Poseidon and moreover the son of Poseidon was also angry that his father lost the power of Athens. Thus he climbed to Acropolis carrying along an axe with the intention to cut the olive tree that Athena had planted. The moment that he raised his axe to cut the tree, just as a miracle the axe turned against him and it killed him.
The symbolic power of Olive tree
Even today the olive tree has retained its symbolic power amongst the different cultures and nations.
The tree of wisdom: In several cultures the tradition says that the olive tree was gifted to from gods to people. Thus, the symbol of goddess Athena beside the owl symbolized an olive branch.
The tree of peace: Irena, the god of peace, daughter of Zeus and Themed, was always depicted with an olive branch in her hand. Later, in periods of war, the couriers of peace were sent holding a symbolic olive branch in their hand.
The tree of hope: In the Old Testament a dove returns with an olive branch in the ark, in order to announce the end of flood and bring hope to people.
The tree of light: The olive oil was used as lighting oil and thus it was considered to be source of light.
The tree of fertility: In folk tradition of Greek medicine the olive oil is considered to be aphrodisiac. People offered to new couples bread in oval shape were they previously purred the first oil of the year, as an antidote to sterility.
The tree of health: The value of olive oil to the health is widely known for centuries. Thus, the olive tree symbolizes power and health. Moreover, this symbolism is totally accurate due to the fact that olive trees are long-lived, simple and resistant.
The tree of wealth: For many families the olive trees and their products represent the main source of income.
The tree of balance: The olive tree was considered to be the tree of balance by the Celts. For this reason they devoted the day of 23rd of September to it as that particular date the day has the same duration as the night.
The latin word for olive, oleum, consists of two notions: the Cretan word “elaeva” which means olive and the semitic “ulu”.
In spanish language the term “aceite” derives from the arab word for olive, al zaytun. “Oliva” in spanish language means only the olive tree, not the olive itself.
Tea from Olive Leaves
The leaves from olive trees can be useful in tea production. You may use either leaves directly collected from the tree or buy from the market.
Recipe: Pestle the leaves and pure 1 or 2 spoons in boiling water. Five or ten minutes later leech and add some sugar or honey. The tea from olive trees can become very bitter if you boil it much time.
This tea gives you much energy and it is recommended for adults to drink one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one at night, for young children one cup of tea per day and for school students one cup in the morning and one in the evening.
The most important ingredient of olive leaves is Oleuropein, which belongs in the team of the secondary herbal components. The olive tree produces this substance to protect itself from the invasion of microorganisms and insects. Oleuropein is a very effective antioxidant and it has anti-inflammatory qualities.
The great quantity of chlorophyll protects people from arteriosclerosis. Moreover, it has been proved that it has ephidrotical action.
Olive leaves provide with energy and fend for a general amendment of the health. More precisely they increase the resistance of the organization and they soften chronic annoyances such as aches in the articulations.
Tips for storage
Nowadays the olive oil is disposed in plastic or glassy bottles or in metal tins for larger quantities. In the house it is recommended to be stored in a cool, dry and dark place, such as a cellar or a storehouse. If such a place does not exist, you can store the olive oil into the fridge. Nevertheless, with frigidity the oil blurs, jells and small white spots are shaped. This doesn’t mean that the oil lost its quality. After a few hours in room temperature its color will recur and the oil will become once again clear.
Article source: oliveoilmani / Olive Oil Times