Olive is sought after for its delicious and nutritious oil and green/black fruit which gives a zesty taste to salads, pizza and cooking of meat. The tree that lives for centuries is widely cultivated. It is an evergreen tree that is native to Mediterranean region, where the records show that it was cultivated by the Minoans nearly 3,000 years ago. The tree has been a symbol of peace and wisdom for many civilizations.
The olive fruit, often used as a vegetable, is usually green when unripe, but turns black as it ripens, though some remain green when ripe and some start off as black. It fruit is bitter to eat and is usually processed to reduce its bitterness through various methods.
Medicinal Benefits of Olive
The Greeks, Arabs and many other ancient civilizations made extensive use of the health benefits of olive oil and its fruits in the past. Scientific research is finding not only they were right about the benefits of olive, but are discovering new positive attributes of it which was not known earlier. Besides being excellent protector of skin against aging and sun, the olive is known to be beneficial to cardiac condition, immunity, protection against viruses and bacteria.
The fruit is abundant in health protective nutrients, antioxidants, anthocyanins and anti-inflammatory properties. People who use olive oil for cooking and dressing are less prone to strokes and heart ailments. The major contribution of the olive in diet has been its ability to prevent Metabolic Syndrome, which is collective term for diseases like increased blood pressure, big belly, increased blood sugar level and high cholesterol levels. If not controlled on time the metabolic syndrome can lead to cardio vascular disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
Olive has positive health effects and is known to help in treatment of:
- Cardiac diseases
- Digestive tract infections and problems
- Skin disorders
- Hair and scalp problems
- High blood pressure
- Rheumatism and arthritis
As a Healthy Diet
Consumption of a cup of black olives a day will supply the body with Vitamin A which is essential for healthy eyes, skin, muscular rejuvenation, and preventing age related problems. Olives are also rich in antioxidants and hence help to build immunity and prevent diseases. They are rich in iron which helps in converting fats into energy. Eating olives before meals reduces appetite, thus helping in prevention of obesity.
Virgin Olive Oil
Sipping: Slowly sipping in two tsp of extra virgin olive early in the morning on empty stomach is known to reduce the risk of heart diseases and also fight cancer.
Nails: Rubbing the oil on nails and cuticles will give the nail natural shine, while at the same time softening the cuticles.
Scalp: Applying olive oil onto scalp and massaging the hair works as a great conditioner. It removes dandruff and treats damaged hair. The best way is to leave it overnight.
Dry Hands: Olive oil is excellent remedy for rough and dry hands, elbows, and knees. Mixing it with sea salt will make an excellent scrub for bath.
Ear: Put 1-2 drops of warm olive oil in the ear everyday for a week for effective removal of hardened earwax and quick relief from ear infections.