I'm back from my own granted maternity leave, y'all, and with a blog request! I received an email requesting a blog post on olive trees and I'm so excited to start off my blogging once again with this amazing topic. Let's get started!
"Olive" For This Tree
I actually own an olive tree, so when I received this topic request I thought "how appropriate!" I purchased this gal about two years ago at a Krogers around Easter time. I didn't buy it with anything other than the absolute cool factor that it came with but there are quite a few reasons you should appreciate the olive tree.
The olive tree has such a rich history, I'm reminded of the Greeks and of Bible times. From Biblical references to modern day use of its oil and fruit, there are many things that come to my mind when I look at my tree sitting here in my livingroom. What comes to your mind when you think of the olive tree?
Before I begin, check out this cool infographic about the olive tree from trees.com:
As an herbalist, how would/do I appreciate the olive tree?
As many who have visited know, I keep my tree indoors beneath a grow lamp. She sits pretty right by a window, my pomegranite tree across from it. Having plants indoors benefits your air quality, you just can't beat keeping an abundance of plants in your home. (And don't worry about being the perfect plant mom, I most definitely am not. Dry edges from forgetful lapses in watering and the occasional over due need for repotting exists quite often for me.)
The olive tree has been quite easy for me to take care of. Some plants need more care than others, my olive tree has withstood abusive goats when I had it outdoors (I might've ugly cried when I found it stripped of most of its leaves and hanging out of its pot), forgetfulness in care, and toddlers. It shows quite a resilience that I need in my life.
Next, there's no doubt that y'all know I obviously use olive oil in some of my herbal products. My most know product with olive oil in it are my herbal salves. While there are a variety of oils and how you should use them all differently, I'm partial to olive oil. Sure, it's a cheaper oil to use but mostly it's nastalgia for me.
I grew up with a mother who was obsessed with all things Italian - the cooking, the music (Andrea Bocelli was a crush of mine), etc. I'd watch Lidia Bastianich's show on Saturday mornings and dinner was usually something amazing that Mom had seen in some Italian cookbook or show. Due to being able to sing every song on Andrea Bocelli's Vivere album I was interested in the language.
I recall my mom telling me that Italians would often wear olive oil on their skin for moisturizing and protection. It actually has properties that help slow the damage and aging of skin, as discussed here in this study. So I use olive oil in some of my salves, not just because it's a great carrier oil but also because it's part of my past.
...and no, unfortunately I'm not Italian...
"Olive" for your heart.
Many use olive oil for cooking, and as you now know skincare, but what about ingesting it raw? And I don't mean as a salad dressing.
The Mediterranean diet has been clinicaly proven to positively affect heart health. It's a healthy fat to incorporate into your meals and when taken as a supplement it can help blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health. It is to be used a preventive measure of course, but I found this article on a study done with rats interesting as it was geared towards the children of diabetic rats.
Interested in incorporating this amazing plant in your life? Whether or not you're much for olives (and boy I am), here are some tried and true ways you can use olive oil:
How do you use olive oil? Are you going to try something new with it? Comment below and let me know!
Author: Tina Potter
Master Herbalist, I've graduated as an American Healthcare College Alumnus, I've become a member of American Herbalist Guild and author of survivalist series Survival Ember co-authored by professional survivalist Kenny Dietrich of Ashland, KY. I've been beyond blessed with the constant desire to learn and teach.
COMMON SENSE NOTICE: I do not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease. What you do with the information I post is up to you, but it is advised to consult with a doctor before acting on alternative methods of medicine. I wish you all the best!