Olive (Qing Guo)
Botanical Name: Western – Olea europaea. Eastern – Olea canarium, Fructus Canarii.
Olive leaves, olive oil, and olives have an ancient and sacred history as a food, medicine and symbol of purity, peace and abundance. In modern times they are respected for their nutritional, culinary and medicinal values. Recent research suggests that olive leaves may be a true antiviral with compounds that selectively block an entire virus-specific system not addressed by pharmaceutical antivirals. It is also known for protecting against cardiovascular disease and protecting the central nervous system.
Below is an overview of Olive (Qing Guo), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Olive (Qing Guo).
Western Name: Olive
Also Known As: N/A
Organs/Systems: Immune System, Lungs, Heart
Key Western Actions: Astringent, Antiseptic, Febrifugal, Antioxidant, Antiviral, Stomachic, Neuroprotective, Anticancer, Tonic, Antidiabetic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiparasitic
Medicinal Uses: Increases energy, maintains healthy blood pressure, supports immune and cardiovascular systems. Colds, candida, meningitis, Epstein-Bar virus, herpes I and II, shingles, chronic fatigue, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, malaria, severe diarrhea, dental, ear and urinary tract infections, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, prevents skin chaffing and dryness.
Pin Yin: Qing Guo
Also Known As: Gan Lan, Huang Lan Bai Lan, Chinese White Olive Blue-green Fruit
Meridians: Lung, Stomach
Key Eastern Actions: Clears Lungs, Dispels Heat, Counteracts Toxicity, Moistens Skin
Medicinal Uses: Sore throat, promotes saliva production, dry skin, malaise, cleanses the digestive system. Used to treat epilepsy, dysentery, and alcoholism.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Leaf, Fruit (Olive), Oil
Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Sour, Neutral
Caution: None noted.
History/Folklore: In the 1800’s the leaves were crushed and used in a drink to lower fevers. Olive tea was used to treat malaria. The constituent oleuropein is showing signs in research for lowering blood pressure and increasing blood flow to coronary arteries.
The active ingredient in olive leaves is oleuropein. It is often extracted from olive oil and olives. It is highly bitter and has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Oleuropein contributes to the leaves ability to decrease the chance and effects of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Olive oil is considered one of the “good” fats among plant oils. It is the highest in monounsaturated fat, which does not oxidize in the body and is therefore not carcinogenic. The oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help prevent strokes, cancer, and heart disease, and also promote bone health.
Typical dosing is 500 to 1,000 mg of olive leaf extract for daily use as a supplement. As a condensed form of the oil, the extract makes an excellent choice for maximizing the healing properties found in olive oil.
The most ancient evidence of olive cultivation has been found in Syria, Palestine, and Crete. Farmers in ancient times believed that olive trees would not grow well if planted too far away from the sea. First used in ancient Egypt as a medicine and as an ingredient in embalming, they were a symbol of heavenly power.
Olives have long been considered sacred. The olive branch is a symbol of abundance, glory and peace. The leafy branches have been used as offerings to deities and as emblems of benediction and purification. They were used to crown the victors of games and even wars. Olive oil was burnt at the first Olympic Games to create the “Eternal Flame” and its leaves were used to crown the victors.
The ancient Greeks smeared olive oil on their skin and hair as a matter of good grooming and health. Olive woods were used to fashion the most primitive Greek cult figures, called xoana, referring to their wooden material, the olive wood preserved the figures for centuries.
In an Athenian foundation myth, Athena won the patronship of Attica and Poseidon with the gift of the olive. The olive was sacred to Athens and appeared on Athenian coins.
Theophrastus, the 4th century father of botany, said olive trees attained an age of about 200 years, mentioning that the very olive tree of Athena still grew at the Acropolis. This tree was said to still be there in the 2nd century AD when Pausanias recorded seeing it.
In Islam the olive is praised as a precious fruit that the Quran notes as being a “Blessed Tree, that is neither eastern or western and gives Light” Muhammad is reported as having said, “Take oil of olive and massage with it, it is a blessed tree” (Sunan al Darimi, 69:103). The olive tree, its olives and oil also play an important role in the Bible as place names (for example, the Mount of Olives) and in ceremonies as a symbol of peace and purification.
Olives are often harvested in the green to purple stage (black is the fully ripe and mature stage). Ferrous sulfate is often added to artificially turn the green olives to purple, to black for canning.
In China, olives are also used for making an oil resin varnish known as “elemi” and for printing inks. Being green they symbolize life.
A beverage is made from the green olives that is brewed making a wine-like drink.
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Secoiridoids (Oleuropein and its derivatives), Hydroxytyrosol, Polyphenols, Triterpenes (including Oleanolic acid), Flavonoids.
The Sacred Power of the Olive Tree
Leafy branches were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Olive oil is considered one of the “good” fats among plant oils. It is the highest in monounsaturated fat,
and is therefore not carcinogenic.
Olives are very bitter, so they must be cured and fermented to remove the oleurpein compound that makes them bitter. However, it is this compound that makes olive leaves especially potent as a medicine.
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