Other olive tree products

Since antiquity, the olive tree has been a symbol of knowledge, wisdom, prosperity, peace, health, power and beauty, due to its numerous uses. The peoples of the Mediterranean basin would use the fruit, wood, blooms and leaves of this blessed tree to create products that would be used for nutrition, medicine, illumination, cosmetics and worship.

Today, continuing a millennia-old tradition, modern residents of the Mediterranean continue to use numerous olive tree products invented by their ancestors in the same way, as well as many other products created in later centuries thanks to their imagination and ingenuity.

The olive tree products that are found in trade today can be separated into five general categories: nutritional, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, decorative and other utilitarian products.

Nutritional Nutritional products include olive oil, table olives, olive paste, margarine, as well as jams and preserved sweets.
Cosmetic / pharmaceutical This category includes various creams and scented oils used to combat skin irritations and for skin hygiene and beautification, in general (hydration, anti-ageing and sunblock protection, etc.). Special reference should be made to spatholado (wort olive oil), the renowned salve used by the ancient Spartans (its main ingredients are olive oil and St. John’s wort). Spatholado (which can also be imbibed) is considered to be exceptionally effective for treating sciatica, any rheumatic or joint pain, wounds and cuts, bruises, sprains, insect bites, burns, inflammations, ulcers, cramps, stiff limbs, stiffness, neuralgia and headaches. It can also be smeared or lightly massaged on the body part that hurts or can be used to douse compresses applied to the body. Olive oil is also ideal for therapeutic or relaxing massage and can be suitably enriched with essential oils. The category of cosmetic and pharmaceutical olive oil preparations includes various oil serums and conditioners for hair treatment, as well as soap often scented with herbs and other natural substances.
Decorative / utilitarian
Olive wood serves as the raw material for the construction of furniture and other wood-carved items, such as kitchen utensils and various decorative objects. On Crete, there are many artisans who dexterously work the tough, resilient and beautiful wood of the Olive Tree.
Moreover, the branches and leaves of the tree are used as fodder and fuel. In recent years, the leaves collected at the olive oil mill during their separation from olives are used as raw material for the production of compost that is used to fertilise olive groves intended for the production of organic olive oil.

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