“Our food should be our medicine, our medicine should be our food.” Hippocrates
Olive oil as an ancient medicine
Nutrition as a means of prevention and treatment of diseases, was used, in ancient times, by Galen and other physicians of the school of Hippocrates. To a large extent, their practices resemble to what we now define the Mediterranean diet. They thought, indeed, that the olive oil increases the therapeutic effect of meals.
Fountain of youth
Ancient cultures believed that the oil consumption is responsible for longevity, strength and youth. It was used on the skin for its rejuvenating properties. They believed that the properties inherent in trees, allowing them to live for thousands of years, were contained in the fruit and in the olive tree oil. And that these properties could be passed on to people who ate olives and the precious oil.
When the people of Athens asked the famous Greek philosopher Democritus, that the legend wants to have lived more than a century, to learn how to maintain health and live a long life, he replied: “Let us bathe our guts with honey and our body externally with oil “.
Health and beauty in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome
Homer called the olive oil “liquid gold”. In ancient Greece the Athletes were anointed with olive oil before each race. With olive oil drops the bones of saints and witnesses were inked. The belief that olive oil gives strength and youth was widespread in antiquity. In ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, flowers used for the production of medical and cosmetic reparations, were inked in olive oil. Olive was the symbol of abundance, glory and peace, with its branches the crowns of Winners from around the world, were made. Crowns made of olive branches, were offered to deities and powerful figures, as a symbol of blessing and cleaning : some were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt. An olive branch, brought to Noah by a pigeon, was the sign that the cataclysm was over!