Botanical Name: Olea europaea
- English: Olive
- Unani: Zaitoon
- Also, known as: Olbaum, African olive, Olivier, European olive, Olivo, Zaytun, Gan lan shu, Zaytoon, Olibh, Gaam laam syuh, Olijf, Elia, Elaia, Elais, Zaitun, Jaitun, Jalapai, Olíva, Olajfa, Olajbogyó, Oliva, Oribu, Aliv, Julipe, Ollibu, Oleevu, Oli, and Saidun
Habitat: Mediterranean region
Parts Used: Leaves
Olea europcea, commonly called common olive, is a small, evergreen tree, averaging 20-30 feet or more in height with a rounded crown. One of the world’s oldest cultivated plants, the olive has shaped both the culture and the landscape of the Mediterranean for thousands of years. Young trees have smooth gray bark, but trunks and branches are rough, somewhat picturesquely with age. It has many thin branches with opposite branchlets and shortly-stalked. The leaves are borne in opposite pairs. The leaves are evergreen, opposite, lanceolate leaves about 3-10 cm long and 0.3 to 3 cm wide, acute, elliptic, entire and smooth. The upper surface of the leaf is usually grey-green, while the lower surface is silvery to yellowish-green. Each leaf typically grows over a period of two years before being shed. The flowers of the olive grow in clusters at the base of the leaves, where the leaf meets the stem of the plant. Each cluster, or inflorescence, typically contains between 15 and 30 tiny, fragrant, white to yellowish-white flowers. The flowers of the olive usually form in spring, and are pollinated by insects. Two types of flowers may be present: hermaphroditic flowers, containing both male and female reproductive parts, and unisexual flowers, containing only male reproductive part. The petals of the olive flower are fused, forming a short tube with four lobes. The well-known fruit of the olive is a fleshy drupe containing a hard stone that encloses the seed and contains a single seed. The olive fruit is purple-black when ripe and measures between 0.5 and 4 centimeters in length.
Olives from this species are commercially harvested as eating olives and for the production of olive oils. The olive is also planted as an ornamental tree, as well as to control soil erosion and to form firebreaks. An olive branch is a symbol of peace. Many different commercial varieties are grown for fruit production. Olives are not used as a natural fruit because of their extremely bitter taste but are rather consumed either as olive oil or table olives. All parts of the olive tree have been widely used by humans, and this species is said to be the Mediterranean region’s most valuable and versatile crop.
Spain is the largest producer of olives followed by Italy and Greece. These three countries are producing 60% of the world’s total olive production.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids, and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice trays or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.