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Significance of Olive Trees

Olive trees are not just an ordinary tree that can be seen anywhere, but it is one type of tree which has numerous benefits.

Attributes and History of Olive trees

Olive tree, also known as Olea Europaea, is the oldest fruit tree that plays a vital role not only in the trade, religion and health, but also in the rise and fall of ancient empires across the Mediterranean. It serves as the foundation of powerful Greek and Roman empires. It played an important role in the development of their political and economic forces and the decline of these empires was attributed to the destruction of thousand orchards of olive trees, thereby reducing their source of olive oil, olives, olive soap and olive wood. Historically, it was deemed as a symbol of peace and goodwill because during Israeli-Palestinian war, about 50,000 olive trees were destroyed which resulted to anger and demonstration of the people in West Bank and Gaza strip. Majority of  farmers depended on them for their living and source of income.

Role of Olive Oil in Religion

According to the Old Testament, olive oil was used as an essential oil to anoint kings and prophets. It was also used as source of fuel to light lamps in the temples of Jerusalem and symbolized the sign of peace for God and mankind. Olive trees are considered sacred because Jesus Christ preached and lived in areas where olive trees are bountiful. According to the Bible, majority of the woods that Jesus Christ worked during his carpentry years are olive wood. Apart from these, there are numerous instances where the olive trees are mentioned in the Bible. According to religious history, the cross where Jesus Christ was crucified was made of olive wood. The majority of religious gifts, statues and ornaments are carved out of olive trees. Farmers do not cut olive trees for the sole purpose of carving items from them, but the wood used in carving these ornaments are those which dies out due to old age.

Why is Olive Tree is Considered an Immortal Tree?

Facts from the Holy Land reveal that olive trees are considered immortal because it can last for about two centuries. Even though their trunk disappears, new shoots start to appear, thereby paving way for the development of a new olive tree. In this manner, olive trees never die and live for several generations. It is for these reasons that the people of the Holy Land compared the rebirth of olive trees to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Health Benefits

Apart from healing powers mentioned in the Bible, olive oil has numerous health benefits. The known and common benefits of olive oil include:
  • It reduces bad cholesterol levels.
  • It decreases blood cholesterol.
  • It mitigates the growth of cancer cells.
  • It decreases the wear and tear of organs and tissues of the body caused by aging.
  • It reduces the acidity of the gastrointestinal system.
  • It protects individuals against ulcer.
  • It assists in the passage of food in the intestines.
  • It prevents constipation.
  • It aids in the growth of normal bones.
  • It reduces the risk of gallstones development.

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