The olive, a sign of peace and friendship throughout the world, is described in the Holy Qur'an in Surat At-Teen.
Found extensively in Asia minor, Palestine, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Italy, North Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, the state of California in America, Mexico, Peru and southern Australia, the olive plant stretches up to three meters in height. Its leaves are bright green and very attractive; and its fruits are bright bluish or violet in color. Although olives consumed straight from the plant are very nutritious, they are not usually eaten due to their metallic taste. A pickled version is consumed largely in Europe. Olives are preserved in vinegar and imported from Spain, Italy, France, Turkey and Greece, and are favored in Europe and Arab countries. Olive oil is a good preservative for other foods such as sardines and other fish.
The use of olives goes back to ancient times. Vessels full of olive oil have been found, among other articles, during the excavation of ancient Egyptian graves. According to the scholars of Hadith, when the Great Flood subsided, the first thing to be seen on the earth was an olive tree.
According to Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, Sayyid Al-Ansari narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said, "Eat olive oil and massage it over your bodies since it is a holy (mubarak) tree."
According to Ibn Al-Juzi, Zanbi, Alqama Ibn Amir narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said, "There is olive oil for you; eat it, massage it over your body, since it is effective for hemorrhoids." Basoor reported that Aqba Ibn Amir narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) stated, "You have the olive oil from this Holy (mubarak) tree; treat yourself with this, since it cures the anal fissure." Abu Na'im reported that Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) stated, "Eat the olive oil and apply it (locally), since there is cure for seventy diseases in it, [and] one of them is leprosy."
Olive oil has a place in pharmacology in the U.S.A. and Britain. Both of these countries have attributed prime importance to olive oil in the treatment of various ailments, and have fixed standard parameters to evaluate its purity.
It contains palmatic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, steanic acid, myristic acid and glycerides. In this case, it is not dissolved in water but in alcohol, ether, chloroform and liquid paraffin.
The adulterant very often used in the olive oils found on the market is the seeds of the tea plant, arachis oil. Sometimes machine gun oil and refined machine oil are also found in it.
According to Ibn Al-Qayyim, the red colored oil is better than the blackish one. Its therapeutic uses are:
-It gives exuberance to the facial complexion.
-Prevention against poisons.
-Regulates the digestive process.
-Expels intestinal parasites.
-A good tonic, making the hair healthy, shiny and makes it stronger. Adds luster.
-A massage of olive oil with ordinary salt over the gums is a remedy for several diseases of the gums and teeth.
-Local application of olive oil or the water extracted from the crushed olive oil leaves is effective on boils, rashes and itching.
-Chronic ulcers and boils, which are difficult to heal, are healed with olive oil when applied locally.
-According to Zahbi, it strengthens the hair and body; hence can be used as a good tonic and for delaying the aging process.
-It helps raise a low libido.
-A combination of normal saline and olive oil is highly effective in burns.
-A soak of olive leaves in water is effective against mouth and lip ulcers, and dermatitis due to allergies.
-The concentrated watery solution of the extract of olive leaves and fruits is very effective against dental cavities and leukoplaquea in the mouth.
-This solution is applied along with vinegar for alopecia to enhance hair growth.
-It is also stated that the local application of this extract removes the scars of small pox and boils.
-Ground olive seeds mixed with butter is effective on brittle nails.
-Pickles prepared from olives are a good appetizer, and stop constipation.
-Its crushed leaves can be applied locally to check excessive perspiration.
-The water extracted from the leaves along with honey is used for ear drops and is effective in various ear ailments. The oil procured by burning the wood of the olive branch is effective against all fungal infections, e.g., ringworm, tenia, versicolor in addition to eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and alopecia.
-Applying olive oil on the scalp is highly effective against dandruff.
-It causes hair growth and reduces hair loss. The application of olive oil in the eyes relieves inflammation.
-A massage of olive oil all over the body tones up the muscles and organs, and relieves muscular pain.
-Some physicians also advocate a massage of olive oil for epilepsy.
-It relieves the sciatica and arthritis.
Ointment prepared from olive oil has very good healing agents:
-It heals the sinuses and fistuli very quickly.
-If taken internally, 25ml of olive oil mixed with 250ml of barley water is highly effective against chronic constipation.
-It is a good diuretic; hence is used in ascites.
-It removes kidney stones.
-In view of the research carried out in the U.S. and Britain, one concludes that it is good nourishment, particularly for kidney ailments where an intake of nitrogen containing protein is contraindicated.
-We mentioned already that the Prophet (pbuh) stated that it is a good remedy for anal fissure. Hence, patients were advised to take two spoonfuls of olive oil at bedtime and an ointment was applied on the fissure locally before sleeping and in the morning. The ointment is prepared from eight spoonfuls of olive oil and two spoonfuls of ground henna leaves.
-Its combination with other prescribed drugs of Prophetic Medicine is a good remedy for psoriasis and eczema.
-The impressions of several doctors practicing in Middle East and North Africa reveal that gastro-intestinal cancer is not detected among those who are used to consuming olive oil. Japanese doctors also endorse this, and have the opinion that olive oil prevents the incidence of cancer in the gastro-intestinal tract.