The use of olive oil for medicine purposes dates back to as early as 4000 BC, a testament to its enduring significance. Aristotle, a luminary of his time, delved into the properties of olive oil, transforming its cultivation into a science.
The visionary Solon recognized the importance of safeguarding olive trees, becoming the pioneer legislator for their protection. Even in ancient times, the revered poet Homer poetically described olive oil as a “golden fluid,” reflecting its revered status.
Hippocrates, revered as the father of Medicine, went beyond poetry to emphasize its medicinal potential, deeming it the “perfect medicine.” In his extensive works, he delineated over 60 ways to utilize olive oil for various ailments. From skin problems to muscle pains, from ulcer therapy to mouth inflammations, olive oil was a versatile panacea. Pedanius Dioscorides echoed Hippocrates, terming olive oil “perfect to use for health.” This renowned herbalist extolled its virtues against herpes and mouth ulcers, particularly highlighting its efficacy in treating headaches.
The olive oil in Medicine – Benefits for Health
The olive tree’s fruit, a treasure trove of nutrition, is at the core of Mediterranean cuisine and a cornerstone of Greek and Corfiot dishes. Packed with vegetable fibers, metals, and vitamin E, it bolsters the body’s defenses and acts as a natural antioxidant.
The EU Commission Regulation No 432/2012 recognized the health benefits of olive oil, categorizing them based on their polyphenol content. The Dafnis family, pioneering this field, introduced the world to the concept of olive oil with a registered health claim in 2013. The “Governor,” a monovarietal olive oil derived from the unique “lianolia” variety of Corfu, led this innovative charge.
The accolades for the “Governor” didn’t stop there. It clinched the prestigious GOLD PRIZE at the OLYMPIA AWARDS 2016 HEALTH & NUTRITION competition, competing against 565 producers worldwide. This recognition was backed by eminent scientists from renowned universities.
The exceptional polyphenol content in the “Governor” exceeds regulatory standards, endowing it with exceptional health-enhancing qualities. Rich in oleocanthal and oleacein, this olive oil wields a range of pharmaceutical and biological attributes. Oleocanthal’s influence against Alzheimer’s, osteoarthritis, cancer, and skin aging is remarkable. Oleacein emerges as an antioxidant, anti-aging agent, heart protector, and anti-inflammatory warrior.
Our olive oil’s involvement in groundbreaking research extends to studies against Alzheimer’s at the University of Louisiana in Monroe, USA. We collaborate with Mr. Prokopios Magiatis, Assistant Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, contributing to the Faculty of Pharmacy’s advancements in Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products.
In the timeless words of Hippocrates, “Let the food be your medicine, and your medicine be the food.” The journey of olive oil from ancient wisdom to modern scientific validation resonates as a testament to the synergy between nature’s gifts and human understanding.