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Ingredients & Phytology

Olive
Olea Europea


The olive tree or "Olea Europea" belongs to the family "Oleaceae", which primarily originates from the Mediterranean region and is one of the oldest culture and agricultural plants. The slowly growing wood of the tree is twisted and can reach a height of 20 meters, while its long roots can go 6 meters into the soil and provide the tree with water necessary for its growth. It tolerates drought but suffers from frost. Several years old, leaves are discarded throughout the year. Thus, the olive tree is an evergreen plant. Its slander lancet shaped leaves are leathery green on the upper side and silvery and shiny on the underside. Fine, star shaped hairs (star hairs) on the underside shield the leaves from dehydration. Water leaking from little openings in the leaves is caught and absorbed by the leaf again!

 

A comparable effect occurs when olive soap is aplied on human skin. The moisturizing olive oil (main ingredient of the Aleppo-Soap) cleanses and nourishes the skin, preventing it from getting dry and irritated.

The self-regulating skin function is animated and its regreasing is advanced. A protective layer forms and the skin can breathe and sweat.
Therefore, we have cosen the star hair to be the sign of the wonderful body care features of our FINigrana Aleppo-Soaps.

 

While olive trees can reach a very high age of up to several hundred years, they need much time to grow. The time span from the seeding till the first crop averages 7 years. The fruit, harvested in Autumn, are the popular olives with its pulp and stone. The unripe fruit is green, the ripe one brown or black. Once picked from the tree, the olive has to be placed in pickle before eating so that it will lose its bitterness.

Almost 90% of all olives are squeezed to olive oil. This oil contains a high portion of unsaturated fatty acid, which is the carrier for vitamin E and which is very durable. Olive oil has a positive effect on the heart and the circulatory system, it strengthens the immune system and can lower the blood cholesterol level.
Olive oil consists of fatty acids bound to glycerine. On an average it consists of 66% oleic acid, 12% linoleic acid, 9 % palmitic acid, 5 % Eicose acid and 5 % palmitoleic acid.
Olive oil has always been an essential ingredient of the Mediterranean cuisine. Because of its high smoke point (native olive oil: 190°C, refined olive oil: 220°C) it lends itself especially good for heating.


The history of the olive tree goes back in time until the Ancient World.
Archeologist findings suggest that the cultivation has taken place as early as 4000 B.C.
Frequent references to the olive tree and its products in the Bible indicate that the origin of the cultivated olive tree lies in Syria. In the dry climate of Middle East olive oil presented an essential and healthy staple food which was further used in medicine and cosmetics.
This important role of the olive tree was reflected in economy, religion, art and also in many myths.
Oil was employed in offerings to the God(s), for burning and as ointment for body and hair.
The olive tree was appreciated in the Bible as well as in the Koran, it was held in high esteem among the Greeks and Romans alike.

laurel, laurus nobilis

The laurel belongs to the family of hardwood, it grows either as shrub or as a tree and counts among the evergreen plants that have their origin in the Mediterranean. A laurel tree can reach a height up to 12 m. Its leaves are brightly aromatic but it is only restrictedly winterproof.
Laurel oil is a green, ointment-like compound which is gained by pressing and boiling up the dark, berry-like fruits.
Oleum Lauri consists predominantly of fatty oil. A smaller part consists of ethereal oil, cineol. The rest consists of tanning agents and mucilage.
The great quantity of ingredients qualified laurel oil as far back as the Ancient Time as a potentially healing medicament. Laurel oil is skin-friendly and antibacterial. It has an anti-inflammatory and expectorant effect and strenghtens the immune system. Due to its analgetic and circulation-enhancing qualities, laurel oil-mixtures are known to relieve muscle- and rheumatic pains.
In our latitudes the aromatical leaves are highly estimated as spice plants in the refinement of food.
Laurel oil is also employed in the production of licquer and perfumes.

Traditionally the precious laurel oil, Oleum Lauri, is added to the Aleppo soaps in different portions thus lending the soap its antiseptic characteristics and pleasant flavour.

 

 

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