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Article: The magic of the olive leaf

Die Magie des Olivenblatts | Zeitlose Eleganz und Symbol der Hoffnung

The magic of the olive leaf

Do you remember your last holiday in Italy, or was it Greece? You're in the car, just before your destination. The window is rolled down to enjoy the first relaxed holiday air. Your gaze wanders over the plants on the side of the road and in the fields and meadows. Then it stops on these beautiful grey-blue-green leaves. You look closer and you can see from the small leaves and the shape of the trunk that they are olive trees. You immediately taste the slightly bitter sweetness of the olives in your mouth and know that this is going to be a great holiday and that's exactly what it was...

Since it is such a great leaf, I would like to tell you some great things about the olive leaf today.

Olive leaf pendant in silver from real leaf

Timeless elegance and symbol of hope

At first glance, the olive leaf looks like our native willow leaves: it is long and narrow, has a smooth edge and is dark green on the surface. But this exotic tree leaf not only has elegant aesthetics but also incredible powers. That's why I would like to introduce the olive leaf to you in more detail here.

Olive leaves

Source of hope, symbol of light and victors: the meaning of the olive leaf in antiquity

Olive trees have been growing in gardens since 4000 BC, during the time of the ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and later also Greece and Rome.

In the Bible we learn that the olive tree, which is also called the olive tree there, was considered a sign of hope and life. The white dove that Noah sent out on the ark to see if the great flood was slowly receding, brought an olive branch with it as a sign: you will soon be over it! Olive leaves also seem to have had a special meaning in ancient Egypt: in 1922, archaeologists found not only precious jewelry and gold in the famous tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, but also miraculously preserved leaves of this tree. The custom of placing a wreath made of the green branches of the olive tree on a winner comes from Greece. At the first Olympic Games, this victory wreath even had its own name: Kotinus, named after the Greek word for "olive tree". And finally, the olive tree was also revered as a holy tree in the Orient: in the 24th sura of the Koran, the oil of the olive tree is described as similar to Allah, it burns almost without the addition of fire and is therefore comparable to the light of Allah.

Olive leaf earrings in silver from real leaf

The olive tree is one of the oldest known cultivated plants, and people have considered the olive leaf to be magical for thousands of years.

The Fable of the Olive Tree

There is one incident, however, in which an olive tree did not fare so well: The Greek poet Aesop wrote the fable of the olive tree and the reed. European translators in the Middle Ages turned the olive tree into an oak tree because this tree was still completely unknown here at the time.

Olive leaf pendant in silver

In this fable, the sturdy old olive tree boasts to a reed that it is strong and invincible and has stood upright and steadfast against every danger for hundreds of years. It looks with contempt at the reed, which bends in the wind and seems submissive and weak. But then one day a great storm comes. The old olive tree is uprooted by the force of the wind, while the flexible reed survives the storm.

Even if this little story does not make the olive tree look particularly good, it does show that the magic of this tree must have impressed people even in those early times.

Olive leaf pendant in silver

Aesthetic and beautiful: Noble olive leaf

Olive trees can live for up to 1000 years, and their crowns with their narrow, light leaves create a very special light in their shadows. As I like to study the different shapes of leaves for my natural jewelry, olive leaves particularly caught my eye because of their impressive aesthetics: a leaf like this is long and narrow, it can grow to a full 10 centimeters, and only one to two centimeters wide at most. The top and bottom are different in color: while the top shines in a rich dark green, the bottom of the leaf shimmers in a light green that goes into silver-gray. The dark top feels smooth and cool, while the bottom of the leaf is soft. The reason for this are tiny, fine hairs that ensure that the water in the leaf does not evaporate so quickly. This makes the olive perfectly adapted to the hot, dry southern weather.

Olive leaf earrings in silver

Power of nature: olive leaves in medicine

But that is by no means all of the amazing properties of the olive tree leaf. Olive leaves have traditionally been used in medicine by people in the Mediterranean region to relieve many different ailments. The slim, delicate leaf is full of power and good substances and is therefore known in Greece, Italy and many other countries for its healing properties. The most interesting active ingredient is called oleuropein, a so-called antioxidant. In medicine, this is a natural substrate that protects the body from stress in particular and slows down the aging process of cells. The intake of oleuropein through food means that your body is better equipped to fight serious illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes or cancer. Olive leaf tea is also said to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition to this good healing effect, the tea is also a refreshing, invigorating drink that is drunk in the Mediterranean region in a similar way to green or black tea in Asia. Unlike rooibos tea, for example, olive leaf tea does not contain caffeine and is therefore very healthy.

Olive leaves

How to prepare a healthy olive leaf tea

Since the olive tree does not thrive in our latitudes, it is best to use dried olive leaves for a tea. You can get these at the pharmacy or in a well-stocked health food store.

For a cup of olive leaf tea, take a teaspoon of dried leaves and pour boiling water over them. As with green tea, the leaves contain bitter substances, so you shouldn't let them steep for longer than five minutes. A short steeping time of around two minutes, on the other hand, gives the tea a slight sweetness and is very easy to digest - and of course healthy.

My summer tip: Let the tea cool down to drinking temperature and add a splash of lemon juice. This is a treat, especially on hot summer days!

Olive leaf earrings in silver

My olive leaf jewelry

To show off the elegant shape of the olive leaf, I have created my olive leaf jewelry for the head and neck area. I designed my olive leaf earrings as an elongated, hanging version for women who are planning their royal appearance. Royal appearance? Yes, because I like to imagine that the famous Egyptian queen Cleopatra or the fabulously beautiful Helena from Greek mythology might have worn hanging olive leaf earrings . Now that we know that the leaf of the olive tree was of great importance in ancient Greece and ancient Egypt, this idea is not too far-fetched, is it? So: if you want to make a radiant, elegant appearance, let your ear sparkle in silver! But if that's too much of a fuss for you, you can go a little more understated with my silver ear studs.

Olive leaf jewelry in silver

If silver doesn't match your wardrobe, we can also make you shine in gold: My olive leaf pendant in gold sparkles like the sun and is timeless, stylish and elegant thanks to the shape of the leaf.

Whatever you decide: With my olive leaf jewelry, made with great care and love, you will be the queen of the evening at every reception.

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