Olive: A Translation from The Garden of Blossoms

General Information

A great long-living tree, coming in two types, wild and cultivated. The cultivated tree is much bigger, and its fruit is bigger than the wild fruit but they are both well known. The wild tree is known as ‘zabuj’ and the oil that is made from it is said to be the greatest of all oils and herbs, and for whoever presses its oil, it should bring good fortune. 

Its Nature

The fruit is hot and dry in the first degree and it said that it is slightly damp. Its wood and leaves are dry and cold. 

Uses and Characteristics

The oil is good for the stomach, and it is the best oil for the health generally, wild olive oil is like rose oil in many ways and protects hair loss if used every day, it is also useful for preserving. All types of olive oil detox the bodily functions, and its leaf is useful against thrush, whitlow and excessive perspiration. The leftovers of the oil can be used to cure hot, pus-filled swelling and and the old oil can be used to cure poor eyesight. Wild olive oil dries the flow of earwax, cures bloody gums and wobbly teeth. 


The ruby olive, when it is on the way to becoming ripe.

From Hadiqat al-Azhar (The Garden of Blossoms) by al-Wazeer al-Ghassani, a 16th Century pharmacopoeia. Translated by Miriam Hicklin.

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