This year at the olypmics in Greece the athletes were given olive wreaths as awards. These wreaths are called kotinos” and they are exactly like the prizes awarded to the winners in the ancient games. So, in honor of this occasion, I decided to do a little studying on the Olive Tree. The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a great website explaining all about them if you would like to learn more. The early Olympic athletes would cover their bodies with olive oil to protect their skin and elasticize their muscles. Sophocles called the Olive Tree, "the tree that feeds the children". According to mythology, Elais, daughter of Anias and Dorippi, was the protector of olive oil. Her sisters were Oino, protector of vineyard, and Spermo, protector of wheat. Oil, wine and wheat were the three valuable products of the Greek soil The Olives and Olive oil was sold, the olive tree was worshipped as sacred and its oil, besides being offered to the Gods and the dead, was also used in the production of perfumes, medicine and in daily life as a basic product in diet, lighting and heating. Also, the Hippocratic code of medicine mentions approximately 60 therapeutic uses. As you can see, it is a staple of Greek life all around. The olive was probably first cultivated in Crete in about 3500 BC According to tradition, in the famous fight between Poseidon and Pallada Athena over the name of the city, Athena won offering the city an olive tree, symbol of peace, progress and power. The city expressed its gratitude by giving the name of the Goddess to the city. Indicative of the importance given to the olive tree by Athens is the fact that the Athenians represented Athena having an olive wreath on her helmet and an amphora with oil or a branch of olive tree. The sculpture of Zeus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, in Olympia made of gold and ivory by Pheidias had also a wreath of olive branches. Health Benefits: Olive Oil is a monounsaturated fat. This is a very healthy fat and probably best for your heart. In one study, researchers confirmed that adults who consumed 25 ml or 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil a day for one week showed less oxidation of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of antioxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in their blood. Known to treat Gallstones, Breast cancer, Wrinkles, Xanthomatosis, stomach disease, high cholesteral, high blood pressure, intestinal disease, fever, wounds, infections, urinary tract infection, diarrhea, Diabetes, edema, gastrointestinal colic, Prostate cancer, hemorrhoids, herpes, high blood pressure (hypertension), respiratory tract infections, and many more.