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Description. The Olive-tree grows to a great bigness in its native climate, being full of branches, whose twigs are of a grey or ash-colour, having two leaves set opposite at a joint, of a hard firm texture, of a long oval shape, whitish underneath, and of a sad green above; among these grow bunches of small, yellow monopetalous flowers, cut into four sections, and after them come oval fruit of different magnitude, some being as big as a large plum, as the Spanish and several others; and some as the Lucca Olive, a gread deal less: they are green at first, and black when ripe, having a hard stone in the middle which is sharp-pointed at both ends; when ripe, they are hot and burning in the mouth.

Place. It is a native of several parts of Europe, but will not bear the cold of our winters without the shelter of a green-house.

Time. While it is under the cover of a green-house, it is needless to point out the time of its flowering, as that is the effect of nature forced.

Government and virtues. This is a tree of the Sun. The fruit of this tree has a bitter, austere, disagreeable taste; but when pickled, as they come from abroad, they are less ungrateful, and promote appetite and digestion; it also cuts and attenuates tough phlegm in the stomach and first passages. The Lucca Olives are smaller than the others, and have the weakest taste; and the Spanish, or larger, the strongest; those brought from Provence, which are of a middling size, are most esteemed. But the principal consumption of this fruit is in making the common sallad-oil, which is obtained by grinding and pressing them when ripe; the finer, and most pure oil, issues first on their being gently pressed, and the inferior sorts on heating the mass, and pressing it more strongly. This oil, in its virtues, does not differ materially from the other tasteless expressed oils, but it is preferred to all of them for esculent purposes; and is chiefly used in the preparation of plaisters, ointments, &c. Oil is moderately healing and molifying, rendering the body lax and soluble; it is good for disorders of the breast and lungs, tempering the sharp choleric humours in the bowels. What is drawn from the unripe Olives is called omphacinum, and is accounted drying and restringent, and fitter for some external remedies; what is pressed out of the ripe fruit is called Oil of Olives, being what is generally eaten, and made use of in medicins: the different fineness being from the different care and management in the making it; the sweetest, and what we esteem most, comes from Florence.

Article - Natural Beauty with Olive Oil

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