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You can't eat most olives straight off the tree, they contain a glycoside called oleuropein, which makes them intensely bitter. They need to be cured before they are edible. Most commercial olives are cured in Lye- (sodium hydroxide)-one of the main ingredients of Drano. Canned black olives have been pasteurized and soaked in ferrous gluconate – avoid them. The curing process is very tedious and takes up to 3 months. They need to be in water the whole time. The first month, the water needs to be replaces daily. Then salt water is added for the next month or two. Olives are rich in minerals, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, fats (both omega 3 and 6) High in vitamin A and E, many antioxidants, dissolves mucus. Really high in monounsaturated fat, which is good for heart, blood pressure and cholesterol. Olives are known for anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, allergies, diabetes, colon cancer, arthritis. For Olive oil- if you can, use only STONE CRUSHED cold pressed extra virgin olive oil in dark bottles. Most “cold pressed” brands are made with machines that press them up to 160 degrees which kills the good properties. Stone pressed is best. The best part of an olive tree is... OLIVE LEAVES contain one of the most powerful immune system substances known, a potent antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, antiparasite and antioxidant used for flu, meningitis, encephalitis, herpes of all forms, HIV, AIDS, pneumonia, blood poisoning, dental, urinary tract infections, TB, malaria, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergic symptoms, gives energy, stops painful joint ache, normalizes heartbeat, relieves the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, lowers blood pressure, muscle spasms in the intestines and heart arrhythmia, stimulates immune system, restores energy, boosts stamina. Particularly effective against herpes 1, 2, 6 and 7, shingles, Epstein Barr virus, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, severe diarrhea, blood poisoning, ear, urinary tract and surgical infections. You can make tea, grind dry leaves into powder or use the even more powerful extract.