A holistic approach from the world’s oldest and most significant known therapeutic center in Epidaurus, Greece
There are many articles in Wellness Magazine and other health resources educating us about the role of food as a medicine that can make our bodies healthier, and stronger and prevent illnesses. Those of us that are well-versed in health-related topics and trends have likely heard of the benefits of holistic treatment methods; that our well-being depends on more than just the nutritional value of the food we eat and the benefits of exercise. It depends on being able to look at all sides of the coin – the mental, psychological, and physical state of our health combined.
A holistic approach to healthcare means ‘treating the whole person.’ When we’re out of balance emotionally, this affects us physically, and vice versa. Just like a good doctor will look at all areas of your life when they make a diagnosis, good quality products that we buy, use or consume should benefit us in all areas as well. When we eat ‘clean’ food, we’re often nourishing our body with something full of nutrients that benefit our physical organs, but it often supports our mental health too. Our body can heal in unimaginable ways when we treat it with a holistic approach – it becomes more able to heal itself from illnesses and diseases, we have reduced stress and anxiety levels, and we feel more energized throughout the day. We can achieve this kind of balance by seeking clean foods; products that help us glow from the inside and out.
We can get a lot of inspiration from looking at ancient societies, such as Epidaurus in Greece. Epidaurus is considered to be the birthplace of scientific medicine (whc.unesco.org). It began as a sanctuary of the God of healing, Asclepius, and transformed into the original holistic healthcare treatment center of the world. Treatments for patients attending the center in Epidaurus were just as spiritual as they were physical; they believed that only addressing their physical concerns was a bandaid solution that wouldn’t truly heal a person in all their areas of suffering which affect one another. Holistic healthcare has become increasingly popular around the world in recent years, but thousands of years ago in Epidaurus, it was the norm.
In Epidaurus, healers realized that illness is often the outcome of complex, negative interactions between our factors in the environment in which we live, and its effects on our emotional and physical state. They were aimed at restoring balance in their patients in ways that would bring them joy, inspiration, relaxation, and enlightenment. Instead of treating illnesses with just medicine that treats the symptoms, the healing center was determined to bring well-being to their patient in all areas – physical, emotional, and psychological. Only then would they be considered fully ‘cured.’
Techniques of incorporating music and drama in the ancient theater were used, as were sporting activities in the stadium, the spa surrounded by natural resources, and meditation and mindfulness in the pristine rocky slopes of Epidaurus. The patient being able to immerse themselves in these activities brought them the emotional and psychological healing they often needed to complement their physical treatment.
In addition to this, a holistic diet was used as a treatment in Epidaurus. Ancient Greeks knew that “clean” foods play an important role in our health and should therefore be treated not just as a body’s fuel, but as a medicine that supports the functioning of all our bodily systems.
The holistic diet is determined by the ingredients, the chemistry of using them (the cooking) even the way the food is preserved; for instance, keeping the olive oil in underground containers to protect it from the sun, and air out its antioxidants and oleocanthal. The ingredients should be used in analogy and one ingredient shouldn’t overpower the other – hence the Greek word “gastronomy” or the law of enjoyment and digestion of food.
Olive oil: a balance between health benefits, gastronomy, and delicious smooth taste
Olives are known for being a healthy fat, but their benefits go much deeper than basic nutrition. Olive oil is an essential ingredient not only for cooking but for health and beauty. It can be used to add shine and moisture to brittle and dry hair, to smooth dry or aging skin, and can also be used as an essential oil when mixed with other fragrances like oregano and other herbs. Consumption of good-quality olive oil can also help with disease prevention.
Good olive oil is rich in compounds called oleocanthal and polyphenols. Oleocanthal is a compound found mainly in olive oil that has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant effects. Polyphenols are a group of compounds found in olives and some other plant foods. They support the body in protecting itself against the development of cardiovascular disease, cancers, and other serious illnesses. The consumption of olives and their oils as food can therefore be very beneficial for long-term health. Good quality olive oils are rich with oleocanthal antioxidants and polyphenols, but mild and in harmony for great taste in cooking.
We know that quality olives are beneficial for health, beauty, and cuisine, but for the best results in any area, we ideally should be using a good variety. The olive trees surrounding the area of Epidaurus today are still of the ancient variety “Manaki” which is indigenous in the region and cannot be found elsewhere. The Manaki variety has been cultivated in Epidaurus for generations using traditional farming methods. Manaki olives are one of the most recognizable Greek olives; their smooth taste enhances meals, and they are preferred to other olive varieties which sometimes have a bold or bitter taste or don’t grow naturally. The Manaki olive matures slowly and gives an aromatic complexity with hints of citrus, flowers, and herbs with a distinguished sweetness. This makes these olives ideal for a variety of uses – beauty, medicine, and cuisine.
Oil of oregano: the power of a culinary herb
Just like an olive branch which is the symbol of peace – the ancient Greeks used oregano as a symbol of joy. They had a good reason to too; oregano is an essential ingredient in Greek cuisine, and also has many medicinal abilities that have been used since ancient times.
Greek oregano shouldn’t be confused with Mexican oregano, which is a different variety with a different flavor. Oregano grown in Greece is known by many chefs as being one of the best herbs in the world. It enhances Greek salads, marinades, meats, and pizzas. It is very flavorful with a more savory and earthy taste than other varieties, and it has a long history of being used for therapeutic value. It has great antioxidant effects, can relieve intestinal upsets and pain, and treat flu, colds, gingivitis, and sore throats. Usually, it is combined with olive oil and is even used as an essential oil.
My Land Olive Oil and Oil of Oregano
We found a brand that upholds the values of treating food as your medicine and using the philosophies of Ancient Greece in holistic diet and health treatment. My Land, which was founded in 2012 produces high-quality olive and oregano products that have grown naturally in the Epidaurus region for millennia. As a family business, My Land wants to make an impact through a series of sustainable, ethically sourced, direct trade products straight from the nature of the mountains in Greece.
My Land uses the Manaki olives in their olive oil. They pick them at prime maturity levels and transfer the crop to the local mill. This method produces an olive juice that is mild with sweetness and a buttery, peppery finish rich with antioxidants and oleocanthal. It is bottled and brought to the U.S. to be for be sold in limited quantities throughout the year until the next crop comes in. It is truly the pristine nature of Greece in a bottle!
My Land’s Oil of Oregano drops come from real Greek oregano grown at 1,000 meters above sea level on Mount Olympus. The oregano is steamed, distilled, and bottled undiluted. This oil of oregano liquid is made with a min of 82% cancer-fighting carvacrol.
A couple of oregano oil drops may be diluted in a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil to give you daily the extra polyphenols, antioxidants, and phenolic compounds your body needs.
There’s nothing we don’t love about My Land, with their sustainable farming practices and quality products that have been benefiting people’s health since ancient times.
Enhance your cooking, and elevate your dining experience with their Greek olive oil which will produce some of the most delicious roasted potatoes and salad dressings. Nourish your body with the use of their rare oregano picked off of Mount Olympus, which will give you the antioxidants and compounds your body needs.
Using the purest ingredients from the healing region in Epidaurus and Mount Olympus, it’s like Ancient Greek natural healing in a bottle.
Invest in your health and your life with My Land’s quality products!
Papageorgiou C, Konstantinou G, Lambrinoudakis V, Papageorgiou C, Yiannopoulou KG. Asclepion of Epidaurus: the application of a historical perspective in medical education. Philos Ethics Humanit Med. 2022 Apr 20;17(1):7. doi: 10.1186/s13010-022-00120-6. PMID: 35440062; PMCID: PMC9020009.
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