Saturday, June 5, 2010

ANCIENT GREEK & SYRIAN OLIVE SOAP - Tradition in Modern Times

A staple for every local household, Olive Soap blocks are stacked in high piles throughout the marketplaces of Greece and Syria. This old world soap is considered an essential commodity for the locals and the only cleanser necessary as it is used to wash the skin, hair, clothing, dishes and anything else in the home. Though the discovery date of olive soap is unknown and is claimed by many civilizations of antiquity, the use of natural oil as a cleanser can be historically documented back to 3200 B.C. Mesopotamia. According to evidence from ancient documentation, this primordial oil wash evolved into the natural soap  we know today around 1200 B.C. Ancient Egypt, or the Late Bronze Age in Ancient Greece.
It is interesting to study the transformation of soap in modern times and how an abundance of products have stemmed based on their applications. Today, a person would not consider using their bath soap as a dish soap, or their dish soap as a shampoo. In many parts of the world however, the tradition and resourcefulness of the olive bar remains.
As a young girl, I travelled to Greece frequently for visits. My summers were spent with the older women of the family where I was taught the old ways of life. I called this Greek Boot Camp. Travelling from Brooklyn to Greece every summer seemed like a travel through time in those days and I can absolutely say that I did not recognize or understand the old women's lessons until adulthood. In the off chance there is a goat which needs milking Brooklyn I can absolutely do that too!
Coming back to the topic at hand, as a child I was taught that greek olive soap was a jewel of household items, one to be cherished but not used sparingly.  For many years it was literally the only item which was needed in the bathroom until consumerism got the best of me and shower gel, anti-frizz shampoo, a deep conditioner, a light conditioner, anti-dandruff shampoo and shaving lotion all took over the space my little green soap used to sit. My skin and scalp suffered the consequences of an extravagant consumer lifestyle and the life lessons of boot camp materialized into a way of life and then into the company Kalliste.
Next topic - Olive and Bay Oil Soap, based on the formulation of Syrian Aleppo Soap. Rid your scalp of dandruff in ONE washing, the natural way.

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