Cypress is a tree that theoretically comes from Crete and Cyprus. You are now cultivating almost all over the world!
It can reach 30 meters in height and life of up to 700 years.
The name of the tree comes from the greek word “Kyparissi” which is a complex: κύω=produce and parisos = isometric and is due to the fact that the development of the cypress is symmetrical, while another theory claims that it derives from the word Cyprus.
It is considered to be the symbol of melancholy.
Greek mythology reports that when young Kyparissos accidentally killed his beloved deer, he died of grief. Before dying he begged the god Apollo to preserve the memory of his immortal sorrow and thus the god transformed him into a cypress.
For this reason, the tree is considered mournful and adorns temples and memorials.
Healing uses of Cypress in Antiquity
Dioscuridis suggested it for dysentery, while Hippocrates recommended it for urinary tract infections.
The Babylonians used cypress essential oil for anal itching and bleeding.
The ancient Chinese used to chew the cypress fruits to stop the bleeding and tooth loss.
Galen used the cypress fruits against diarrhea and bleeding and as antipyretics.
The villagers used the water of the boiled cypresses against hair loss and dyeing their hair.
The ancient Romans used to give a girl a cypress plantation on their estates so that when they grew up they would have good timber for their home and furniture.
Cypress in Crete
In Crete, cypress was always abundant. Theophrastus states that “everywhere elsewhere the cypresses multiply by seed, but in Crete by a strain“. In the Samaria Gorge, lies the ancient city of Tarras, near which there were cypresses shaped like a Minoan column. That is, they were thicker at the top and thinner at the base.
They were used in building and furniture making. In terms of its therapeutic properties, in Crete, doctors used it as a medicine for prostate diseases and fractures.
It is worth mentioning
The doors of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome are made of cypress wood and there is no sign of rotting though they were built some 1,200 years ago!