Legend of Trees — Camellia: The King of Woody Oils
Camellia oleifera (Camellia oleifera) is a unique woody edible oil tree species in China. This is a kind of tree full of treasure, which is the "cash cow" for farmers to get rich in hilly areas of southern China.
Camellia oleifera has been cultivated for more than 2300 years in China. It is a traditional edible vegetable oil with a long history of production and development.
The ancient theory of Camellia oleifera has a long history
Camellia flower photo by Lin Ping
Camellia oleifera has a long history of cultivation and utilization in China. The ancient book Shan Hai Jing of the pre Qin Dynasty contains: "yuanmu is the oil food in the South", and "yuanmu" is the Camellia oleifera. It can be seen that China has been extracting oil from Camellia oleifera fruit for food for more than 2300 years.
According to research, the name of Camellia oleifera has different records in various general chronicles. In addition to the current commonly called Camellia oleifera, there are also aliases such as Yuanmu, Mujia, theaceae tea, Camellia oleifera, Camellia, Nanshan Camellia, Tanzi, and Chan.
After the Song Dynasty, the records of Camellia oleifera cultivation are systematic and abundant. Mei Yaochen, a poet of the Northern Song Dynasty, wrote in his poem "a gift of Camellia, flowers and trees to Li tinglao" It's still a hindrance. Where can I plant it? " It expresses the exclamation that there is no place to plant camellia seeds. In the Northern Song Dynasty, the characteristics, origin and utility of Camellia oleifera seeds were recorded in detail in tujing materia medica written by Su Song. In Tongzhi, written by Zheng Qiao in the Southern Song Dynasty, there is a record that "more trees are planted in the south mountain soil", which indicates that Camellia oleifera has developed to a large number of cultivation stage in the Song Dynasty.
Camellia oleifera (Camellia oleifera L.) seed oil is known as camellia oil, which belongs to the "imperial food" oil in China since ancient times. Liu Bang， the emperor of the Han Dynasty, granted him the title of "royal food". Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang of the Ming Dynasty named the oil seal of tea as "oil for imperial food" and granted it the title of "strange juice of royal food, longevity tea prolonging life". Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty praised "Huaiqing oil tea as smooth as crisp, which is hard to match the delicacy of mountain and sea". "Tiangong Kaiwu" has a record that "camellia oil, oil taste very beautiful.” Li Shangyin, a famous poet in the Tang Dynasty, had a poem from Camellia oleifera: "Aromatic, nourishing, and invigorating, rushing out of Anchangchun with one cup".
Camellia culture is rich in connotation
Safflower Camellia Photo courtesy of Lin Ping
Camellia oleifera has ripe flowers and coexisting flowers and fruits. It is commonly known as "Baozi conceived", which is a great wonder in nature. Camellia oleifera is an important carrier of folk custom inheritance and cultural exchanges. Camellia culture can be seen in making friends, hospitality, weddings, birthday banquets, and funerals.
The large-scale color-tuning drama "First Grade Camellia Seven Officials", created by Gongcheng Yao Autonomous County, Guangxi, brought Camellia culture onto the stage and caused a sensation. It won the Guangxi 13th Spiritual Civilization Construction "Five One Project" award, the first In the eighth Guangxi large-scale play show "Osmanthus Gold Award", Camellia oleifera became a carrier of cultural exchanges.
In the areas of Hunan, Guangxi, and Guizhou, the Dong people have the custom of "when guests come to my house, they do not respected without oil tea". In Hunan, some places in the early years had the habit of giving grain and oil to their daughters. The saying "one tea (camellia) and two hemp (sesame oil)" circulated to show that there was more than enough food and drink. In Fujian, there is a custom of giving matcha oil to brides hair in some places. When the emcee gave matcha oil to the bride, he would sing a folk song: "Tea oil slippery, tea oil black. This year, Chapu will be born this year." Chapu means a boy, expressing people's good wishes and blessings.
Camellia is a custom and a must for three meals. "Eating Camellia" has a history of more than a hundred years in Zhaoxing and Dagang, Guizhou. In the New Year season, in Zhaoxing, Guizhou, one can still hear the saying that "you can eat oil-tea camellia to the end, but not to be polite". It can be seen that many aspects of people's lives have been deeply imprinted with Camellia oleifera.
The use of camellia is of great value
Camellia oleifera is covered with treasure.
The nutritional value of camellia oil is very high. It can prevent hypertension, hyperlipidemia and soften blood vessels. Tea oil and olive oil have similar fatty acid composition and nutritional composition, and the proportion of components is slightly better than olive oil, so it is known as "Oriental olive oil" and "soft gold in oil".
"Great Dictionary of traditional Chinese medicine" records: "camellia oil is not only rich in nutrition, but also has medicinal value of traditional Chinese medicine, which can be summarized as: enhancing vascular elasticity and toughness, delaying atherosclerosis, increasing gastrointestinal absorption function, promoting endocrine gland hormone secretion, preventing and controlling the decline of nerve function, and improving human immune capacity." Li Shizhen's Compendium of Materia Medica records: "tea oil is cooler, cooling blood to stop bleeding, clearing heat and detoxification. Indications: liver blood loss, anthelmintic. It is good for the intestines and stomach, and for eyesight. " And cloud: "tea seed, bitter contains fragrant poison, the main treatment of asthma cough, disease scale." The edible functions of camellia oil are mentioned in many ancient books, such as agricultural administration book, compendium of Materia Medica, and suixiju diet. Folk also spread with tea oil treatment of intestinal obstruction, constipation earthwork.
Tea oil has high oleic acid content and good thermal stability. It is also an excellent cosmetic oil. Tea oil can have the effect of moisturizing and beautifying the skin. According to legend, the Tang Dynasty concubine Yang Guifei bathed with tea oil to maintain youthfulness and heal body odor. In the late Qing Dynasty, the empress dowager Empress Cixi and the concubine Zhenfei regarded tea oil as a beauty care treasure.
Camellia oleifera has multi-purpose properties. The residue from the oil-squeezed oil-tea camellia seeds is called chaku, which contains a lot of polysaccharides, protein and tea saponin. After deep processing, it can produce essential oils, saponin, tea dregs and other products, and can be used as important organic fertilizers, biological pesticides and machine polishing Powder, manufacturing shampoo, etc. Tea saponin has strong decontamination and bactericidal and insecticidal abilities, and can be made into eco-environmental cleaning agents, disinfectants and insecticides. Tea husks can be used to extract theophylline and tannin extract to make high-quality cultivation substrates. The dry roots of tea trees can be used as bonsai carving materials, making small farm tools, and producing white charcoal.
With high nutritional value, camellia oil has the health functions of preventing hypertension, hyperlipidemia and softening blood vessels. It is known as "Oriental olive oil" and "soft gold in oil". Photo by Fang Xuezhi
The road of Camellia oleifera has a bright future
Camellia oleifera is included in the national grain and oil security strategy, the first economic forest species pushed by the national level. The development of Camellia oleifera industry is not only an important driving force to promote green development and achieve targeted poverty alleviation, but also a green industry to ensure national grain and oil safety and help the national health and longevity.
Camellia oleifera is a kind of longevity tree. Camellia oleifera does not compete with grain for fields. It benefits from planting for many years at a time. Its stable yield and harvest period can reach more than several decades. Moreover, the fruit picking season just staggers the time for people to do agricultural work. It is a veritable "iron crop" and "green oil depot" in southern China. The sentence "one mu of Camellia oleifera has a hundred catties of oil, and married a daughter-in-law and built a building" is a highly summarized and popular expression of the positive role of Camellia oleifera Industry in poverty alleviation and Rural Revitalization.
Camellia oleifera (Camellia oleifera) is an evergreen tree species with well-developed root system, luxuriant branches and leaves. It has the characteristics of tolerance to barren soil and wide range of growth. It is known as the "Pearl of barren soil", which is often used to green barren mountains and conserve water and soil. In addition, Camellia oleifera is a tree species with strong anti pollution ability, strong resistance to sulfur dioxide, fluorine resistance and chlorine absorption capacity. It has both ecological and economic benefits, and is an ideal tree for "green industry, healthy life".
At present, the planting area of Camellia oleifera in China has exceeded 67 million mu. With the progress and application of science and technology in recent years, the industrial development speed and quality have been steadily improved. Although Camellia oleifera has been cultivated for more than 2300 years in China, Camellia oleifera has not become an important edible oil variety in China due to the fact that the large area of Camellia oleifera forest is old and residual and low yield. Despite the halo of "Oriental olive oil", the overall development of tea oil industry still lags behind the olive oil industry.
Since the establishment of the Institute, three generations of scientific and technological workers of Camellia oleifera have been working hard for more than half a century since the establishment of the Institute. At last, they have made great achievements in the fields of breeding, rapid propagation, efficient cultivation and intensive processing of Camellia oleifera.
In September 17, 2019, general secretary Xi Jinping inspected the Sima Guang oil tea garden of Guangshan County, Henan, which was technically supported by the forest institute. The general secretary paid attention to and attached importance to the camellia industry, and inspired the scientific and technological workers of Camellia oleifera, and pointed out the direction for the healthy and sustainable development of Camellia oleifera industry.
About the Author
Yao Xiaohua, researcher of the Institute of Subtropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, doctoral supervisor, chief expert in the field of woody oil species. Has long been engaged in the research of economic forest cultivation and utilization technology, mainly researching the cultivation and utilization technology of woody oil tree species such as Camellia oleifera.
Jia Xinghuan, Director of Comprehensive Division, Institute of Subtropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry.
Camellia oleifera is a collective name for oil-used species of the genus Camellia in the Camellia family. It is an evergreen small tree or tree. The main species is ordinary camellia oleifera, aliases: Camellia sinensis, Camellia oleifera, and white flower tea. Camellia oleifera is widely distributed in my country, mainly in Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Zhejiang and other provinces. Camellia oleifera grows fast, sets fruit early, and has a long lifespan. Under suitable soil and climate conditions, it will bloom and bear fruit three or four years after planting, enter the fruit-bearing period for 15 years of fruiting, and enter the fruit-bearing period for 5-6 years after grafting, and bear fruit for 70-80 years. In places with good conditions, oil tea trees over 150 years old still bear fruit, and a small number of trees that are hundreds or even thousands of years old still bear fruit.