Olive is a small evergreen tree native to Mediterranean regions. The characteristic green to blue-black fruit of this tree yields a useful, edible oil. Both the oil and the dried green-grayish coloured leaves are used medicinally.
The olive tree has been held in high esteem throughout history. Moses reportedly decreed that men who cultivated the leaf be exempt from serving in the army. The oil is symbolic of purity and goodness, while the olive branch represents peace and prosperity. Winners in the Greek Olympic games were crowned with a wreath of olive leaves. Historically, medicinal use of olive leaf has been for treatment of fevers and for the topical treatment of wounds or infection. As a poultice, it was also used by herbalists to treat skin rashes and boils.
What it does
The active compound oleuropein has powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Extracts of olive leaf have been shown to inhibit a variety of organisms including herpes virus, influenza A, Coxsackie, salmonella, staphylococcus, and E coli. It has anti-oxidant, blood pressure lowering, fever reducing, anti-spasmodic actions.
|Colds and flu||Parasite infections||Heart arrhythmia|
|Bacterial infections||High blood pressure||Candida & Fungal infections|
Scientific investigation of oleuropein points to a potential blood pressure-lowering action, an increase in blood flow through the coronary vessels and an anti-arrhythmic capability.
Traditionally olive leaves were taken as a tea, having been infused in boiling water.
It is best taken with food as it may cause mild digestive discomfort if taken on an empty stomach.
Do not use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using olive leaf.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with olive leaf.