OLIVE LEAF Olea europa
The olive is a small evergreen tree native to Mediterranean regions, but naturalized to climates as varied as those of Australia, California, and Texas. The well-known green to blue-black fruit of this tree yields a useful, edible oil. Both the oil and the dried green-grayish colored leaves are used in herbal medicine.
The green-grayish leaves have been used medicinally for centuries.
Olive leaf extract is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent. The leaves contain an active compound called oleuropein, which has been shown to have an impact against infectious and virulent microbes.
A powerful antiviral, olive leaf is said to be effective against even antibiotic resistant bacteria, yeast strains and fungi.
Olive leaf teas have been used for thousands of years to lower fevers, and olive leaf poultices are among the oldest therapies for infections of the skin.
Olive leaf is associated with a variety of modern medical claims, some of them backed up with scientific evidence:
Elenoic acid from olives is known to be antibacterial (killing both infectious and helpful bacteria), but the elenoic acid in olive leaf may be broken down in the process of making the tea. Olive leaf poultices may heal skin by encouraging circulation rather than by killing bacteria.
Oleuropein in olive leaf and in olives may prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing into a form that can form atherosclerotic plaques. The chemical also lowers blood pressure, although only slightly (3 to 8 mm/Hg after 3 to 4 weeks use).
Olive leaf extracts have been shown in laboratory studies to lower blood sugars, but their use in treating diabetes in humans is not well documented.
It has also been used traditionallyfor treating chronic fatigue, fybromyalgia, herpes, and<parasites.< p=””>
Olive leaf is available in tincture or capsule form and bulk leaves.
A tea made from the leaves is rather bitter but you can grind them to a powder in a spice grinder and put them in capsules.
CAUTIONS: Olive leaf can cause a ‘detox effect’ in some cases, but it is usually mild and short in duration.