Veterinarian Reviewed on June 14, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Olive Leaf (Olea europaea)
The Olive Leaf comes from the Olive Tree (Olea europae). This is a tree native to the Mediterranean and throughout Asia as well. It is also cultivated and commercially prepared in Chile, Australia and Peru. The Olive Leaf is light green in color with an elongated shape. It is commonly used in teas and in several medicinal concoctions. It’s extracts, which are simply called Olive Leaf extracts or OLE, have a wonderful anti-aging property and are also known to have antibiotic effects.
The Olive Leaf has many medicinal properties. From lowering blood pressure, boosting immune system function to killing intestinal parasites, this lowly leaf of the Olive Tree has became an important herbal remedy and may even have more therapeutic effects that have yet to be discovered. It can be used dried or fresh as tea or as a poultice for wounds and boils.
History and Origin
The origin of the Olive Leaf dates back to ancient times when it was regarded as an all around treatment for fever, wounds and intestinal parasites. It was in ancient Egypt that the leaf was regarded as an herbal remedy and was used together with Nile salt, Palm wine, incense and spices to mummify dead pharaohs.
The Olive Leaf was a rather well known plant during ancient times and it was mainly used in Egypt as a medicinal herb. It was also an important ingredient in mummification. Dried and powdered, the Olive Leaf was also used to lower a fever. Decades later, the Olive Leaf was used as a treatment for malaria.
What makes the Olive Leaf a therapeutic remedy is a compound extracted from the leaf called Oleuropein. This bitter compound has many properties that made Olive Leaf an ideal remedy to lower blood pressure in both human and animals. Oleuropein in Olive Leaf can increase blood flow to relieve irregular cardiac rhythm and treat coronary and vascular diseases. Oleuropein was also discovered to be beneficial in killing bacteria, viruses and fungus. There were studies on the Olive Leaf regarding these properties done in 1970 and they concluded that there were no side effects or adverse effects even in doubled or tripled doses of the herbal remedy.
Aside from the wide array of bacterial and viral infections that the Olive Leaf extract can treat, it is also known to increase overall energy levels, invigorate the immune system plus increase a person’s resistance to fighting off diseases. People who have tried using Olive Leaf as a tea or as a supplement have a high regard for the healing properties of this particular herb.
People who have diabetes and severe coronary artery diseases must caution in the use of Olive Leaf extracts, tea or supplements since it can actually increase blood flow and it significantly lowers blood sugar as well. The Olive Leaf is contraindicated in pregnant and nursing mothers since there is no information regarding the effect of the therapeutic properties of the Olive Leaf in the developing infant or fetus.
If you would like to try Olive Leaf as a supplement or treatment for your existing ailment, remember to first talk to your naturopathic doctor for the appropriate doses of this herbal remedy.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan