Olive Leaf

Plant Part Used

Leaf

Introduction

Olive trees are widely cultivated throughout Mediterranean countries as a source of olives and olive oil. The trees products have been traditionally used not only in foods, but in health conditions including malaria, infections, cardiovascular diseases, and for general well-being.

Modern scientific studies may back up many of these traditional uses. For instance, studies have consistently demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet—of which olive leaf is a large part—is correlated with a lower than average risk of coronary heart disease.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

250-500mg (standardized extract), 1-3 times a day.

Tea: 3 to 4 cups, 2 teaspoonfuls of herb per cup throughout the day. (1)

Most Common Dosage

500mg (standardized extract), 3 times a day.

Tea: 3 cups, 2 teaspoonfuls of herb per cup throughout the day.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 4-23% oleuropein per dose (most products in the United States are 6-12% oleuropein).

Reported Uses

Scientists think olive leaf’s potential ability to support cardiovascular health is linked to four main factors. First, olive leaf contains an antioxidant that may help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. (2) The oxidation of LDL cholesterol—the so-called "bad" cholesterol—can severely damage the walls of arteries and it is one of the chief contributors to atherosclerosis. Another compound in olive leaf may support healthy blood flow by lowering its viscosity and making it less "sticky." (3) Third, olive leaf may have the ability to dilate blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. (4) Finally, olive leaf may be able to lower cholesterol levels. (5)

In addition to supporting the cardiovascular system, olive leaf extract may help the body ward off viral and bacterial invaders. It has been studied for use against a variety of bacteria including those that can cause salmonella, pneumonia and other infections of the respiratory tract and intestines. (6) Viral invaders, including those that can cause herpes, polio and influenza may also be inhibited by olive leaf extract. (7) , (8) , (9)

Olive leaf may also have antifungal properties that can help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the intestines. The antifungal and antiviral properties, make it potentially useful in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Olive leaf may also be able to help the body maintain healthy blood sugar levels. (10) And it may have the ability to reduce inflammation. (11)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines. (12)

If you are planning to have any type of surgery or dental work, stop using this dietary supplement for at least 14 days prior to the procedure.

Allergy

Some individuals experience an allergic reaction when taking this dietary supplement. Olive pollen may cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. (13) Call your doctor or seek medical attention if you have fast or irregular breathing, skin rash, hives or itching.

Health Conditions

If you have a bleeding disorder talk to your doctor before taking this dietary supplement.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

References

  1. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd edition. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2000:557.
  2. View Abstract: Visoli F, et al. Oleuropein protects low density lipoprotein from oxidation. Life Sciences. 1994;55:1965-71.
  3. View Abstract: Petroni A, et al. Inhibition of platelet aggregation and eicosanoid production by phenolic components of olive oil.Thromb Res. Apr1995;78(2):151-60.
  4. View Abstract: Zarzuelo A, et al. Vasodilator effect of olive leaf. Planta Med. Oct1991;57(5):417-9.
  5. View Abstract: Gonzalez M, et al. Hypoglycemic activity of olive leaf. Planta Medica. 1992;58:513-515.
  6. View Abstract: Bisignano G, et al. On the in-vitro antimicrobial activity of oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. J Pharm Pharmacol. Aug1999;51(8):971-4.
  7. Renis HE. Inactivation of myxoviruses by calcium elenolate. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. Aug1975;8(2):194-9.
  8. Hirschman SZ. Inactivation of DNA polymerases of murine leukaemia viruses by calcium elenolate. Nat New Biol. Aug1972;238(87):277-9.
  9. Soret MG. Antiviral activity of calcium elenolate on parainfluenza infection of hamsters. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 1969;9:160-66.
  10. View Abstract: Bennani-Kabchi N, et al. Effects of Olea europea var. oleaster leaves in hypercholesterolemic insulin-resistant sand rats. Therapie. Nov1999;54(6):717-23.
  11. View Abstract: Pieroni A, et al. In vitro anti-complementary activity of flavonoids from olive (Olea europaea L.) leaves. Pharmazie. Oct1996;51(10):765-8.
  12. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2000:557.
  13. View Abstract: Martinez A, et al. Identification of a 36-kDa olive-pollen allergen by in vitro and in vivo studies. Allergy. Jun1999;54(6):584-92.