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SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Olea europaea L. Family: oleaceae.
COMMON NAME(S): Olive leaf
Olive leaf extract comes from the olive tree, a member of the evergreen family native to the Mediterranean region, but grown around the world. The therapeutic benefits of olive leaf extract lie in the active ingredient oleuropein.
The drinking of olive leaf tea has been a way for many centuries by Middle Eastern cultures to treat disorders such as coughs, sore throat, cystitis, fever and gout. In addition to the infusion, poultices were also made of the olive leaves to treat boils, rashes, warts and other skin problems.
The olive tree was cultivated in Crete as far back as 3500 BC, where the leaves had been used to clean wounds. Symbolically,the olive branch stands for peace. The leaves were worn by athletes in ancient Olympic games. Medicinal properties of the plant in the 1800s include malaria treatment. In the 1900s, the leaf constituent oleuropein was found to resist disease. The plant also has been reported to possess some hypotensive properties.
Botany :- The olive tree is an evergreen, growing to approximately 10 m in height. Native to the Mediterranean regions, the trees also are cultivated in areas of similar climates in the Americas. The small, leatherly leaves are gray-green on top, and the underside contains fine, white, scale-like hairs. The leaves are gathered throughout the year.
Uses of Olive Leaf
In traditional folk medicine, olive leaves have been used for hypertension (possibly only for mild cases) and also may have hypoglycemic, renal, and antimicrobial effects. More research and clinical trials are necessary.
Side Effects of Olive Leaf
Toxicity is not well known, but the leaf may cause gastric symptoms. Use in diabetic patients should be followed carefully because of the hypoglycemic effects of olive leaf.
To prepare an olive tea, pour 5 ounces of hot water over 7 to 8 grams (about 2 teaspoonfuls) of crushed olive leaf and steep for 30 minutes. Drink 3 to 4 cups of olive tea daily.
Potential toxicity of olive leaf is not well known.The German Commission E Monographs list no known risks associated with the plant.One source states the drug as causing gastric symptoms, and suggests that it be taken with meals because of this irritant effect.
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