Olive Leaf Summary:

Olive leaf comes from the same plant that give us our culinary olives, often found on pizzas and in Italian restaraunts. The leaves have a different use than the fruit, as they are mainly used as an antibacterial, and cardiotonic medicine. 

The leaves are high in antioxidants, glycosides, and caffeic acid. The online health industry tends to promote olive leaf as an antibacterial agent, useful for fighting off colds and flus. Its better use, however, appears to be on the heart and vascular system. Olive leaf has been found to be an ACE inhibitor, which is a common mechanism used by pharmaceutical medicines to lower blood pressure. 

Additionally, olive leaf has been shown in animal studies to be anti-atherosclerotic, anticholesterol, and hypolipidemic. All of these actions directly benefit the health of the heart. 

Although there has been a significant amount of claims around olive leaf as a powerful immune stimulating herbs capable of completely wiping out infections, their is little evidence to support these claims scientifically. 


Botanical Name

Olea europea

Family

Oleaceae

Part Used

Leaf

Herbal Actions:

  • Hypotensive
  • Antioxidant
  • Bitter Tonic
  • Antiviral
Olive leaf.jpeg

Dosage

Liquid Extract (1:2)

3.5-7 mL/day

Indications:

[1]

  • Hypertension
  • Angina pectoris
  • Possible uses for gout and fluid retention
  • Bacterial infection (especially Campylobacter jejuni, H. pylori, Staphylococcus aureus

Common Names:

  • Olive leaf

Traditional Uses:

The olive treee was first mentioned in the bible (Ezekiel 47:12) as; "The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf therof for medicine". It was also used by the ncient Egyptians for mummification, and the ancient Greeks for treating fevers. [5].  

Olive leaf has been traditionally used to treat high blood pressure, angina, coughs, fevers, and as a diuretic, emmenagogue, liver stimulant, and stomachic. Topically it has been used for snakebites, and mouth ulcers. [1]. 


    Botanical Description:

    Still compiling research. 


    Habitat Ecology, and Distribution:

    The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean region [5]. 


    Harvesting Collection, and Preparation:

    Still compiling research. 


    Constituents:

    • Iridoid glycosides
    • Flavonoids
    • Elanoic acid
    • Caffeic acid

    Olive leaf contains iridoid glycosides (oleuropein 6-9%), flavonoids, elenolic acid, hydroxytyrosol, oleuropeoside, hydroxytyrosol, polyphenols (verbascoside, apigenin-7-glucoside, and luteolin-7-glucoside), triterpenes (including oleanic acid), flavonoids (rutin, diosmin) [1, 5-8]. 


    Pharmacology and Medical Research:

     

    ACE INHIBITOR

    An aqueous extract of olive leaf was found to inhibit ACE in vitro. This action was noted to be through the oleacein content of the leaf [4]. 

     

    Other Cardiotonic Actions

    Olive leaf was not only found to inhibit ACE activity, but was also shown to be hypotensive, decrease arrhythmia and coronary spasm, and shown to dilate the coronary arteries of the heart [1, 3]. This action was shoen in general vasodilatory actions to be at least partially due to its ability to supress the L-type calcium channel through both direct and indirect mechanisms. This resulted indirectly in vasodilation [9, 10]. 

    Olive leaf was found to produce anti-atherosclerotic, anticholesterol, hypotensive and hypolipidemic action in animal studies [5, 11]. 

     

    Hypotensive

    Olive leaf extract was shown to exhibit hypotensive activity after oral intake in several studies [2]. This action was found to be at least partly due to the oleuropein content [3]. 

     

    Toxicity

    Olive leaf extracts are generally very safe, even at high doses (1g/kg for 7 days) [12]. 

     

    Cautions:

    • There are some reports of gastro-intestinal upset with the consumption of olive leaf. THerefore it should be taken with meals to reduce the chances of these side-effects. [1]. 

    Traditional Chinese Medicine:

    Still compiling research. 


    Synergy:

    Still compiling research. 

    More herbs

     

    Author:

    Justin Cooke

    The Sunlight Experiment

    Updated: Sept 2017


    Recent Blog Posts:

    References:

    1. Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs: Herbal formulations for the individual patient. Edinburgh [u.a., MO: Churchill Livingstone.
    2. Ribeiro, R. D. A., De Melo, M. M. R. F., De Barros, F., Gomes, C., & Trolin, G. (1986). Acute antihypertensive effect in conscious rats produced by some medicinal plants used in the state of Sao Paulo. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 15(3), 261-269.
    3. Petkov, V., & Manolov, P. (1972). Pharmacological analysis of the iridoid oleuropein. Arzneimittel-Forschung, 22(9), 1476-1486.
    4. Hansen, K., Adsersen, A., Christensen, S. B., Jensen, S. R., Nyman, U., & Smitt, U. W. (1996). Isolation of an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor from Olea europaea and Olea lancea. Phytomedicine, 2(4), 319-325.
    5. Olive leaf. Monograph. (2009). Alternative Medicine Review : A Journal Of Clinical Therapeutic, 14(1), 62-6.
    6. Briante R, Patumi M, Terenziani S, Olea europaea L. leaf extract and derivatives: antioxidant propertics.J Agric Food Chem 2002;50:4934-4940.
    7. Japon-Lujan R. Luqac de Castro MD. Superheated liquid extraction of oleuiopein and related biophenols from olive leaves.J Chromatogr A 2006:1136:185-191.
    8. Sato H. Genet C, Strehle A. et al. Antihyperglycemic activity of a TGR5 agonist isolated from Olea europaea. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2007:362:793-798.
    9. Gilani AH, Khan AU, Shah AJ, et al. Blood pressure lowering effect of olive is mediated through calcium channel blockade, Int J Food Sci Nutr 2005;56:613-
      620.
    10. Scheffler A. Rauwald HW. Kampa B, et al. Olea europaea leaf extract exerts L-Type Ca(2+) channel antagonistic effects. Ethnopharmacol 2008;120:233- 240.
    11. Wang L, Geng C, Jiang L, et al. The antiatherosclerotic effect of olive leaf extract is related to suppressed inflammatory response in rabbits with experimental atherosclerosis. Eur J Nutr 2008:47:235-243.
    12. Petkov V, Manolov P. Pharmacological analysis of the iridoid oleuropein. Arzneimittelforschung 1972:22:1476-1486