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Olive Leaf

Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018

What is Olive Leaf?

The olive tree is an evergreen that is native to the Mediterranean region. The trees also are cultivated in areas with similar climates in the Americas. The small, leathery leaves are gray-green on top, and the undersides contain fine, white, scale-like hairs. The leaves are gathered throughout the year.

Scientific Name(s)

Olea europaea

Common Name(s)

Olive leaf also is known as olive leaf extract.

What is it used for?

Traditional and ethnobotanical uses

The olive tree was cultivated in Crete as far back as 3500 BC, where the leaves were used to clean wounds. Symbolically, the olive branch stands for peace. The leaves were worn by athletes in ancient Olympic Games. Medicinal uses of the plant in the 1800s included malaria treatment.

General uses

Interest in olive leaf use centers on antioxidant and antiviral activity, as well as its possible role in diabetes and heart/blood vessel conditions. However, clinical trials do not support its use for any indication.

What is the recommended dosage?

Traditional dosages of olive leaf include 7 to 8 g of dry leaf in 150 mL water. In 1 clinical trial, patients with stage 1 high blood pressure were administered 500 mg of olive leaf extract twice daily for 8 weeks.

Contraindications

Contraindications have not yet been identified. Caution may be needed in liver disease.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Avoid use. Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

None well documented.

Side Effects

None well documented. Supervise patients with diabetes carefully because of potential low blood sugar effects.

Toxicology

Information is limited.

References

1. Olive Leaf. Review of Natural Products. Facts & Comparisons [database online]. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Health Inc; October 2015.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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