Most people are familiar with the health benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The olive leaf also has powerful healing qualities.
Ancient Egyptians used olive leaf as a health remedy centuries ago and The Bible is said to reference its power too: ‘The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.’
According to Phytotherapedia, an encyclopedia of phytotherapy and medicinal plants, the natural antibiotics in olive leaf extract can eliminate infectious bacteria from your body.
The leaf contains phenolic compounds that researchers have linked to reduction of coronary heart disease and certain cancers. Evidence around the bioactive components found in the olive leaf is detailed on the Olive Wellness Institute’s Olive Leaf Extract page.
As scientific evidence mounts, so does the introduction of products and remedies made using olive leaf extract. Keep winter ailments at bay with these five remedies.
1) Daily supplement
Got the flu or want to prevent it? University Health News reports that main constituent of olive leaf is the phytochemical oleuropein which has an antioxidant effect on the body, anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and can lower blood pressure, fight cholesterol, and strengthens the immune system. Olive leaf extract is available in many forms including capsules and liquid drops. Comvita does a range (including cough mixture and olive leaf throat lozenges). Make sure a supplement contains oleuropein before buying it and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dosage. Olive oil leaf extracts have blood pressure-lowering effects and caution should be taken if you are taking prescription drugs for blood pressure, cardiovascular, cholesterol or to increase insulin function. Always consult a health professional for professional advice.
2) Drink it – cuppa style
Olive Leaf Tea is a tasty way to soothe the mind and soul. Tea is being produced all over the globe. British couple Kim and Stewart Evans retired to Italy’s Palombaro where they set up Mirabilia Olive Leaf Tea – the leaves are picked from olive groves in nearby Abruzzo. Closer to home, on the northern end of Victoria’s the Grampians, Mount Zero Olive Grove is one of the oldest olive groves in Australia. It dates back to the 1940s. They use the leaves of the Manzanilla olive trees for their tea because they have the highest therapeutic antioxidant qualities. The biodynamic leaves are carefully steamed, rubbed, rolled and dried in a traditional Japanese green tea processing plant in Victoria.
The biodynamic tea is available in loose-leaf form and biodegradable pyramid bags. There is also an olive leaf with lemongrass and spearmint option. You can also make olive leaf liquid yourself. Add two cups of fresh leaves to two cups of water in a blender. Mix until a smooth pulp forms and strain it through a cloth and drink. Add herbs if you wish.
3) Skin savers
Natural practitioners favour olive leaf extract as a natural antibiotic to kill bacteria and fungi. Olive Oil Skincare Company uses 100% Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make their skincare, hair care, beauty and lifestyle products. Their nourishing and hydrating hand cream contains nutrient rich olive leaf extract, which is clinically proven to help fight the visible signs of ageing and promote healthy skin growth. They also have a special range of products for bubs. Australian 100% plant-based skincare company Cedar + Stone’s sweet orange and olive leaf moisturiser ($40) is a dry winter skin saver, too.
4) Germ busters
Mount Zero Olive Grove has produced a hand sanitiser using olive leaf extract combined with tea tree and lavender oil’s extra antibacterial punch.
The Girl and the Olive hand sanitiser with olive leaf extract ($12.50/50ml) is also kind to the environment. Simply spray or squeeze on hands and air dry. Cedar + Stone sells a frankincense & olive leaf hand wash ($23) combining green tea extract, ginger extract, Aloe vera gel, olive leaf extract and frankincense oil. It is anti-viral, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Also try Method’s hand and body washes.
5) Honey remedy
Sue Visser from Nature Fresh in New Zealand makes a honey remedy mix using olive leaf powder. She outlines the method for making it at home. Dry a large bunch of olive leaves and grind into a powder (use an electric coffee grinder or a powerful blender). Keep the powder in a sealed container. When you’re ready to use it, moisten a tablespoon of the powder with water to make a paste. Mix up equal quantities with honey or bitter molasses (for diabetics) and have half-a-teaspoon as an adult dose. Never heat up the olive leaves as this destroys their active ingredients. Take two-to-three doses per day for general health. Sue says the powder can be added to wet pet food to help get rid of parasites and worms.