Olive leaf from Olea europaea, the olive tree, is native to the Mediterranean and has been known for its medicinal properties since ancient times. It is the first botanical noted in the Bible, where it is described in Ezekiel 47:12, “The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” Ancient Egyptians used it in the process of mummifying royalty, and other cultures including the Greeks employed it as a folk remedy for fever. The leaves of Olea europaea are narrow and elongated, dusty-green on top and
1. The first mention of olive leaf ’s medicinal use in modern times was in 1843 when Daniel Hanbury of England reported a bitter substance from olive leaf tea was the agent responsible for healing malaria and associated fevers. These findings were reported in 1854 in the Pharmaceutical Journal, along with dosing instructions and a recipe for making the curative tea.
2. In 1898, a strong decoction of olive leaves was cited in King’s American Dispensatory as helpful in regulating body temperature.
3. In the last century, extracts of olive leaf have been studied in both animals and humans and have been found to exhibit strong antimicrobial properties against viruses, bacteria, yeast, and parasites. Olive leaf extract also has numerous cardiovascular benefits, some hypoglycemic activity, and possesses antioxidant activity.