Olive Leaf (Olea Europaea)
Olive leaf is obtained from Olea europaea, a small, evergreen tree native to Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean region climates of Greece, Italy and Spain although it is now naturalized in the Middle East, Bermuda, France, South Australia and some parts of California. Olive trees are one of the oldest cultivated species of tree known and has long been associated with fostering peace and prosperity. As such, powdered olive leaf is often used in ceremonial incense blends.
Olive leaf comes from the same trees from which olive oil is produced. Just like the oil expressed from the fruit of an olive tree, the leaf is rich in nutrients, including a potent antioxidant called oleuropein.
When the structure of the whole leaf is left intact, its chemical composition is less processed and therefore uncompromised. Whole olive leaf is typically used to prepare teas, infusions and liquid extracts.
Cut and sifted Olive leaf herb contains the same antioxidant compounds as olive oil, most notably oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. It is commonly used for making infusions, teas or as a seasoning.
Powdered olive leaf is often used in ceremonial incense blends and because the leaf is a good source of antioxidants, the powder can be added directly to foods.
The antioxidant value of olive oil, which is extracted from the fruit of the tree, is well established. Olive leaf also has antioxidant activity. In fact, the herb is known to contain more than 20 phenolic antioxidant compounds.
Olive leaf and fruit (olives) are substantially high in polyphenolic antioxidants, compounds that prevent the formation of free radicals that cause damaging chain reactions in cells. According to researchers at Southern Cross University of Australia, olive leaf has the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC), a measurement of antioxidant value, out of more than 50 other botanicals tested.†
Active Compounds: Oleuropein and Leine
Storage Tips: Store in a sealed container away from light, heat and moisture.
Appearance And Aroma: A mild, inviting scent.
Cosmetic Uses: Infuse in oil for use in soaps, balms, lotions and other body care products.
Culinary Uses: Cut and sifted olive leaf is used in herbal tea blends. Sprinkle directly into smoothies, casseroles, soups and other foods. Olive leaf powder can also be encapsulated. The herb may also be tinctured.
Flavor Profile: Herbaceous yet lightly balsamic in flavor. Pairs well with other Mediterranean herbs.
Aromatic Uses: Use olive leaf-infused oils or tinctures in perfumery.
Safety: Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.
This information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by Canada Health or the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.