Olive is a type of evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region that has been grown as far back as 3500 B.C. It grows to be about 30 feet tall, featuring greenish-white flowers and fruit that starts out green and turn black when it ripens.1 Olive has been used for many centuries for medical and religious purposes. Many parts of the plant can be used, including the leaves.
Olive Leaves Uses and Health Benefits
Olive leaves come with many medicinal benefits. Among them, the leaves have long been used for cleaning and healing open wounds. Olive leaves have a moderate diuretic effect, meaning they can help increase urine output, and they’re recommended for diabetes and bladder inflammation.1
Among olive leaf benefits, they are said to contain antiviral and antifungal properties, making the medicine derived from them a viable solution for a number of conditions, including herpes, shingles, pneumonia, chronic fatigue, malaria, severe diarrhea, and many other serious health conditions.2 Other properties include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.3 Olive leaves may even be used to treat allergies like hay fever as well as improve digestive and kidney function.2
One of the more prominent olive leaf benefits is its ability to lower blood pressure. One study found that after patients took 1,000 mg of olive leaf extract per day for eight weeks, their blood pressure and cholesterol levels dropped.3 This shows promise in olive leaf uses for many cardiovascular conditions, including atherosclerosis.4 Other notable olive leaf uses include for:
Olive Leaves Side Effects and Precautions
Olive leaves are not known to produce serious side effects.2 However, there are times when special precautions should be taken. Olive leaves are known to lower blood pressure and therefore should not be taken in combination with other blood pressure medications. Olive leaf side effects also include interactions with herbs that lower blood sugar levels, such as garlic, Siberian ginseng, devil’s claw, and horse chestnut.