Olive, Olea Europaea, Uses of Olive Benefits, Herb

Olive, Olea europaea, Olive oil

Olea europaea Oleaceae


Widely cultivated throughout the Mediterranean region, the olive tree has a grey, twisted and grooved trunk and grows to a height of about 10m. Its tough, spearshaped, evergreen leaves are grayish green on top and silvery white beneath. Its flowers are white and grow in little, erect clusters and its oval fruit, the olive, is green at first ripening to black, with a hard stone at its centre.


Parts used

  • Leaves and fruits
  • Mature leaves are gathered in March and April, before the flowers come into bud.
  • They are dried, broken into fragments and used for infusions, extracts and tinctures or combined with other plants in preparations that lower blood pressure.
  • Olives are picked in November and December. Their oil is expressed cold from the ripe fruit for culinary use or for creams and liniments.

Constituents

The leaves contain secoiridoids, in particular oleuropein, which reduces blood pressure. They also contain triterpenes and flavonoids. Olive oil, obtained from the fruits, is rich in monounsaturated (oleic acid) and polyunsaturated fatty acids {linoleic and linolenic acids) as well as in vitamin E.


Medicinal uses

Due mainly to the oleuropeoside, olive leaves have several beneficial effects. They help to reduce blood pressure, dilate coronary blood vessels, regulate heart beat, lower blood sugar levels and are diuretic.


Olive leaves, often combined with hawthorn, are considered an effective treatment for mild cases of high blood pressure. Their ability to lower blood pressure was shown by Egyptian researchers in animal studies in 2002.


The extract can also be used as a supplementary treatment for less serious forms of Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes. Spanish studies performed in 1992 showed that oleuropeoside lowered blood sugar levels in in vitro models of diabetes.


Olive oil is mildly laxative and, because it stimulates the secretion and elimination of bile, is used in the treatment of gallstones. It has also been used to treat stomach ulcers and to ease nervous tension.Applied externally, olive oil softens and soothes the skin and is a component of protective sun creams and liniments to soothe burns.


PREPARATION AND DOSAGE

For internal use


TO TREAT mild cases of high blood pressure, mild forms of Type 2 diabetes
INFUSION Put 20 dried leaves in 300ml of water. Boil for 30 seconds and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain. Drink at least 3 cups a day during meals.


CAPSULES (SOmg dry extract) Take 1-2 capsules three times a day at mealtimes, with a large glass of water.


TABLETS (SOOmg olive leaf) Take 1 tablet a day with food.


TO TREAT gallstones.
OLIVE OIL To prevent gallstones, take 50ml in several small doses between meals. If suffering from gallstones, take 50 to 150ml to reduce pain.


For external use


TO TREAT sunburn, burns OLIVE-OIL BASED CREAMS AND LINIMENTS Apply as directed several times a day.


IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR


Cultivation

Olive trees are grown from seeds or cuttings. They need well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine.


CAUTIONS

To date, when used as directed or prescribed neither olive leaf nor olive oil have any known adverse side effects.



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