Spice Rack Series: Olive Leaf

Today I am excited to debut the first post in the Spice Rack Series! The Spice Rack Series is a series where I will be spotlighting different herbs and spices, along with their history, culinary uses, and health benefits of different herbs and spices.

Since we are currently eating from the beautiful country of Turkey in the Tastetrotting Across The Globe series, I thought we would start by showcasing herbs & spices that possibly originated from the country of Turkey. Today in The Spice Rack Series, we will be learning about Olive Leaf.

History of Olive Leaf

The Olive Tree is perhaps the most often mentioned plant in the Bible. Full leafed olive branches have come to symbolize peace and prosperity in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures. 

In many parts of the world, olives are a staple found on every table, and olive oil is highly prized among chefs and plays an important role in the Mediterranean diet. But another part of the olive harvest is less known, yet has tremendous health benefits.

Early references to the olive leaf used as medicine can be found in the Bible:

Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing (Ezekiel 47:12)

The ancient Egyptians attributed heavenly powers to the Olive Leaf, and even used it in the mummification process.

Medicinal Uses & Healing Properties

 The Olive Leaf is highly prized for it’s antimicrobial properties. Olive Leaf have been used by traditional Mediterranean medical practioners for thousands of years in poultices and decoctions to reduce fever and fight infections. One of the main compounds in olive leaf is a substance called oleouropin, which is antiviral, anti fungal and antibacterial. In addition to helping ward off a multitude of internal infections, oleouropin is also known for lowering blood pressure and burning fat. Olive Leaf also has strong antioxidant power, stronger than green tea. It is also thought to help with the prevention of different types of cancer.

Olive Leaf extract can be taken in liquid, powder, or capsule form. I currently take it in capsule form to help strengthen my immune system.

Olive Leaf is also known for:

Inhibition & Prevention of Cancer

Bone Building

Anti Viral & Antibacterial Properties

High source of antioxidants

Anti-inflammatory properties

Lowers Blood Pressure

Fights Cholesterol

Strengthens the Immune System

Cold & Flu Prevention

Where Can You Buy Olive Leaf?

Most health food stores will have olive leaf in capsule form. But if your local health food store doesn’t carry olive leaf, you can usually find it online. Mountain Rose Herbs carries Olive Leaf and Vitacost carries this in capsule and extract form.

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