What Are The Health Benefits Of Olive Leaf Tea And How To Dry Olive Leaves To Make Your Own

For centuries, the medicinal use of olive tree leaves (Olea europaea) has been recognized worldwide, offering remedies for various ailments, including infections caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Olive leaves boast an array of bioactive compounds, such as oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and antioxidants, contributing to their potential health benefits. Numerous studies have demonstrated the pharmacological potential of olive leaf materials and compounds, both in vitro (outside a living organism) and in vivo (inside a living organism).

Olive leaf can be employed preventatively or as an herbal treatment for specific conditions. It can be consumed as herbal tea, in powder form, or as commercially available olive leaf extract.

Distinguishing between Olive Leaf Extract and Olive Leaf Tea:

Olive leaf extract concentrates the beneficial compounds found in the leaves through an extraction process, typically using solvents like water or alcohol. Available in various forms, including liquid extracts, capsules, and powders, it often contains standardized amounts of specific active compounds. Olive leaf extract is primarily used as a supplement for potential health benefits and taken in prescribed doses.

In contrast, olive leaf tea is milder and less concentrated, made by steeping dried olive leaves in hot water, similar to traditional herbal teas. The tea's strength can vary based on the quantity of leaves used and steeping time. Olive leaf tea is typically enjoyed as a beverage, valued for its soothing properties, mild flavor, and antioxidant effects, making it an accessible way to incorporate olive leaf into a regular health routine.

Health Benefits of Olive Leaf:

Olive leaf extract has a rich history as a herbal remedy, containing bioactive compounds with a range of properties, including antihypertensive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiatherogenic, hypoglycemic, hypocholesterolemic, gastroprotective, neuroprotective, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antinociceptive effects. Numerous studies suggest that olive leaf offers a multitude of health benefits:

  1. Antioxidant Properties: Olive leaf extract contains potent antioxidants like oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, safeguarding cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

  2. Improved Cardiovascular Health: Olive leaf extract may lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow, along with potential cholesterol-lowering effects. It has been used traditionally to support heart health.

  3. Blood Pressure Reduction: Olive leaf extract shows promise in treating hypertension, significantly reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

  4. Immune System Support: Olive leaf has been traditionally used to combat infections, including bacterial and viral. Studies suggest antiviral properties and inhibition of certain viruses' replication.

  5. Anti-Cancer Properties: Olive leaves may inhibit tumor growth by interfering with angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels that nourish tumors. It also exhibits anti-angiogenic and antioxidant properties.

  6. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Olive leaf extract contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, potentially aiding in reducing inflammation in the body.

  7. Blood Sugar Control: Olive leaf extract may improve insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism, and help stabilize blood sugar levels, potentially reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  8. Weight Management: Olive leaf extract may prevent obesity by regulating genes affecting weight gain and reducing food intake.

It's important to note that interactions between olive leaf extract and other medications are not clear. Those taking prescription medications, especially for blood pressure or blood thinning, or individuals with diabetes, should consult a healthcare professional before using olive leaf extract.

Drying Olive Leaves for Making Tea:

To make olive leaf tea, dried olive leaves are steeped in hot water. Here's how to dry olive leaves:

  1. Harvest Leaves: Pick healthy leaves from a pesticide-free olive tree in the morning when dew has dried. Cut short sprigs from branch tips.

  2. Clean Leaves: Wash leaves thoroughly to remove dirt and debris. Rinse under cool water and pat dry.

  3. Prepare Leaves: Remove leaves from stems by gently sliding fingers opposite leaf growth. Discard damaged leaves.

  4. Air Drying: Lay leaves in a single layer on a dry surface, ensuring even spacing for proper air circulation. Dry in a well-ventilated area away from sunlight and moisture.

  5. Drying Time: Allow leaves to air dry for several days until they become brittle and easily crumble when crushed.

  6. Storage: Store dried olive leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight and moisture, to maintain freshness.

To prepare olive leaf tea, crush or break the dried leaves into smaller pieces, boil water, add the leaves, and steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain and enjoy warm or cool, adjusting strength and flavor to taste.


  • Hashmi MA, Khan A, Hanif M, Farooq U, Perveen S. Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology of Olea europaea (Olive). Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:541591. doi: 10.1155/2015/541591. Epub 2015 Feb 23. PMID: 25802541; PMCID: PMC4352757.

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