Olea europaea L. folium
Also known as
Mediterranean Basin from Portugal to the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and southern Asia as far east as China
Traditional use and health benefits
The olive leaf was so important to the Ancient Egyptians that they regarded it as a symbol of heavenly power. Not only did they extract the oil to mummify their kings, it was used as a powerful defender against a wide variety of maladies too.
This tree was so important it was referred to as the ‘Tree of Life’ in the Bible, held in such high esteem that Moses is said to have excluded olive tree growers from military service.
Fast forward to the 1880s when it was utilised to counteract malaria, and then in the early 1900s scientists isolated a bitter compound, ‘oleuropein’, that was thought to give the olive tree its disease resistance. And so through the later 1900s oleuropein was found to lower blood pressure in animals, increase blood flow in the coronar...
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