Olive leaf – Olea Europaea
Legend and history
Athens is named for the Goddess Athena who brought the olive to the Greeks as a gift. Zeus had promised to give Attica to the god or goddess who made the most useful invention. Athena’s gift of the olive, useful for light, heat, food, medicine and perfume was picked as a more peaceful invention than Poseidon’s horse – touted as a rapid and powerful instrument of war. Athena planted the original olive tree on a rocky hill that we know today as the Acropolis. The olive tree that grows there today is said to have come from the roots of the original tree.
Where is it from?
The olive was native to Asia Minor and spread from Iran, Syria and Palestine to the rest of the Mediterranean basin 6,000 years ago. It is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world – being grown before the written language was invented. It was being grown on Crete by 3,000 BC and may have been the source of the wealth of the Minoan kingdom. The Phoenicians spread the olive to the Mediterranean shores of Africa and Southern Europe. Olives have been found in Egyptian tombs from 2,000 years BC. The olive culture was spread to the early Greeks then Romans. As the Romans extended their domain they brought the olive with them.
What are the health benefits?
When will it start to work?
Yes olive leaf is safe to take daily. As with all herbal botanical consistency is critical for success, olive leaf is no different. Consistent delivery with breaks is a common practice. By taking a couple of days off each week and a week off each month you give your system time to assimilate the herb. Our bodies can only assimilate so much olive leaf each serving so try to spread out delivery over 2-3 servings per day if possible. It is also ok to change the delivery method i.e. one day capsules, one day tea, one day extract, some powder and so on. The point is stay with the supplement without overdoing it. There is a Detox effect with olive leaf know as the “Herxheimer reaction”.
Any issues with pregnancy?
Olive oil plays a key role in foetal development during pregnancy and a shortage may have pernicious effects on the baby’s subsequent development.
It has been demonstrated that the post-natal development of babies of mothers who consumed olive oil when pregnant is better in terms of height, weight, behaviour and psychomotor reflexes.
The foetus needs vitamin E to grow. The newborn baby also needs a store of vitamin E to fight against the oxidative stress caused on entering an oxygen atmosphere. Although not very abundant in olive oil, it is present in sufficient quantity thanks to the resistance of olive oil to oxidation.
So, both the amount and the type of food consumed in the diet during pregnancy play a key part in the metabolic adaptations that occur in the mother and in her functional relationship with the foetus.
Think Olive Leaf could help you?
if you have any questions, or you want to understand if Passionflower could help, contact me here. I don’t recommend ‘off the shelf products’ often these are poor quality and poorly absorbed with other vitamins, mineral, and herbs; that may not be right for you.
If you are taking Benzodiazepines and Barbiturates you need to speak to a Naturopath beforehand.
It is safer and wise to talk to a qualified Naturopath to ensure this is the best and right herb for you.
For a list of references please contact me.