Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Medicinal Plant Olive

Olives are a staple of the Mediterranean diet and are associated with many health benefits, especially for heart health.
Olea europea L.

 

 

 

 

 

The Olive (Olea europea L.) is an evergreen shrub or tree from the same family as olives (Oleaceae). The tree is branched and grows up to 10 meters in height, forming an irregular, knotty trunk with many branches and a wide, asymmetrical crown. The root is spindle-shaped, branched, and very developed. The bark is initially smooth and greyish but later becomes rough and cracks into dark scales. The buds are covered with greyish hairs. The leaves are opposite, evergreen, leathery, elongated, 3-10 cm long, and up to 2 cm wide, with a whole edge, pointed tip, silver-grey on the back, located on short petioles. The flowers are bisexual, monoecious, regular, small, and pleasant-smelling, gathered in loose panicle inflorescences and grow from the axils of the leaves. The perianth is double, consisting of a calyx and corolla. The calyx is made up of four lobes, and the corolla has four white petals.

It blooms in April and May. The ovary is superior and carries two seed embryos. Bees visit the flowers and collect pollen. The fruit is a fleshy, oval drupe, 1-3 cm long and up to 2 cm wide. Initially green, it becomes dark blue, black, or brownish-green when ripe. It ripens in September and October.

Olive trees grow wild in the Mediterranean region and are cultivated in Mediterranean countries and in regions with a similar climate in the USA.

 

TAXONOMY

KINGDOM: Plantae

ORDER: Lamiales

FAMILY: Oleaceae

GENUS: Olea

SPECIES: Olea europaea

COMMON NAME

Common olive, European Olive, Lady’s Oil, Sweet Oil Plant

FLOWERING TIME

IV – V month

Use for medicinal purposes

The leaves and fruits of the Olive (Olea europea L.) are used, both of which have a bitter taste. The leaves are harvested throughout the year, and the fruits when they ripen in late autumn. The leaf is used to reduce high blood pressure, as a diuretic, and to reduce blood sugar. The leaves of wild trees are believed to contain a higher concentration of active principles.

The fruits are used for the production of olive oil and as food, but they have to be processed first. In the Mediterranean region, 90% of olives are used to make olive oil.

 

Constituents

Olive leaves:

  • oleoeuropine
  • cholesterol
  • leine

Olive fruit:

  • oleuropein
  • hydroxytyrosol
  • tyrosol
  • oleanolic acid
  • quercetin

Olive oil:

  • oleic acid, approximately 75%
  • monounsaturated fatty acid

Action and application

Olive leaves lower blood pressure and help improve the circulatory system. They are also mildly diuretic and may be used to treat conditions such as cystitis. Possessing some ability to lower blood sugar levels, the leaves have been taken for diabetes.

The oil has been traditionally taken with lemon juice in teaspoonful doses to treat gallstones. The oil has a generally protective action on the digestive tract and is useful for dry skin.

Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for the heart and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer. Oleic acid is linked to several health benefits, including decreased inflammation and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Olives are particularly rich in antioxidants, including oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleanolic acid, and quercetin. Dietary antioxidants have been shown to reduce risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease.

Reference:

  1. Olive https://www.plantea.com.hr/maslina
  2. Andrew Chevallier Mnihm: The encyclopedia of medicinal plants, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London, 1996. ISBN 0 7513 03143
Share the Post:

Related Posts

Symrise celebrates 150 shades of innovation with the milestone sun protection

As part of its “150 shades of innovation” campaign to mark the 150th anniversary of
the first patent of founding father Wilhelm Haarmann, Symrise is commemorating its
milestones. Symrise will put the second highlight on the pioneering work, processes,
and ingredients from their Sun Protection business. The Holzminden-based company
has been shaping this industry for over 70 years by leading research and delivering
game-changing product innovations in the skin and sun care space.

Read More

Fragrance Allergens and Their INCI Names in the Cosmetics

The updated naming conventions for essential oils and extracts of popular plant species to minimize discrepancies and prevent errors between the names of extracts derived from different parts of the same plant.

Author: Gordana Gorinšek, MSc in Phytomedicine, Expert Cosmetic Safety Assessor, Expert Regulatory Affairs Consultant

Read More