Olive leaf tea is a mellow, flavorful herbal tea made of leaves from Mission and Manzanillo olive trees. The tea has a mild, pleasant taste and is purported to combat a variety of ailments. Advocates prize the olive leaf infusion for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties.
Studies indicate that drinking olive tea may help:
Scientists believe that the health benefits of olive tea come from the active compounds it contains like oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and antioxidants.
The oleuropein in olive leaves combats bad bacteria without destroying "good" bacteria in the body. Oleuropein penetrates infected cells and inhibits microbial replication.
Esteraize and beta-glucosidase are two enzymes in the body that convert oleuropein into elolenic acid. Elolenic acid possesses both anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and strengthens the immune system. It is effective in inhibiting several viruses including the one that causes the common cold.
A study conducted at The Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research revealed that olive leaves have five times the antioxidant capacity of Vitamin C and almost double that of green tea and grapeseed extract.
Considering its high antioxidant content, olive leaf tea may also help ward against premature aging and other diseases.
According to California physician James R. Privitera, M.D., drinking the olive infusion helped increase energy levels and elevate moods among his patients who suffered from depression associated with chronic fatigue.
Reduce the heat to medium and let the tea steep for three to ten minutes. The tea should have an amber color when it is finished. A light steeping produces tea with a mellow flavor and a longer steeping produces tea with a bitter, more pungent taste.