Have you ever tried olive leaf tea? It sounds quite unusual, doesn’t it? I actually had a chance to try it out and I totally love it. It has a pleasant taste, does not taste bitter and it’s a great green tea alternative as it doesn’t contain caffeine but it’s still high in antioxidants and has plenty of health benefits.
If you love herbal teas you will love olive leaf tea.
About olive leaf and its uses
Olive leaf is the leaf of the olive tree but it’s not a well-known part of an olive harvest. Olives and olive oil are extensively used across Mediterranean – extra-virgin olive oil is well known for its health benefits, but what about olive leaves?
Olive leaves shouldn’t be neglected as they also offer health benefits. Olive leaf has a long history of usage actually – its medicinal properties are first mentioned in the Bible. What’s more, Moroccans have been consuming an infusion of olive leaf to stabilise blood sugar and control diabetes. Animal studies have confirmed this health benefit but these results have not been reproduced in human clinical trials. More research is needed into this claimed health benefit.
Antioxidant properties of olive leaf
There is something we cannot dispute about olive leaf – its antioxidant properties.
Olive leaf contains polyphenols, type of antioxidants which play an important role in the prevention of various diseases associated with oxidative stress (for example cancer, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease).
According to some studies, olive leaf extract contains even more antioxidants than green tea extract. Have you been drinking the wrong type of tea then? Let’s see..
Olive leaf extract
In the last few years, olive leaf extract has become really popular because various studies have shown that it helps to boost immune system, fight bacteria and viruses and even lower blood pressure (albeit, there is conflicting clinical evidence for this health benefit).
Olive leaf extract is a result of a process when olive leaves are steeped in alcohol for a period of time. This method extracts beneficial polyphenols from olive leaves and creates a powerful product which can treat minor ailments. Olive leaf extract can be consumed in a liquid, powder or capsule form.
But how does olive leaf infusion compare to olive leaf extract? What’s the difference?
The difference between olive leaf infusion and olive leaf extract
When making an olive leaf tea infusion you have to ensure you steep it for at least 8 minutes so that you still get beneficial polyphenols released into your ‘tea’. For this you would use loose, dried olive leaves.
Most of the research around olive leaf health benefits is focused on olive leaf extract but when it comes to olive leaf infusion, I couldn’t find any studies around that. I believe, however, that the extract is more concentrated while infusion is not as concentrated but you still get the health benefits when drinking it. Moroccans have been consuming an infusion of olive leaf for a long time so there’s no doubt there are benefits of doing so. Not to mention the Italians!
Olive leaf extract is normally consumed in a capsule form but keep in mind that other ingredients are added to the capsule as well, such as magnesium stearate or gelatine. Different companies use different ingredients but it’s really worth going for the one which is the purest but also the product needs to be certified organic. You don’t want to consume pesticides with it, right?
I prefer consuming organic olive leaf infusion as I know exactly what I am getting.
Mirabilia Organic Olive Leaf Tea
I’ve been really lucky that Mirabilia contacted me and offered me to try their organic olive leaf tea. I’ve never tried it before so I was really excited about giving it a go.
Mirabilia organic olive leaf tea is produced in Italy – olive leaves come from olive groves in Abruzzo which Mirabilia have owned for more than 10 years. The Abruzzo area is known for its outstanding natural beauty, but it also has a historic interest – olive groves are situated on the ancient site of Cluviae which dates back to Roman times.
Mirabilia organic olive leaf tea is of the highest and purest quality possible and that’s mostly because of where the trees are grown – the unpolluted mountain air and the pure waters running off the Apennines mean that Mirabilia’s organic olive trees are growing far from any kind of pollution.
All the olive leaves are hand-picked and then dried at a very low temperature. They are then ‘scrunched’ by hand (the only way of doing this – no mechanical means proved possible), and are then weighed out and packed.
At the moment Mirabilia’s olive leaf tea is available in four flavours: original, pomegranate, wild mint and lemon & wild mint. I’ve tried all of them and I must say that the additional flavours are very subtle. I still enjoyed the tea though. When I first started drinking it, it tasted a bit unusual but not unpleasant. I got used to the taste after a while and then really started enjoying to drink it. The olive leaf tea is not bitter and does not contain caffeine so you can drink it any time of the day. It’s also suitable for the whole family.
What I really love about this tea is that you can brew it multiple times – I would use one level teaspoon for one cup and with that I would make 2-3 cups of olive leaf tea.
This is such an amazing tea and there’s no doubt I will continue drinking it in the future.
You may also be interested in reading the following posts:
- A guide to buying the best quality green tea
- Yellow tea: Things you didn’t know
- Toxins in your tea: What you need to know