Olive Leaf Extract

DiagramOlive Leaf Extract

Natural Defence Against Biowarfare

The olive tree has been called The Tree of Life. The low incidence of cardiovascular disease in many Mediterranean populations has been attributed to the benefits of an olive-oil rich diet. In investigating the cardiovascular benefits of olive oil and the olive, many researchers have virtually ignored other components of the olive tree which have been shown to inhibit viruses and pathogenic bacteria including herpes, influenza, malaria and of particular interest recently–Anthrax, smallpox, botulism and the plague.

The antibacterial, antiviral component derived from olive leaves is called oleuropein. In the late 1960s, researchers at the Upjohn Company discovered an antimicrobial fraction of oleuropein called calcium elenolate. This substance was lethal to every virus the researchers tested it against (using both in vitro and in vivo studies). Studies demonstrated that the components of olive leaf extract are also toxic to a wide range of bacteria, protozoa, yeasts, parasites and fungi.

Antibacterial Agent
The leaves of Olea europaea are known to be resistant to attack by insects and microbes. Researchers have published numerous studies concluding that olive leafs active ingredient (oleuropein) is a natural antibiotic agent. Dr. Morton Walker noted that this natural substance is toxic to bacteria-caused diseases like anthrax and botulism.

A 1991 report in Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry documented that oleuropein, at adequate concentrations, inhibited spore germination and the outgrowth of Bacillus cereus spores. Bacillus cereus causes a potentially lethal form of food poisoning characterized by vomiting, severe flatulence, diarrhea, muscular weakness, nerve damage to the heart, and pain in the upper arms, neck, chest and bones. Oleuropein is thought to achieve the bacterial destruction of Bacillus cereus by either inactivating cellular enzymes crucial for bacterial replication or by attacking the cell membrane, destroying its permeability and causing leakage of intracellular components such as glutamate, potassium and phosphorus.

An in vitro study revealed that oleuropein and its derivative hydroxytyrosol act as natural antibiotics against a range of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Most impressively, these two components of olive leaf inhibited Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria responsible for many infections. Staphylococcus aureus is notorious for its ability to mutate against antibiotics, and there are few antibiotics left to wipe out this life-threatening micro-organism.

Components in olive leaf extract also have inhibited the growth of E. Coli and Bacillus subtilis.

Olive LeavesInactivating Viral Invaders
Researchers have shown that calcium elenolate, a component of olive leaf extract, is lethal to a number of viruses. Different forms of influenza viruses were particularly vulnerable to this natural substance. In fact, calcium elenolate inactivated all influenza viruses tested by the Upjohn researchers. The researchers hypothesized that the calcium elenolate prevents viruses from entering cells.

According to Dr. Morton Walker, olive leaf extract also inactivates smallpox, Ebola, plague, Epstein-Barr virus and hepatitis.

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)
Since emerging from mainland China, SARS has been identified as a new form of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are not new, as other types of this virus are known to cause colds and respiratory illnesses that may develop into bronchitis and pneumonia. What makes SARS unique is that this species has not been seen before — a fact that complicated early attempts to find a treatment for the disease.

Alternative Treatment Options
Since SARS is caused by a virulent virus that is unresponsive to available treatments it seems reasonable to use a combination of antivirals and immune enhancers to protect those at risk. The first thing we recommend is to use a cool mist humidifier, filled with a solution of one bottle of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, and two bottles of water. This provides a one percent aerosolized mist of hydrogen peroxide. Just fire up the humidifier and run it in the bedroom at night, and in the home or office during the day. Usually, one or two days may be all that is required to alleviate a number of pulmonary infections, ranging from the common cold to pneumonia. Hydrogen peroxide is a very effective anti-microbial, and virtually kills the bugs on contact. Overuse (more than a few days of continuous use) may result in bleaching of hair.

Second, we suggest Mild Silver Protein 400 ppm. MSP is also a powerful virucidal substance. Based on reports from physicians who have treated patients suspected to have SARS, high doses of MSP are required, i.e., one tablespoon per hour until symptoms begin to resolve. This usually requires several days. Herbs like olive leaf extract is also helpful.

Other Benefits
Olive leaf extract has been shown to dispel protozoan-caused diseases, and its reputation as an anti-malarial dates back to the early 19th century. The Upjohn researchers determined that olive leaf extract inhibited at least 56 disease-causing bacteria, viruses and protozoa, including the malaria-causing Plasmodium falciparum. The researchers also found it was effective against Vaccinia, a contagious viral disease of cattle, produced in humans by inoculation with cowpox virus to confer immunity against smallpox.

Olive leaf extracts safety and efficacy has been demonstrated in animal experiments and by the hundreds of clinicians around the country who have used olive leaf extract to treat their patients with remarkable results.

Traditional antibiotics such as doxycycline or ciprofloxacin are the first line of defense in case of an Anthrax attack. But natural antibacterial substances like olive leaf extract could serve as a back-up in the event terrorists bioengineer Anthrax organisms to resist antibiotics or in case antibiotic supplies are exhausted during an epidemic. In addition, once Anthrax symptoms arise, antibiotics may prove ineffective. Olive leaf extract is a safe antimicrobial substance suitable and safe for preventive and daily consumption. As an antiviral, it may also protect against terrorist-triggered outbreaks of viral diseases such as smallpox.

Finally, it should be emphasized that the components of olive leaf extract inactivated every cold and flu virus they were tested against, indicating Olive Leaf should occupy an important place in the medicine cabinet.


  1. Walker, Morton MD. Natures Antibiotic: Olive Leaf Extract, Kensington Books, New York, 1997. pps. 65-68, 39, 149.

  2. Rodriguez MM, Perez J, Ramos-Cormenzana A, Martinez J. Effect of extracts obtained from olive oil mill waste waters on Bacillus megaterium ATCC 33085. Journal of Applied Bacteriology. 1988

  3. Tassou CC, Nychas GJE, Board RG. Effect of Phenolic Compounds and Oleuropein on the Germination of Bacillus cereus T Spores. Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry. 1991; 13:231-37.

  4. Bisignano G, Tomaino A, Lo Cascio R, Crisafi G, Uccella N, Saija A. On the In-Vitro Antimicrobial Activity of Oleuropein and Hydroxytyrosol. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 1999; 51: 971-74.

  5. Nychas GJE, Tassou SC, Board RG. Phenolic extract from olives: inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus. Letters in Applied Microbiology. 1990; 10: 217-220.

  6. Heinze JE, Hale AH, Carl PL. Specificity of the Antiviral Agent Calcium Elenolate. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 1975; 8(4):421-25.

  7. Visioli F, Bellosta S, Galli C. Oleuropein, The Bitter Principle of Olives, Enhances Nitric Oxide Production By Mouse Macrophages. Life Sciences. 1998; 62(6):541-46.

  8. Renis HE. Inactivation of Myxoviruses by Calcium Elenolate. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 1975; 8(2):194-99.

  9. Renis HE. In Vitro Antiviral Activity of Calcium Elenolate. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 1969, pps. 167-72.

  10. Elliott GA, Buthala DA, DeYoung EN. Preliminary Safety Studies with Calcium Elenolate, an Antiviral Agent. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 1969: pps. 173-76.

  11. Lee, N., Hui, D., Wu, ., et al. A Major Outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in Hong Kong. NEJM. Published online April 7, 2003.

  12.  T.G. Ksiazek and Others. A Novel Coronavirus Associated with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

  13.  C. Drosten and Others. Identification of a Novel Coronavirus in Patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.