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Olive Tree Leaves

These were a food and medicine in biblical times, but have only been 'rediscovered' recently for their antiviral and antibacterial properties.

As far back as the 1850's, information started to spread that drinking bitter 'tea' brewed from olive tree leaves was a potential cure for malaria.

More recently, the active ingredients of the leaves has been isolated, and they are two phenolic compounds (oleuopein and elenolate). The former has been found to inhibit two types of fermentative bacteria; while the latter is an excellent antioxidant, preventing cholesterol from oxidisation. It's used to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, since oxidised cholesterol is easily deposited - leading to blocked blood vessels.

Olive leaf extract is starting to appear in health food shops, but enquiries can be made from The Allergy Research Group, San Leandro, California, U.S.A. For more nutritional informaton, see 'A to Z' by Dr. Michael Sharon (Prion Books)

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