(You can even make your own!)
By Olive leaf extract liquids, people usually mean ethanolic tinctures which are ethanol-based liquid extracts.
There are also glycerol based extracts (see here) and liquid extracts made by percolation, each with their own best uses.
You can now also get softgel capsules containing glycerine-based olive leaf extract liquid giving the benefits of a liquid without the taste.
This page deals mainly with olive leaf tincture advantages and strengths. For an overview of ethanolic tinctures click here.
Mothers often question why olive leaf extract liquids often contain alcohol, as the thought of giving it to a child seems wrong.
To answer that, the tinctures are usually given for a specific purpose in small quantities rather than as a daily tonic.
The good ones are strong to achieve a preventive or therapeutic goal over the short term as one would give medicine.
If they need to be given for a few weeks then the alcohol can be largely flashed off by pouring boiling water into the tincture.
To get the same results as a strong tincture with a water/glycerol based product one would need to take it by the tablespoon.
However for a child with cancer for example I would not give the tincture to avoid the intake of any alcohol at all.
The points below will help to illuminate the use of ethanolic tinctures.
The properties of ethanol highlight its suitability as a medium for storing and distributing phytochemicals throughout the body.
In summary ethanol solution can be made naturally, it strongly draws the active ingredients from plant cells and dissolves them, stabilises and preserves them from oxidation and microbial attack for years, efficiently delivers them into the bloodstream once ingested and possibly transports some of them directly into human cells themselves.
Because olive leaf breaks down into antiviral compounds, ethanol is probably the best medium to transport them where they are needed
in order to block viral activity throughout the body.
This may also be why olive leaf extract liquid reportedly helps with problems such as shingles viruses which evade the body's immune system by collecting in nerve cells.
Olive leaf extract liquid tincture strengths are indicated (a) in mg of leaf or extract used per ml of final tincture, or (b) in mg of oleuropein per dose or (c) as a ratio of leaf used by weight (g) to volume of ethanol solution (ml) in the initial mix.
The oleuropein in the tincture is about one and a half to two times as effective as the same quantity in capsule form.
This is my observation from experience - no scientific evidence, although the above properties would seem to back this up as well.
Ethanolic tinctures absorb approx. 30% better than glycerol based extracts according to some authorities.
Strengths may also be indicated as a ratio of original leaf (in g) to ethanol solution (in ml) followed by a number representing the dilution of alcohol used.
1:2 25% means 1g olive leaves per 2ml of 25% ethanol. (25% = 1 part ethanol to 3 parts water).
The lower the second part of the ratio the stronger the tincture.
Quite often the ethanol percentage is left out, as commercial products generally have sufficient for the purpose which is between about 25% and 40%.
A 1:5 tincture is an average olive leaf tincture and should be relatively cheap.
A 1:2 tincture will be more expensive and better for dealing with colds and 'flu and other infections.
A fortified tincture containing olive leaves and dissolved olive leaf extract can be as strong as 1:0.8 and is effective in lower dosages.
The extract used or the final product may be standardised which then makes it more consistent in strength from bottle to bottle which
is useful for conditions requiring accurate dosing.
It is often preferred by practitioners for this reason.
If no ratio or quantity is shown on the label, then assume it is at least 1:5 or weaker (1:10).
A top quality standardised tincture will be more expensive than a theoretically equivalent pack of capsules but you should get better results with less.
For best and quickest absorption, when you take a tincture dilute it until it contains approx. 20% to 25% alcohol. Any stronger tends to cause the stomach to move it on to the duodenum whereas at this level it absorbs well through the stomach wall.