Olive leaf extract liquid tinctures, used by herbalists for centuries have some distinct advantages.

Olive leaf extract liquid comes in the form of ethanolic tinctures and water/glycerine-based liquid extracts, sometimes also called tinctures.

This page deals with ethanolic liquid tinctures which are fast acting, very effective and ideal for stopping early stages of viral and bacterial infection especially in the upper respiratory tract and gut. They are also excellent for mouth/dental ulcers and infections.

The Olive Leaf Extract Liquid Water/Glycerine Extracts are good general preventative tonics and contain no ethyl alcohol.

Of the different forms, ethanolic tinctures are still preferred by most herbalists and practitioners of natural medicine.
They are versatile, can be mixed with other herbal tinctures for specific needs and contain volatile oils which would be lost in dried preparations.

The feedback we have received indicates a wider range of benefits from the tinctures than from dried forms.

Ethanolic Tinctures

Normally referred to just as tinctures, these are ethyl alcohol-based liquids. They are usually taken for acute conditions (conditions with rapid onset and short duration) because they are absorbed so quickly.

Good quality olive leaf extract liquid tinctures are very effective for anything that olive leaf works for.
Ethyl alcohol, usually derived from grains or cane sugar is used to draw the active ingredients from the leaves.
While some people are biased against the use of ethanol (drinking alcohol), it is actually a very practical, safe, natural and efficient medium for extracting, preserving, and delivering into the blood stream plant chemicals dissolved in it.


  • Olive leaf tinctures are absorbed rapidly through the mucous membranes of the mouth, the stomach and the first section of the small intestine.
    This extremely efficient delivery system is perfect for nipping viral, bacterial and other infections in the bud.
    Mixed in 1/4 glass of water, a dose of tincture will reach the intestines and can be taken immediately after you have been caught out by eating food that is slightly "off" to counter any ill-effects.
  • They can be made from freshly picked olive leaves so trapping the volatile substances which are lost in dried preparations. This ensures you get all the possible therapeutic benefits of olive leaves.

  • Virtually all compounds in the leaf are soluble in water and ethanol and many are more stable in solutions containing alcohol - hence a good shelf-life and mix of constituents.

  • Tinctures can be easily dispensed and administered in small or large doses for children or adults. For children, a little boiling water may be poured into the tincture to flash off most of the alcohol if desired. (The amount of alcohol in a child's dose is very small and removing it will also delay absorption).

  • Although olive leaf does not appear to harm beneficial gut bacteria, tinctures taken in a little water (10ml) will likely be absorbed before reaching far into the intestines so reducing the possibility even further.

  • The efficient absorption makes dosing olive leaf tinctures more accurate - little or none is lost in the gut. It also makes them cost- effective. While they may not contain as much oleuropein in a dose as a few capsules, the superior absorption can make up for this.

  • Olive leaf tinctures require no additives, fillers or preservatives.

  • The extraction process is cold, which better protects some of the heat-sensitive polyphenols which are otherwise lost.

  • Shelf life at least 5 years for a good quality tincture.

  • Most of the experimentation and clinical trials on blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems have been done using tinctures.
  • The strong and fairly bitter taste. This can be minimised by mixing with a little honey or juice.

  • Good quality tinctures tend to be more expensive than capsules due to the extraction time required and the higher cost of transport and packaging for flammable liquids.

Look for:

1. Clearly designated strength. The oleuropein in a 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 - not scientifically proven.
(Research is starting to emerge showing a much higher absorption of liquid formulations over capsules than this, in terms of oleuropein at any rate (4x) and reaching a peak of 6x the concentration in the blood. Hydroxytyrosol absorption was about the same in either form. There was also a wide variation between men & women and individuals)*.

2. Again, high quality or organic leaves grown by the manufacturer are a good sign.

3. An ethanol content of 30-40% is suitable for olive leaf extract liquid tinctures.

For more information on ethanolic tinctures, their advantages and how to understand tincture strength follow the link Olive Leaf Extract Liquid Strength

Sign up to our newsletter for special offers and tips about olive leaf extract.

Don't have much time to read? Our brief newsletters cover all you need to know and you won't miss out on our special offers either.

*Human absorption and metabolism of oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol ingested as olive (Olea europaea L.) leaf extract. de Bock M1, Thorstensen EB, Derraik JG, Henderson HV, Hofman PL, Cutfield WS.


Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below. Note: I can't give medical advice. See dosage page for dosage.

Click for Quick Search