Olive Leaf Questions and Answers - Safety and Side-Effects.


  • Is olive leaf extract a safe supplement to take?

    Laboratory experiments performed on live tissue and animals, and use by thousands of humans have shown the leaf components to be extremely safe and non-toxic. In addition, recorded medical use since the early 1800's makes no mention of adverse side-effects.
    While being one of the safest herbs to take, the effects of concentrated extracts on disease microbes, blood pressure and blood sugar, make it wise to follow a few guidelines when taking it, especially for the first time. Read about them here

  • Is olive leaf safe for children?

    There are no known risks specific to children, and it has reportedly been used for thousands of years with no record of any dangers or adverse effects.
    One should take note of the recommended dosage for children, as their systems are typically clean and they need less to achieve the desired effect than an older person whose system may be overloaded with pathogens.
    As in adults, it should not be given to children while they are taking pharmaceutical drugs unless this is agreed to by their physician.
    Certain guidelines should be followed when taking it especially for the first time. More about this here

  • Who should not take olive leaf?

    1. Broadly speaking, people taking pharmaceutical drugs unless they involve their physician.

    There may be many instances where there would be no clash, but people taking blood thinners, blood pressure or diabetic medication should check first.

    This is not due to any inherent danger of the extract but rather the additive or subtractive effect it may have on the pharmaceutial drug/s they are taking.

    In fact taking it can lead to a beneficial reduction of insulin needed to control blood sugar and heart medication to reduce blood pressure and these effects need to be overseen by the physician involved.

    2. Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers/mothers-to-be, unless specifically prescribed by a qualified health care professional.
    This is for two reasons:

    a) No trials have been done to establish safety during pregnancy.
    While not known as an abortifacient herb, each person's circumstances are different and in concentrated form it could have undesirable effects.

    b) Should a detox reaction be experienced (see Herxheimers reaction) this could have an effect on an unborn or breast-fed baby or cause diarrhoea in the mother which could then pose a danger to the pregnancy.

  • Is it safe to take olive leaf extract while pregnant or breastfeeding?

    See item 4 above.

  • Can I take olive leaf extract with acyclovir?

    In the absence of trials, it is better not to mix pharmaceutical drugs and herbal extracts.
    There are no published tests to my knowledge to check whether they will work better or worse together. As a rule though one should pick one or the other philosophy rather than a mixture of both.

Side effects

  • What is Herxheimers reaction?

    This is a "die-off" reaction which sometimes occurs when starting with olive leaf extract.
    It is the body's immune response to the release of toxins caused by the destruction of large numbers of germs.

    Usually resembling mild 'flu-like symptoms and lasting a few days, it is a sign that the treatment is working.
    Drinking plenty of water helps flush the toxins out of the system and soon a feeling of better-than-ever health follows the reaction.

    Read more about how to manage Herxheimers reaction.

  • Does olive leaf make you feel sick?

    It can make you feel mildly ill, normally for 3-4 days if you are carrying a heavy microbial load. It results from the "die off" of a large number of germs which then have to be processed by your body.
    This is actually a good sign that the herb is working and better health is on the way.
    Click Herxheimers reaction to learn more and find out the ways to handle this.

  • Does olive leaf extract make you feel dizzy

    It can, because it lowers high blood pressure.
    If you are on medication to bring down your blood pressure it can happen that together they can bring it too low causing dizziness.
    If you naturally have low blood pressure it is thoeretically possible that the extract will lower it more.
    Always consult your physician first if on blood pressure medication. He may adjust your medication down in order to take it for a virus for example.
    If low blood pressure is your normal condition, start taking the extract in very small doses to allow your body to adjust. If it still causes dizziness, rather use a different herbal antiviral.

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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.

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