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Food & Health

Olive Leaf Extract Side Effects

3 Mins read

For centuries, olive leaves and olive oil have been used in medical and culinary practices. Today, the use of olive leaf extract is as popular as ever, boasting numerous health benefits:

  • Olive leaf extract naturally boosts your immune system.
  • A rich, natural source of antioxidants, olive leaf extract supports your cardiovascular system by reducing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
  • Olive leaf extract is a powerful antiviral, protecting you from infection.
  • Olive leaf extract potentially protects against cancer, inhibiting tumor growth and reducing the life of malignant cancer cells.
  • Olive leaf extract contains Oleuropein, a powerful compound that blocks the growth and replication of viruses.

Olive Leaf Extract Side Effects

How to Take Olive Leaf Extract

  •  Olive leaf extract can be taken via tincture or capsule form. Capsules are available in the following doses: 500mg and 1000mg.
  • There is currently no exact recommended dose, however, you should start slowly to allow your body to acclimate to the supplement. Experts recommend taking 500mg four times a day, however, you should start slowly and work up to that dosage.

Olive Leaf Extract Side Effects

 Usually with the good, you have to take the bad. Olive leaf extract is no exception. There is a possibility that you may not suffer from any side effects from olive leaf extractat all.  However, if you do, here is a quick rundown of what to watch out for:

Herxheimer’s Reaction: This is an immune response that may temporarily aggravate or cause a regression of your existing symptoms. Herxheimer’s reaction is your body’s response to the detoxification process as the toxins and pathogens leave the body. Fortunately, this side effect is uncommon, temporary, and nothing to worry about. The side effects of Herxheimer’s reaction are typically: mild nausea, dull headaches, fatigue, sweating, fever, muscle pain, joint pain, skin rashes or breakouts, and vaginal discomfort.

Dizziness: Olive leaf extract lowers your blood pressure and as a result, may cause some lightheadedness or dizziness. To diminish this symptom, reduce your olive leaf extract dosage until your body adjusts. Those already suffering from low blood pressure should avoid this supplement.

Stomach Upset: Stomach upset is the result of taking a high dosage of olive leaf extract. Fortunately, this side effect is uncommon and can be avoided by taking a lower dosage. You can also take your dosage with a meal; however, this will make the benefits of olive leaf extract less effective.

Diarrhea: Diarrhea is another gastrointestinal side effect you may experience while taking olive leaf extract. Taking olive leaf extract with meals and staying properly hydrated can avoid this unpleasant side effect.

Heartburn: Heartburn is a rare side effect that occurs while taking olive leaf extract via tincture. You can avoid this reaction by diluting the extract with water or tea. If you still suffer from heartburn even after diluting the tincture, then consider taking olive leaf extract in pill form instead.

Potential Drug Interactions

Although there is currently limited research indicating that taking olive leaf extract negatively interacts with prescribed medications, it is wise to err on the side of caution. Be sure to talk with your physician before taking olive leaf extract. Those taking the following medications should beware of potential risks:

  • Blood pressure medication: Olive leaf extract lowers your blood pressure. Those taking blood pressure medication should avoid this supplement unless they your physician gives you the okay.
  • Blood thinners:Although there is currently no solid evidence, olive leaf extract may exacerbate the effects of blood thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin). If you are currently taking blood thinners, please consult with your physician before trying olive leaf extract.

Olive leaf extract is a very powerful and beneficial herb.  With potency can come some side effects.  Be careful and work up the dosage slowly when trying this supplement for the first time and you should have no issues.


Fleming H.P.; Walter W.M.; Etchells J.L. “Antimicrobial properties of oleuropein and products of its hydrolysis from green olives” Microbiology 26(5):777-782, Nov. 1973. “Olive Leaf Extract”; Dr. Morton Walker



I am a focused health researcher dedicated to investigating every aspect of nutrition, wellness, remedies and fitness. I want to share my experience and knowledge to empower people to make smarter and healthier choices in their lives.  I am also a writer and editor at

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