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Olive Leaf

By Steve Marsden, DVM ND MSOM LAc DiplCH AHG, Shawn Messonnier, DVM and Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH

Alternative Therapies

What is olive leaf?

Olive leaf extract is obtained from the tree Olea europaea.

Why recommend administration of olive leaf to my pet? olive_leaf-1

Olive leaf extract exhibits both anti-viral and antibacterial effects; it may also be effective against various yeast infections (Candida, ringworm.) The antioxidant properties in olive leaf extract may prove useful for the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis and allergic dermatitis.

Studies with olive leaf extract demonstrate it can significantly reduce blood pressure. Recently, olive leaf extract has also been demonstrated to help both kill HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and inhibit its invasion of cells in humans, suggesting it may hold a similar potential in the treatment of related virus infections in animals, such as feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immune deficiency virus (FIV).

How much experience is there with the use of olive leaf in pets?

Olive leaf has been used successfully for treating infections in pets for many years.

What species of animals are being treated regularly with olive leaf?

Dogs and cats are most commonly treated.

How much research has been conducted on this supplement?

Olive leaf extract has been subjected to considerable laboratory research, but there are no clinical trials using the extract in animals or humans.

How can my pet benefit from olive leaf?

Pets with infections, especially ear and skin infections, often show positive responses when treated. Since olive leaf extract also possesses antioxidant properties, it may reduce inflammation more rapidly than when antibiotics are used alone.

How successful is olive leaf?

Olive leaf extract is very successful in helping heal pets with various infections.

How safe is olive leaf?

Olive leaf is very safe. A rare side effect is transient diarrhea, which usually resolves when the dosage is decreased.

Where do I obtain olive leaf and do I need a prescription?

Pet owners are cautioned against buying supplements without knowledge of the manufacturer, as supplements are not highly regulated and some supplements may not contain the labelled amount of ingredients. A prescription is not needed for olive leaf. Your veterinarian may have preferred brands or sources of supplements that he or she will recommend.

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