What Are Olive Leaf Extract Side Effects?

olive leaf extract side effects

As we recently wrote, olive leaf extract is a healthy and popular health supplement with multiple benefits.  These benefits include glucose metabolism enhancement, anti-inflammatory effects, and improve blood pressure [1].  While there are no super negative side effects to the average person, there are a few side effects that you might encounter.  Building off of what we’ve already talked about, let’s review some of what we know and then delve into some of the unintentional side effects.

What We Know about Olive Leaf Extract

We know that olive leaf extract has been proven to improve blood-flow, cardiovascular health, and help protect against pancreatic cancer [2].  We know that olives are a hardy vegetable that is grown all over the world and that we can continue to cultivate without worry.  We also know that olives provide a nice boost in antioxidants and protein, allowing us to snack on them regularly without feeling too guilty about it.  Perhaps the two most exciting things that we know about olive leaf extract consumption…

  1. Olive leaf extract improves the metabolic rate of glucose in our body, allowing us to “cheat” more often and eat some of the foods we love that may be higher in fat or sugar than we should be indulging in.
  2. You’re a little more beautiful or handsome because your finger nails, hair, and skin all see the positive regenerative affects from digesting olive leaf extract.

Potential Olive Leaf Extract Side Effects

As we’ve mentioned twice now, there are no known intensely negative side effects of adding olive leaf extract to your regimen.  That said, there are at least some very basic side effects that you need to be aware of before you start going crazy and swallowing something that you’ve never ingested before [3].

  • Herxheimer’s reaction. It’s basically just a rash on your skin.  Olive leaf extract is such an effective antioxidant that your body goes overboard and forms a rash which is basically your body’s way of releasing the toxins from the body.  It only lasts a few days and goes away even faster than it appears.  This should not burn or itch, it’s purely cosmetic [4].
  • Temporary dizziness. Perhaps the most common of side effects is the sudden dizziness that occurs when you start to ingest olive leaf extract after not having any before.  Since it increases your blood flow and reduces your blood pressure, it’s possible the sudden cardiovascular improvement causes light headedness.  This is super temporary and shouldn’t be a concern.
  • Like anything, you can potentially be allergic to olive leaf extract.  If you start to get nauseas or feel like it’s getting a little harder to breathe, refrain from continuing with the supplementation and seek out medical attention if the reaction seems to be severe enough.  If you don’t have any other fruit or vegetable allergens, you almost definitely have no reason to be concerned.
  • Acid Reflux/Heartburn. If you’re already taking heartburn medication, you might want to consider finding some alternatives to olive leaf extract.  It can strengthen the uncomfortable acid reflux symptoms if you continue to use it.


  1. Rafa S. Almeercorresponding author 1 and Ahmed E. Abdel Moneim 2
    Evaluation of the Protective Effect of Olive Leaf Extract on Cisplatin-Induced Testicular Damage in Rats
    Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018; 2018: 8487248. Published online 2018 Apr 26. doi: 10.1155/2018/8487248
  2. Anna Boss,1,* Karen S. Bishop,2 Gareth Marlow,1 Matthew P. G. Barnett,3 and Lynnette R. Ferguson1,2
    Evidence to Support the Anti-Cancer Effect of Olive Leaf Extract and Future Directions
    Nutrients. 2016 Aug; 8(8): 513. Published online 2016 Aug 19. doi: 10.3390/nu8080513
  3. Barbara Barbaro,1,† Gabriele Toietta,2,† Roberta Maggio,1 Mario Arciello,1,3 Mirko Tarocchi,4 Andrea Galli,4 and Clara Balsano5,*
    Effects of the Olive-Derived Polyphenol Oleuropein on Human Health
    Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Oct; 15(10): 18508–18524. Published online 2014 Oct 14. doi: 10.3390/ijms151018508
  4. Sumiyoshi M1, Kimura Y.
    Effects of olive leaf extract and its main component oleuroepin on acute ultraviolet B irradiation-induced skin changes in C57BL/6J mice.
    Phytother Res. 2010 Jul;24(7):995-1003. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3048.PMID: 19957248 DOI: 10.1002/ptr.3048
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