Want to quit drinking black or green tea because of the unpleasant side effects of its caffeine content? There’s a beverage that you can replace it with that is absolutely free of caffeine and is touted as healthier — olive leaf tea!
Olive leaves have been used since ancient times in treating a wide variety of ailments. The same leaves can be employed in making tea that is packed with antioxidants and various health-giving compounds like oleuropein and elenolic acid, both of which can impress with their respective properties.
For instance, oleuropein helps improve blood circulation and at the same time reduce the blood pressure, according to European scientists. On the other hand, elenolic acid is proven to be an excellent fighter of all sorts of microbes.
Olive leaves need to be dried before they can be turned into tea. Traditionally, they are exposed to air and placed under the sun in order to become dry. However, scientists found out that these drying methods caused considerable decrease in the beneficial active compounds found in olive leaves.
So what’s the best way to have olive leaves dried? With the use of an oven! Olive leaves have to be placed in the oven at 150°F for several minutes until they are crisp and dry. Afterwards, they have to be crushed and stored in a container that is air-tight to minimize exposure to air and ward off oxidation.
The nicest thing about olive leaf tea is it can be brewed in a way that perfectly suits the taste of the drinker. For instance, a delicate brew may be obtained by steeping olive leaves in a cup of boiling water for just a few minutes. Allowing them to steep for a longer period of time yields a much stronger brew that provides more powerful benefits!
Definitely, it’s possible to add a little honey or lemon juice to improve the taste — refined sugar and artificial sweeteners are a no-no! Olive leaf tea may also be chilled and taken with ice.
Now let’s check out some of the reasons why the consumption of olive leaf tea is a wonderful idea:
- It helps relax. A weak brew of olive leaf tea is known as an effective relaxer of the mind and body. This is the reason why it’s beneficial for people who are stressed or are suffering from anxiety. It may also be taken by those who are having a hard time getting some sleep.
- It energizes. On the other hand, a strong brew works just as superbly as coffee in increasing energy levels and boosting cognitive functioning — but without caffeine! A strong cup of olive leaf tea is perfect for people who need a jolt but do not tolerate caffeine very well.
- It alleviates pain and inflammation. The intake of olive leaf tea is recommended most especially for those who have achy and swollen joints and muscles. What’s so great about this healthy beverage is it helps combat both pain and inflammation without causing unfavorable side effects.
- It improves GI tract functioning. Olive leaves are used by traditional healers in dealing with an assortment of GI tract issues. The consumption of olive leaf tea can help improve digestion and alleviate abdominal pain. A strong brew may also be taken to treat diarrhea.
- It may lower cancer risk. Because of the loads of antioxidants in every serving of freshly-brewed olive leaf tea, one’s risk of having cancer may be reduced considerably. This does not really come as a surprise because olive leaves themselves are traditionally used for cancer prevention and treatment.
- It may lower heart disease risk, too. Olive leaf tea is known to be very good at lowering high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels — both of which can increase a person’s risk of suffering from heart disease. Olive leaf tea is also said to be ideal for improving blood circulation.