Can you take Olive Leaf Extract if you're allergic to olive trees? | The Olive Oil Source

Can you take Olive Leaf Extract if you're allergic to olive trees?


I was trying to find out some information on the Olive Leaf extract. I have been taking it for myself and have not gotten sick this past winter (yet). I work with preschoolers...My question is: If you are allergic to the olive tree can you take the Olive Leaf Extract?

Dr. Deane

I think this is a great question. People are told not to eat medications they are allergic to; how is it that we are able to eat the fruit of trees whose pollen we are allergic to? It seems that pollen allergies are in a special class. It is possible to be allergic to orange blossoms yet eat oranges. Olive pollen is a common allergen yet very few people are allergic to the oil or fruit. Pollens are a strong stimulant to the immune system because their protein capsules resemble the outsides of potential pathogens. They are inhaled onto the nose and throat mucous membranes just like a bacteria would be. Our body is very suspicious and will often respond by making antibodies.

The pollen of wind pollinated trees cause the most problems. Olives are wind pollinated. Wind pollinated flowers are usually small, non-fragrant and have small, smooth non-adherent pollen. Insect pollinated trees are colorful and fragrant to attract insects. Insect pollinated trees and the huge sticky pollen of pine trees rarely cause allergies, although their pollen is the most visible during allergy season so gets most of the blame.

Extracts from the leaves or fruit of olives don't have the same chemical makeup as its pollen and aren't presented to the body in the same way so seldom trigger an allergic reaction. Different chemicals are expressed in different parts of plants. For instance we often eat the leaves of plants with poisonous roots and the roots of plants with poisonous leaves.

Thursday, May 2, 2002

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