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Olive Leaf Extract in Lyme disease by Marty Ross MD image

Updated: 3/29/23

About Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract (OLE) is a nutritional support that may

  • promote killing of acute viruses, such as the cold and flu viruses, and chronic viral infections like Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV);
  • limit viral infectivity;
  • stimulate the immune system to fight acute and chronic viruses; and
  • decrease inflammation from viral infections.

In addition to fighting viruses, OLE may lower blood pressure.

In my practice, I primarily use OLE to treat acute and chronic viral infections. Acute viruses include the cold and flu viruses, in addition to other respiratory and gastrointestinal virus infections. Taken at the first signs of an acute viral infection, such as new or worsening generalized achiness, nasal congestion, sore throat, and fatigue, OLE may limit the course of the virus infection or even stop it in the first 24 hours.

Some individuals with chronic Lyme and associated diseases also have active chronic virus infections (CMV, EBV or HHV-6) that contribute to the illness. OLE supports treatment of these viruses, as well. However, treating these viruses requires six months or longer. Many healthy people have evidence of these three virus infections; therefore, testing will help determine if these common viral infections are active enough to require treatment in a person with chronic Lyme disease. Furthermore, individuals with marked elevation in IGG antibodies may require treatment with antivirals like OLE or prescriptive antivirals, such as Valcyte.

Method of Action

Test tube experiments show that an ingredient of OLE, calcium elenolate, inhibits many types of viruses. In addition to inactivating viruses, OLE blocks viruses from infection cells, limits viral growth, and stops viral shedding (release). OLE limits the symptoms of viral infections through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Finally, OLE stimulates phagocytosis, which is one method the immune system uses to fight virus infections.


Acute Virus Infections

Although OLE is most effective if taken at the earliest signs of an infection, it can help even if started in the first 48 hours of an infection. Take 1 500 mg pill 3 times a day for 7-10 days depending on how quickly the symptoms resolve.

Chronic Virus Infections

Start out slowly and adjust the dose as tolerated. (Killing chronic viruses can sometimes trigger a die-off (Herxheimer) reaction. In this reaction, the immune system makes more inflammatory chemicals called cytokines that can make a person feel worse.) Take 1 500 mg pill 1 to 3 times a day and work up to 3 pills 3 times a day. Start at the lowest dose of 1 pill daily and increase by 1 pill daily every few days. Do not increase if you are having a die-off reaction. Once the die-off reaction passes, continue to increase.

Drug Interactions

Use with care if you are taking blood pressure-lowering medicines because OLE can lower blood pressure, too. In addition, OLE decreases blood clotting by blocking platelets from sticking together. So, use it with caution if you are on blood thinners.


The ideas and recommendations on this website and in this article are for informational purposes only. For more information about this, see the sitewide Terms & Conditions.


View Citations

  1. Omar SH. Oleuropein in olive and its pharmacological effects. Sci Pharm. 2010;78(2):133-154. doi:10.3797/scipharm.0912-18 (View)
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About The Author

Marty Ross, MD is a passionate Lyme disease educator and clinical expert. He helps Lyme sufferers and their physicians see what really works based on his review of the science and extensive real-world experience. Dr. Ross is licensed to practice medicine in Washington State (License: MD00033296) where he has treated thousands of Lyme disease patients in his Seattle practice.

Marty Ross, MD is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine and Georgetown University Family Medicine Residency. He is a member of the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The Institute for Functional Medicine, and The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M).

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