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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 541591, 29 pages
Review Article

Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology of Olea europaea (Olive)

1Department of Chemistry, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
2Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2457, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

Received 26 November 2014; Revised 18 January 2015; Accepted 25 January 2015

Academic Editor: Saeed Esmaeili-Mahani

Copyright © 2015 Muhammad Ali Hashmi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim of the Review. To grasp the fragmented information available on the botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology of Olea europaea to explore its therapeutic potential and future research opportunities. Material and Methods. All the available information on O. europaea was collected via electronic search (using Pubmed, Scirus, Google Scholar, and Web of Science) and a library search. Results. Ethnomedical uses of O. europaea are recorded throughout the world where it has been used to treat various ailments. Phytochemical research had led to the isolation of flavonoids, secoiridoids, iridoids, flavanones, biophenols, triterpenes, benzoic acid derivatives, isochromans, and other classes of secondary metabolites from O. europaea. The plant materials and isolated components have shown a wide spectrum of in vitro and in vivo pharmacological activities like antidiabetic, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, antiviral, antihypertensive, anticancer, antihyperglycemic, antinociceptive, gastroprotective, and wound healing activities. Conclusions. O. europaea emerged as a good source of traditional medicine for the treatment of various ailments. The outcomes of phytochemical and pharmacological studies reported in this review will further expand its existing therapeutic potential and provide a convincing support to its future clinical use in modern medicine.