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Organic Olive Leaf Tea - Boost Your Immune System, 400% More Anti-Oxidants Than Green Tea

06/06/2013 13:00 BST | Updated 05/08/2013 10:12 BST

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So, I've found another miracle! Caffeine-free and delicious. Did you know that olive leaves make the most amazing tea? Neither did I. Used for many years as a natural anti-bacterial agent and now as a powerful anti-oxidant (400% more than green tea), thus a major support to the immune system. It is full of oleuropein, a highly beneficial substance, and is also antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal.  It is therefore healing as well as preventative , also cleansing, calming and anti-inflammatory.

Olive leaf tea is mellow and soft with a multitude of health benefits. It packs the antioxidant punch of a heavyweight. The most beneficial tea is made from organic green olive leaves, quickly dried to maintain their health enhancing properties. It is an ideal replacement for normal black tea and it is said that it contains more antioxidants and vitamin C than green tea . Olive leaf tea is 100% natural and healthy and suitable for all the family.

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Mirabilia has had an organic olive grove in Abruzzo, Italy for the past 10 years and has always harvested the olives for their extra virgin cold pressed oil. They now harvest the leaves of the trees, which can be done for most of the year, in order to produce an organic olive leaf tea which has massive health benefits.

They are not only reviving an ancient herbal tradition, but also regenerating an agricultural area of outstanding natural beauty and of historic interest which like most of rural Italy has spiralled into a sad decline.

Olive groves are situated on the ancient site of Cluviae in the province of Chieti which dates back to Roman times.  There have been olive groves on our plateau for over 2000 years.  Pure mountain water feeds the groves and the trees (the same water used by De Cecco, the pasta manufacturer) and this ensures that the end product is of the highest and purest standard possible.  Similarly, the unpolluted mountain air (Abruzzo is one of the cleanest areas in the whole of Europe) and mountain breezes ensure that the trees and leaves remain free from flies and pests.    Everything is kept on file to make sure that the organic integrity of the land is preserved.

The leaves are harvested in the morning once the dews have dried.  Hand-picked then stripped from their stems and into the desiccating oven.  The oven which air-dries the leaves at a very low temperature, takes approximately 22 hours to dry them.  They are then 'scrunched' by hand (the only way of doing this - no mechanical means proved possible), and are then weighed out and packed.

Historically, olive leaves are known as a symbol of peace, so it is not surprising that olive leaf tea provides a soothing, relaxing, gently mellow herbal brew that evokes a sense of wellbeing. Some lemon or honey enhances the flavour; it is excellent chilled and drunk over ice. Olive leaf tea leaves can be added to a marinade, especially for fish, or used in a spice rub to season a variety of dishes.

Their tea is loose leaf. A lovely ritual to perform, relaxing in itself and so much nicer than using tea bags. The great thing is that you can make a pot and just top it up with hot water throughout the day. Olive leaf tea can be brewed to your own taste. Steeping the leaves for a few minutes will provide you with a delicate, soft and satisfying cup of tea, whilst leaving the leaves a little longer provides a stronger, more powerful infusion.

I love to support independent businesses and Mirabilia is certainly one of those. Started by a husband and wife team and their friends from across the valley, bringing to us, the consumers, a gorgeous,original and hugely beneficial product and also helping the local community in Abruzzo, Italy. What more could you ask?

Found in BoothsPlanet OrganicWhittards as well as many other independent stores and delicatessens. Take a look for yourself  here .