Safety assessment of ethanolic extract of Olea europaea L. leaves after acute and subacute administration to Wistar rats

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2018 Jun;95:395-399. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2018.04.013. Epub 2018 Apr 17.


Olea europaea L., popularly known as olive, is a plant widely used worldwide. Its leaves, fruit and oil are extensively consumed and present important pharmacological properties. However, studies regarding the toxicity of olive leaves are still limited in the literature. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate acute and subacute oral toxicities of the ethanolic extract of olive leaves (EEO) in Wistar rats through histopathology and biochemical and hematological parameters. Acute toxicity was assessed using a single dose of 2000 mg/kg of EEO administered by oral gavage to male and female rats. To assess subacute toxicity, EEO was administered during 28 days at different doses (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg) to male and female rats. At the end of the experiments, the liver and kidney were removed and examined microscopically, and blood was collected for hematological and biochemical parameters. A single dose of 2000 mg/kg did not induce mortality or any signs of toxicity among the animals treated. Animals exposed to EEO during 28 days did not present sign of abnormalities. Results demonstrated that EEO did not induce toxicity after exposure to single and repeated doses. However, more studies are needed to fully understand implications for human safety.

Keywords: Acute; Leaves; Oleaceae; Olive; Safety; Subacute; Toxicity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ethanol / chemistry
  • Female
  • Male
  • Olea*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Toxicity Tests, Acute
  • Toxicity Tests, Subacute


  • Plant Extracts
  • Solvents
  • Ethanol