30 Jan

Olive tree leaves spark frenzy in Greece

By Karolos Grohmann,

ATHENS (Reuters) – Television coverage of the purported healing properties of olive tree leaves have sparked a frenzy in Greece and caused one violent death.

Extensive media reports over the past week about the leaves’ alleged ability to cure illnesses including cancer have triggered an angry response from doctors and pharmacists.

“In this country where charlatans thrive, you are whatever you claim to be,” heart surgeon and former health minister Dimitris Kremastinos told Greek media on Tuesday.

Last week several chat shows, including on state television, said a thick, green drink made of raw olive leaves and water, mixed in a blender, was doing wonders for cancer patients.

Several elderly guests said they were cured by the drink and self-described therapists mixed the juice on live television.

The news spread like wildfire and the television shows fielded a flood of inquiries about the drink’s recipe.

Supermarkets on the oil-producing island of Crete and in Athens started stocking the leaves that, in some cases, cost more than the oil itself, which is renowned for its health benefits and known as liquid gold in Greece.

An argument at the weekend between two brothers over whether they should give the leaf juice to their third brother, who was suffering from cancer, ended with one stabbing the other to death.

“When such an issue leads to the murder of one brother over the leaf juice then the frenzy has become uncontrollable,” Kremastinos told daily Eleftherotypia newspaper.

Scientists said only doctors could prove or disprove the benefits of such a drink. Kremastinos said there was no scientific evidence to support the claims and said years of analysis would be needed to come to a conclusion.

“I would suggest this nonsense stops so that scientists can go on with their work,” Thessaloniki University chemistry professor Eugene Kokalou said. “The work is to find out if this drink has any health benefits.”

[Source] Click here

2 Responses to “Olive tree leaves spark frenzy in Greece”

  1. Olives101 Says:

    another article about it:
    http://news.ert.gr/en/1/23055.asp

  2. Olives101 Says:

    Another article about this story can be found here http://www.caycompass.com/cgi-bin/CFPnews.cgi?ID=1019631

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