Long used in traditional medicine, olive leaf extract comes from the leaves of the olive tree (Olea europaea) and has a variety of health benefits. Research shows oleuropein, the main component in olive leaf extract, has antioxidant, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-stimulating properties.
Historically, olive leaf extract has been used for the prevention or treatment of inflammation, infections (e.g., the common cold, influenza, Candidiasis, urinary tract infections, shingles), diarrhoea, allergies, and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis.
People in the Mediterranean region have long used olive tree leaves as part of their diet and in traditional medicines.
Olive leaves contain several key polyphenols, such as oleoresin and oleuropein. Polyphenols occur naturally in plants, and research suggests that they may help protect against a range of conditions, such as heart disease and cancer.
These polyphenols may underlie some of the potential health benefits of olive leaf extract.
In this article, we discuss some of these health benefits, as well as the evidence to support them. We also cover dosage and possible side effects.
Benefits of Olive Leaf Extract:
Let us see how beneficial the extract of olive leaf is.
1. Lowers Blood Pressure:
The olive leaf extract has anti-hypertensive properties. This helps it tackle low blood pressure, hypertension, and reduces the risk factor of heart complications.
2. Antioxidant And Anti-inflammatory:
Olive leaf has an abundance of phenols and antioxidants which neutralize the action of free radicals.
Do you know what ‘Free radicals’ are?
They are active substances which damage the DNA-creation process. A damaged DNA replication ages our cells quickly and rapidly.
Plus oleuropein’s anti-microbial activity reduces the inflammation.
3. Improves Cardiovascular Health:
For countless years, olive leaves have been used as a herbal tonic to support cardiovascular function.
High doses of OLE – when given – have shown to reduce high LDL-cholesterol levels and bring it down to normal blood pressure.
4. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer:
Olive leaves can help treat cancer naturally, and also reduce the risk of further growth. And how? It brings the ‘angiogenic’ process to a halt (which triggers tumor growth).
OLE has ‘hyperglycemic’ effects. It means they reduce blood sugar levels in the body. As per one study, polyphenols in the olive leaf helps delay the production of sugar (which causes diabetes).
6. Treats Arthritis:
As you know ‘arthritis’ is a disease of inflammatory joints which causes pain and swelling in joints. Olive leaf has anti-inflammatory properties which are pretty effective in bringing relief from arthritis symptoms.
7. Improves Brain Function:
Are you a Mediterranean-diet eater? You are likely to remain more physically and mentally active. And why count out olives and olive leaf that play a key role in this regard?
8. Fighting Alzheimer’s disease
Oleuropein – one of the main compounds in the olive leaf – reduces the symptoms of ‘brain age-related’ conditions (sounds scary) like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
9. Fighting Cholesterol:
Olive leaf fights the formation of bad cholesterol (LDL) by preventing its oxidation.
Oxidized cholesterol is the “bad” cholesterol which is harmful for our health.
10. Kills Bacteria And Fungi:
Olive leaf has the ability to fight off a range of infections – like candida infections, pneumonia, meningitis, chronic fatigue, hepatitis B, malaria, gonorrhoea, and tuberculosis. It also helps in tackling ear infections, and those of the urinary tract and teeth.
11. Protects Skin (Gives Healthier Skin):
Vit E has some competition! In Olive leaf extract.
The oleuropein extract of olive reduces reddening of skin, stimulates and improves blood flow, better than Vitamin E.
The olive leaf has been scientifically found to protect against skin cancer.
12. Prevent Aging:
Free radicals can leave the skin damaged by interfering and disrupting the process of DNA formation.
Olive leaves, rich in phenols, and antioxidants neutralize free radicals and revitalize our skin.
13. Improves Immune System:
Owing to its ‘antiviral’ properties, olive leaves can not only treat dangerous viruses, but also fight off common cold.
Few studies have shown that olive leaf extracts can fight out disease-causing microbes (including viruses that cause respiratory infections and flu).
Tip – Do you know, a liquid extract made from fresh olive leaves has an antioxidant capacity double of green tea extract and 4 times higher than vitamin C?
14. Building Bone:
According to a 2011 Spanish study, oleuropein (one of the phytochemicals found in olive leaves) boosts the production of bone-building cells. Thereby, preventing the loss of bone density.
15. Protection Against Radiation:
Animal experiments done show that OLE protects the DNA in cells from damage caused by radiation from X-rays (when it is taken before or after the treatment). Due to the powerful anti-oxidant activity, ions get quenched, thereby protecting healthy cells.
16. Relief From Gout:
In the Mediterranean regions, olive leaves are a gout remedy by tradition. According to a recent study done by the University of Leipzig (Germany), an ‘enzyme’ which helps in gout development was inhibited by the olive leaves.
17. Other Diseases:
Olive leaf is your go-to remedy for fighting out bacteria, viruses, and fungal infections (for example- candida).
Apart from this, the olive leaves act against ailments like polio, malaria, allergies, colds, psoriasis, allergies, TB, chronic fatigue, and various infections (in the lungs, liver, teeth, ears), and more.
How To Use Olive Leaf:
Buy an extract.
This is the easiest way to use olive leaf. And the extract is easily available at a local health store or online.
Some more points to remember –
- Make sure you buy an organic product
- Since olive leaf extracts are used in skin creams and other cosmetic products, add 5 to 9 drops of OLE (olive leaf extracts) to your face wash or lotion
- You can also buy olive leaf tea bags (either online or at a health store). Once you have got these tea bags, then steep 1 tbsp of dried olive leaves in warm to hot water for about 10 min. Then have it with organic honey or lemon, if the taste is too bitter. Then, enjoy!
There are no official guidelines on how much olive leaf extract a person should take. In the human studies discussed above, participants usually took 500–1,000 mg per day of a standard olive leaf extract. Some of these were in divided doses.
Olive leaf extract is available in the form of capsules, tablets, and a tea. When using these products, it is generally best to follow the manufacturer’s directions on safe dosages.
A person should speak to a doctor before taking olive leaf extract to treat a specific condition.
Possible Side Effects:
Though Olive leaf is considered safe, it can interfere with certain drugs used in chemotherapy.
- Also, those of you down with low BP need to pay more attention to their blood pressure level, so that the olive leaf extract doesn’t reduce it too much.
- Pregnant or breast-feeding? Avoid taking olive leaf extract, as it may lower your BP or cause you to detox heavily.
- Children should not be given OLE regularly like a vitamin tonic. After all, they need to develop their own immunity, isn’t it?
- Down with an acute illness? Then take OLE in lower dosage for a week until you feel better.
It is always best to check with your doctor first before you take olive leaf extract.
Olive Leaf Extract is a life-saver on many levels. It strengthens the body and avoids sickness. Just be a bit cautious – when to take the dose and whether your doc allows you to take it in the first place. Only then good health and well-being will be yours.