Olive leaf extract which comes from Olea Europaea (Olive tree) has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. Oleuropein, which is the main component of olive leaf, has anti-oxidation, anti-bacterial and immune-boosting properties. Ancient Egyptians used it as herbal medicine to treat a wide range of health problems. The olive leaf extract has several benefits, including reducing cholesterol level, blood pressure, cancer and various other diseases. It also helps in treating influenza, cold, urinary tracts infections, allergies, reducing inflammation and mitigating symptoms of other viral infections.
Even though the olive leaf extract is being used for hundreds of years as herbal medicine, it was not until the mid-20th century when the clinical trials were conducted to show the benefits. Several pieces of research validate the health mentioned above benefits of olive leaf extract. Here is the list of potential health benefits.
Improves heart health
Many researchers are convinced that the olive leaf extract could be effective to treat atherosclerosis which is the narrowing of arteries. This disease is the most common cause of heart attack among people. Atherosclerosis is typically caused by the high levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) in blood. Studies show that olive leaves extract reduces the level of LDL in the blood, which results in the unclogging of arteries.
According to a study conducted by the Journal of Food Medicine in July 2012, the olive leaf extract is proved to be effective against the type 2 diabetes in adults. It significantly reduced the blood sugar levels of participants of the study. After the investigation, the researchers concluded that this powerful supplement could keep the blood sugar levels under control which also helps in naturally reducing a fatty liver.
Reduces fatty liver
Another 2012 research published in Diabetic Medicine confirmed that olive leaves have natural bioactive compounds that regulate and reduces the blood sugar levels.
Higher blood sugar levels are responsible for fatty liver disease, which causes:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Weight gain
- Slow metabolism
- Insulin resistance
In the study conducted on rats, oleuropein proved to have anti-fibrotic effects.
High blood pressure
Olive leaf extract shows promising results in treating hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure. In this condition, the blood pressure in arteries is elevated more than the normal levels. Olive leaf extra may help in lowering the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. It significantly reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. This claim is 100% valid and also backed by studies conducted in 2011 and 2017.
In these studies, olive leaf extract was used as a replacement for the blood pressure medicine in stage 1 hypertension patients. Within six to eight weeks, the participants had much lower blood pressure. Therefore, it can be concluded that olive leaf extract can be used as a replacement for hypertension medicine.
Protection against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Oleuropein is proved to protect against Alzheimer’s disease due to its anti-oxidants nature. It also prevents the damage and loss of dopamine neurons, which are associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Prevents weight gain
Olive tree leaves contain a substance called oleuropein which may help in preventing weight gain. Two studies conducted on animals show that olive leaf extract can avoid high fat and diet-induced obesity. It regulates the genes that are responsible for weight gain. Within 8 weeks of usage, rats showed a reduction in body weight.
Reduces cancer risk
In another study, olive leaf extracts inhibited the growth of cancerous cells in the body. Due to its anti-oxidant properties, it can potentially kill the cancer cells. Olive leaves contain a high amount of polyphenol, that plays an essential role in treating cancer and other inflammatory diseases. But there is a need to conduct more researches regarding this claim.
Boosts overall immune system
Olive leaves have historically been used to boost immune support. Our immune system is responsible for fighting all viral and bacterial diseases. Researchers have agreed that olive leaf is a powerful disease killer and it is now commonly used in herbal medicines in the whole world. It has specific properties which help in containing viral infections by deactivating the viruses by penetrating the infectious cells. It stops the replication of viral cells. It provides resistance against the viruses and destroys the virus bodies by stopping the production of retroviruses like protease and reverse transcriptase. It is useful in the treatment of deadly disease like HIV.
In addition to the benefits of olive leaves extract mentioned above, there are several other uses as well. It acts as an anti-microbial agent which consumes bacteria by bacterial conjugation. There is a long list of benefits of using this wonderful herb such as herpes, influenza, bird flu, smallpox, HIV, elimination free radicals, reduced inflammation, reduces muscle pain and fatigue.
It inhibits the growth of virus, bacteria, parasites and yeasts. It disrupts the production of proteins which viruses consume to stay alive in the body. The olive leaf extract provides immune support by preparing the body to fight against diseases.
There is no suitable dosage of olive leaf extract provided by the experts. But different health experts recommend different dosages in response to the disease. Olive leaf extract is available in various forms such as tablets, capsules and tea. Before using, you must read the manufacturer’s directions to avoid side effects and health hazards.
Olive leaf extract can be used by both children and adults. Usually, the recommended dose for kids is one-third of an adult dose.
Due to the lack of extensive research, there is not much published about the safety of regular use of leaf extract. There are some concerns that it may trigger mild side effects.
You should always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medicine. In case of overdose or wrong dose, you might experience side effects. The common symptoms include headache, fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain and skin rashes.
If you experience any of the symptoms as mentioned above, then immediately stop taking the extract and speak to your doctor. It may also react with medications, but there is no authentic study to confirm that.