Olive leaf is the leaf of the olive tree (Olea europaea) was first used medicinally in Ancient Egypt. It is gaining recognition as a powerful defender against sickness and numerous scientific studies have been conducted to investigate the extracts beneficial properties. The reported benefits of olive leaf extract range from promoting increased energy and healthy blood pressure, to supporting the cardiovascular system and the immune system.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
A 2011 study evaluated the effectiveness of olive leaf extract in comparison to Captopril, a medication that is given to patients with hypertension or high blood pressure. Five hundred milligrams of olive leaf extract, taken twice daily for eight weeks, significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
While both olive leaf extracts and Captopril were able to prevent high blood pressure levels, the olive leaf treatment also resulted in a reduction of triglyceride levels (reducing bad cholesterol).
- Improves Cardiovascular Health
Olive leaves have been used as an herbal tonic to support cardiovascular function for thousands of years. High doses of olive leaf extract have been shown to help reduce elevated LDL-cholesterol levels and assist in the maintenance of normal blood pressure. Oleuropein, the main glycoside present in olive leaf, and hydroxytyrosol, the principal product of oleuropein that is present in olives and olive leafs, have both been linked to reduction of coronary heart disease and certain cancers.
Olive leaf extracts have hyperglycemic effects, meaning they reduce blood sugar levels in the body. The olive leaf also controls blood glucose levels in the body. The polyphenols in the olive leaf plays a vital role in delaying the production of sugar, which causes inflammatory diseases like diabetes.
- Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Olive leaves show an important role as a natural cancer treatment because of its ability to stop the angiogenic process, which stimulates the growth of tumors. The compound oleuropein has an antioxidant and anti-angiogenic effect by inhibiting the reproduction and migration of advanced tumor cells.
A 2009 study conducted in Greece showed, for the first time, that olive leaf extracts have strong antioxidant potency and inhibit cancer and endothelial cell reproduction. Olive leaf extracts slowed the growth of cells associated with breast cancer, urinary bladder cancer and brain cancer.
- Improves Brain Function
Another olive leaf benefit is its positive effects on brain function. Studies show that oleuropein, one of the main components in olive leaf, reduces the symptoms or occurrence of age-related disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research suggests that there is a connection between free radicals and Alzheimer’s — because olive leaf is an antioxidant, it helps to combat the damage caused by free radicals and protects the brain from memory loss. Using olive leaf extracts is a safe and effective way to treat Alzheimer’s disease naturally.
- Treats Arthritis
Arthritis is a joint disease that causes swelling and pain in the joints; the key word here is swelling — which means inflammation. Because the olive leaf is an anti-inflammatory agent, it works as a natural arthritis remedy.
olive leaf extracts cuts down on the chronic pain that is associated with osteoarthritis, and it reduces the production of cytokines and enzymes that are markers for the inflammatory process.
- Kills Bacteria and Fungi
An important olive leaf benefit is its ability to fight off infections, including candida infections, meningitis, pneumonia, chronic fatigue, hepatitis B, malaria, gonorrhea, shingles and tuberculosis; it also naturally treat ear infections, dental and urinary tract infections.
- Improves Immune System
The olive leaf has antiviral properties, giving it the ability to prevent the common cold as well as treat dangerous viruses. Research shows that olive leaf extracts effectively fight against a number of disease-causing microbes, including some of viruses that cause influenza and other respiratory infections.
The powerful compounds found in olive leaves destroy invading organisms and don’t allow viruses to replicate and cause an infection.