Olive leaf is the leaf of the olive tree (Olea europaea). Although the health benefits of olive oil are well known, the leaf has been used medicinally for centuries. Olive trees are native to Asia, South America and Austrialia. They are cultivated in Mediterranean countries. The leaves were first used medicinally in Ancient Egypt and was a symbol of heavenly power. It was also used to mummify pharaohs.
Olive leaf was consumed in ancient times, as it was believed that eating the leaf would extend one’s life. In the 1800’s powder produced from the leaf were added to drinks to bring down fever. In the mid 1800’s the leaves were added to teas and drinks to help fight malaria.
Scientists have long tested olive leaf extract for its beneficial properties and have isolated the unique molecule that provides numerous health benefits. The molecule, known as oleuropein, is most widely known for lowering blood pressure. However, several studies have indicated oleuropein can protect cardiovascular and immune system, boost energy, promote healthy blood pressure, prevent diabetes, help against Alzheimer’s, lower bad cholesterol, and prevent cancer. Oleuropein is beneficial to these other conditions because of its high amounts of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
The beauty about this disease fighting molecule is that it is found throughout the plant. Oleuropein is not only found in high concentrates in the leaves of the olive tree, but it is found in the tree and fruit itself.
From research and clinical experience it has been found that olive leaf (oleuropein) is beneficial in the treatment for conditions caused by, or associated with, a virus, retrovirus, bacterium or protozoan. Among those treatable conditions are: influenza, the common cold, candida infections, meningitis, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), encephalitis, herpes I and II, human herpes virus 6 and 7, shingles (Herpes zoster), HIV/ARC/AIDS, chronic fatigue, hepatitis B, pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, dengue, severe diarrhea, and dental, ear, urinary tract and surgical infections.
As an antioxidant, it extract protects those blood vessels from damage, and has been shown to be effective in protecting the heart from coronary occlusion. When taken over an extended period of time, it is believed to reverse arteriosclerosis. Olive leaves are astringent and antiseptic.
How does olive leaf extract work?
The extract can work not only to prevent, but treat high blood pressure. Research show it relaxes the coronary arteries improving blood circulation to the heart.
Olive leaf extract has been shown to specifically target arterial resistance and stiffness, improving endothelial function and bringing blood pressure under control. It helps relax blood vessels by increasing the production of nitric oxide.
Blood pressure is only one aspect of cardiovascular health. Maintaining healthy, clean arteries is just as important. Arteries can become clogged over time because plaques build up in the arterial wall. The plaque blocks arteries and reduce blood flow, which can trigger a heart attack or a stroke.
Research also indicates that the leaf compounds inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Oxidation of LDL is one of the first steps toward the thickening of arteries and progress towards the condition of atherosclerosis.
As an antioxidant, Olive leaf extract protects those blood vessels from damage, and has been shown to be effective in protecting the heart from coronary occlusion. When taken over an extended period of time, it is believed to reverse arteriosclerosis. It contains polyphenol compounds that help reduce the formation of plaques in the arteries and reduce the risk of clots forming in the arteries.
Olive leaf extracts has the ability to lower blood glucose levels an important aspects in preventing and treating diabetes. In addition it can decrease insulin resistance and increase insulin production by the pancreas. The insulin control aspect of olive leaf extract is important in maintaining proper blood sugar levels. Olive leaf extract basically slows down the digestive process in the body. It helps regulate the amount of, and when, the body absorbs sugar.
The anti-inflammatory properties of olive leaf extract help treat and prevent several arthritis related conditions. Olive leaf extract has been successfully used to treat gout, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. In addition, because of its anti-inflammatory properties it can be used to treat other joint pain.
Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints. Olive life extract prevents the buildup of uric acid by inhibiting xanthine oxidase. Xanthine oxidase is responsible for the accumulation of uric acid in joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be treated by olive leaf extract. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when inflammation in your body targets your joints. Olive leaf extract’s anti-inflammatory properties can inhibit the inflammation in joints and reduce, even remove, the pain caused by arthritis. When administered at the earliest sign of arthritis olive leaf extract prevented symptoms from developing. When administered after arthritis was fully developed, there was significant improvement in inflammatory changes to joints. These effects can also benefit people with osteoarthritis by improving joint swelling through olive leaf extract’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies show that oleuropein’s antioxidant effects help it fight cancer formation at its earliest stages. Antioxidants do protect against cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and many other age-related ailments so greatly improving the quality of life as we grow older.
Olive leaf extract contains some of the strongest natural antioxidants discovered, much stronger than vitamin C and green tea and it also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Compounds in olive leaf extract appear to inhibit the sequence of events leading to certain cancer formation in humans.
The key aspect of olive leaf extract in fighting cancer is inhibiting, and in some cases destroying, the growth of cancerous cells and tumors in the body. Oleuropein also suppresses an enzyme cancer cells rely on to derive and store energy from dietary carbohydrates. This inhibits their growth and disrupts signaling pathways; preventing the cancerous cells from growing. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties of olive leaf extract help inhibit the growth of tumors and cancerous cells.
The process of living, including chemical reactions taking place inside our bodies as well as external influences such as radiation and pollution imposing from the outside, results in the formation of electrically unstable molecules within us called free radicals.
In their attempt to reach equilibrium free radicals bombard and damage body cells, until they are neutralized or “quenched” by substances called antioxidants, substances commonly found in fruit and vegetables.
Antioxidants thus end the destructive life of free radicals. By so doing they are thought to slow down the ageing process of cells and people.
Olive leaf extract provides a high level of protection for the brain including helping the blood-brain barrier. Olive leaf extract during a time of immune-support need will provide protection to your nerves in part by supporting the integrity of your blood-brain barrier. This provides another aspect as to why olive leaf extract is so helpful during times of immune-related need. In addition, olive extracts help protect the brain from the destruction brought on by strokes and age-related degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s by suppressing inflammation and reducing the damage done by oxidative stress.
Olive leaf extract is a supplement derived from the leaves of the plant that bears olives and contains oleuropein. The Mediterranean diet uses olive oil as a staple of the diet. Traditional folk stories have suggested that people maintaining a Mediterranean diet is able to experience several anti-aging benefits from the diet. Olive leaf extract can provide the same anti-aging and disease fighting characteristics people on a Mediterranean diet experience.
Currently scientific evidence has shown that these extracts have a remarkable impact on several health conditions and diseases as well as other age-related chronic conditions. Evidence shows that oleuropein-rich olive leaf extracts help prevent many of the underlying factors leading to diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, and arthritis.