Olive leaf 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.
More recent knowledge of the olive leaf's medicinal properties dates back to the early 1800s when pulverized leaves were used in a drink to lower fevers.
At present, Albania has sixty thousand hectares of olives and ten million olive trees, out of them 1.3 million olive trees are centenarians, while others go up to eighty years of age. The genetic resources are rich, 22 of them are cultivated varieties out 6 major key varieties.
9 Proven Olive Leaf Benefits listed by AgroWeb
1. 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); plus, there are a number of possible side effects when taking Captopril, including dizziness, loss of taste and dry cough.
2. 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. The principal products 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. One study proved this when olive leaves suppressed the elevation of blood glucose in volunteers after they were consumed starch.
4. 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.
5. 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 infusions or extracts is a safe and effective way to treat Alzheimer’s disease naturally.
6. 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.
Studies have shown that 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Protects Skin
Olive leaf has the power to reverse years of damage to your skin and the signs of aging. Because of the olive leaf’s antioxidant properties, it helps to prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation. Foods and herbs that contain antioxidants are great tools for the health of your skin and cells.
How to Use Olive Leaf
The easiest way to receive olive leaf benefits is to purchase an extract, which can be found in your local health store. Make sure to buy an organic product to assure that it doesn’t include pesticides. Olive leaf extracts are sometimes used in skin creams and other cosmetics, so try adding 5 to 10 drops of olive leaf extract to your own face wash or lotion.
Because of its anti-aging and bacteria-fighting capabilities, you can use olive leaf extract to make a skin-clearing face wash. Try adding 5–10 drops of olive leaf extract in it. It’s completely natural and free of any harmful chemicals.
If you have access to an olive tree, then you can use the leaves to make tea. Start by washing the leaves thoroughly, then bake them at about 150 degrees or below until they are dry. Then crush the dry leaves and remove the stalks. Steep one tablespoon of the dried olive leaves in hot water for 10 minutes; drink a cup (or more) a day to get all of these amazing olive leaf benefits. If the taste it too bitter for you, add some organic honey or lemon./AgroWeb.org