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Olive Tree Leaves: Top side and Under side

Olive leaf is the leaf of the olive tree (Olea europaea). While olive oil is well known for its flavor and health benefits, the leaf has been used medicinally in various times and places. Natural olive leaf and olive leaf extracts (OLE), are now marketed as anti-aging, immunostimulators, and even antibiotics. Clinical evidence has proven the blood pressure lowering effects of carefully extracted Olive Leaf Extracts.[1][2][3][4] Bioassays support its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects at a laboratory level. A liquid extract made directly from fresh olive leaves recently gained international attention when it was shown to have an antioxidant capacity almost double green tea extract and 400% higher than Vitamin C.[5]

Contents

History

Olive leaf extract is derived from the leaves of the olive tree. Recorded evidence of olive leaf's medicinal use dates back thousands of years: it was used by ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean cultures to treat a variety of health conditions.

Active compounds

The primary medical constituents contained in unprocessed olive leaf is believed to be the antioxidant oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, as well as several other polyphenols and flavonoids including Oleocanthal.

Nutritional and medicinal uses

Olive leaf and extracts are utilized in the complementary and alternative medicine community for its perceived ability to act as a natural pathogens killer by inhibiting the replication process of many pathogens.

Olive leaf is commonly used to fight colds and flu, yeast infections, and viral infections such as the hard-to-treat Epstein-Barr disease, shingles and herpes. Olive leaf is also good for the heart. Olive leaf has been shown to reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or bad cholesterol. Researchers[1][2][3][4] have found that olive leaf lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow by relaxing the arteries.[4]

Olive leaf harbours antioxidant properties that help protect the body from the continuous activity of free radicals.[2][5][6][7][8][9][10] Free radicals are highly reactive chemical substances that, when oxidized, can cause cellular damage if left unchecked. Some recent research on the olive leaf has shown its antioxidants to be effective in treating some tumors and cancers such as liver, prostate, and breast cancer but the research on this is preliminary.[11][12]

Olive leaf can be taken as a liquid concentrate, dried leaf tea, powder, or capsule. The leaf extracts can be taken in powder, liquid concentrate, or capsule form though the fresh-picked leaf liquid extracts are quickly gaining popularity due to the broader range of healing compounds they contain.

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Side effects

These may be significant, and may include lowering blood pressure and blood glucose; both of these effects can be life-threatening if the user already has a low blood pressure and glucose level. Sufferers of low blood pressure and diabetes are particularly at risk. Interactions with pharmaceutical drugs which force the body to lower its blood pressure and glucose level may be dangerous.[13]

Soaps and cosmetics

Olive leaf extracts are combined with olive oil in soaps and skin creams for application to the skin or other body surfaces.

References

  • "Olive leaf extract exhibits antiviral activity against viral haemorrhagic septicaemia rhabdovirus (VHSV)"
  • [1]

"Induction of Growth Inhibition and Differentiation of Human Leukemia HL-60 Cells by a Tunisian Gerboui Olive Leaf Extract"

  1. ^ a b Perrinjaquet-Moccetti et al. Food Supplementation with an Olive (Olea europaea L.) Leaf Extract Reduces Blood Pressure in Borderline Hypertensive Monozygotic Twins, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c Somova et al. Antihypertensive, antiatherosclerotic and antioxidant activity of triterpenoids isolated from Olea europaea, subspecies africana leaves, 2003.
  3. ^ a b Khayyal et al. Blood pressure lowering effect of an olive leaf extract (Olea europaea) in L-NAME induced hypertension in rats, 2002.
  4. ^ a b c Zarzuelo et al. Vasodilator effect of olive leaf, 1991.
  5. ^ a b Dr Stevenson, L,. et al. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Report on Olive Leaf Australia's Olive Leaf Extracts, Southern Cross University, 2005.
  6. ^ Benavente-Garcia et al. Antioxidant activity of phenolics extracted from Olea europaea L. leaves, 2000.
  7. ^ Saija et al. In vitro evaluation of the antioxidant activity and biomembrane interaction of the plant phenols oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, 1998.
  8. ^ Briante et al. Olea europaea L. leaf extract and derivatives: antioxidant properties, 2002.
  9. ^ Speroni et al. Oleuropein Evaluated In Vitro and In Vivo as an Antioxidant, 1998.
  10. ^ Pinelli et al. Quali-quantitative analysis and antioxidant activity of different polyphenolic extracts from Olea europea L. leaves, 2000.
  11. ^ Hamdi et al. Oleuropein, a non-toxic olive iridoid, is an anti-tumor agent and cytoskeleton disruptor, 2005.
  12. ^ Dr Stevenson, L,. et al. In vitro Biological Activities of Pure Olive Leaf Extract & High Strength Olive Leaf Extract, 2006.
  13. ^ http://www.drugdigest.org/DD/PrintablePages/herbMonograph/0,11475,552476,00.html

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