One of the world’s oldest cultivated plants, the olive has shaped the culture, landscape and economy of the Mediterranean region for over five thousand years. The olive has long been a symbol of long life, prosperity and peace, in many cultures and religions.
While the medicinal and culinary benefits of olive fruits and olive oil have long been enjoyed in Mediterranean countries, and the Mediterranean diet is recognised today as one of the healthiest on the planet, the olive leaf has also traditionally been used for thousands of years as an immune booster to fight fever and infection.
Other historic uses include using infusions of the leaves to reduce blood pressure, anxiety and regulate blood sugar. It’s also traditionally been used to treat gout, urinary tract infections, respiratory and eye infections and haemorrhoids.
The oleuropein extracted from the leaves of the olive tree (olea europaea) has recently garnered recognition as a compound with powerful immune-supporting qualities, which may even slow the growth of damaging cells.
Which is why we’ve developed Oli-Resist, a natural olive leaf extract supplement to help you in times of stress.
Health Benefits of Oleuropein (Olive Leaf Extract)
Researchers have found that there are significant differences between the polyphenols from olive leaves and those from olive fruit, and that olive leaf extract may be many times more effective medicinally than extracts from the fruit.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, oleuropein has been found to be effective in treating a range of ailments and diseases, from bacterial and viral infections, to chronic inflammation and arthritis, to metabolic conditions such as diabetes. A Greek study in 2013 found that olive extract inhibits AGE formation, which is a contributing factor in the development of diabetes.
Oleuropein from olive leaves has been shown to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis. Because oleuropein is an antioxidant, it may help reduce the damage caused by free radicals, protecting the brain from age-related conditions.
Olive Leaf Extract May Be Effective in Treating High Blood Pressure
Multiple studies in the last 10 years indicate the use of olive leaf in preventing and treating high blood pressure.
A placebo-controlled study conducted in the UK from 2013 to 2016 investigated the effectiveness of oleuropein in reducing blood pressure. 350mg of olive leaf extract equivalent to 132mg of oleuropein was consumed daily for 12 weeks, and participants showed a significant reduction in blood pressure.
In Australia, a 2010 study showed improved liver and metabolic function in rats treated with olive leaf extract, and a reduction in cardiac stiffness and oxidative stress indicators. An Indonesian study compared olive leaf extract with Captopril, a blood pressure medication, and found that 500mg of olive leaf extract administered twice daily for eight weeks significantly reduced blood pressure in human participants.
Safety & side effects of Olive Leaf Extract
Reactions and side-effects are most none, however olive leaf is not suitable if you suffer from low blood pressure or are on blood pressure medication, as it can further lower your blood pressure.
There is not enough research to confirm its safety during pregnancy, so you should seek the advice of your doctor. For treating diabetes, start with a low dose under the supervision of your doctor.